Thursday, 23 September 2010

A mine of useless information ......

On the way into school yesterday one of the littlies picked a dandelion.

Yuk says I .... don't pick them you'll wet the bed!

One of the other mums laughed and says that's an old wive's tale ...... but is it?   I might be getting to be a bit of an old bat but I am a mine of useless information and told her that dandelions are in fact diuretics and do have other medicinal uses as a laxative and with urinary problems.  Maybe not so useless after all !

That got me thinking about some other sayings that we all take for granted and probably repeat without thinking of their origins.

Eat your carrots .... they'll make you see in the dark .... this is false and was probably started during WW2 when the Air Force put the story out that their pilots were so good at seeing in the dark because they ate lots of carrots ... this was merely to confuse the enemy and to hide the fact that they were using radar ..... of course you don't have to tell the littlies the whole truth ;-)

Can you think of any more ????

Well today is the day that I have been looking forward to for months.  It was the first day that the littlies spent all day in school so now, grandchildren excepted, I just look after my before and after school club which gives me lots of lovely me time during the day.  Today I came home from the school run and had some brekkie and then retreated to my sewing room to work some more on a king size quilt commission.  It was wonderful to be able to potter about, sit thinking quietly about my next round of blocks, pop back downstairs to have another cuppa and peek on here to see what everyone has been up to.  Would you like to see the WIP ....

apologies for the photo quality I couldn't seem to get rid of the fuzziness

I've been popping in and out of the local charity shops and went to a mid-week car boot this week and came home with a big grin on my face

This gorgeous Victorian set apparently came from a large manor house not too far away from me.  The lady who sold it said her gran used to be housekeeper there and was given this by the owners.  Can you imagine what a whole service would have looked like!

You will all know from previous posts that one of my fetishes is for vintage children's toy china .... nestled amongst some modern repro miniature teapots was this little darling .... it dates to around 1840 and even though the handle is missing I couldn't pass it by for just £1.50 could I?

the glass candlesticks where from the bootie too and the Johnson Brothers teaset came from the CS

I've also had a result via Freecycle when a kind lady offered some old framed tapestries .... I thought I would take a chance and was delighted to collect these

again she said her gran had made these and it reminded me of my own single attempt at tapestry which sits in our loft.  When I was pregnant with first born some 29 years ago my OH bought it for me to do when I stopped work and I finished it just in time .... it was a snowy winter that year and the scene was of a Swiss chalet with snow topped mountains in the background ... very appropriate.  Must get it down from the loft and dust it off.  Call me sentimental but I just couldn't part with things like these that belonged to my grandparents.  Speaking of which I unearthed these from the shed ...

This is them in use in 1963 at Billing Squadrome in Northamptonshire .... that's me on the left hand side and my grandparents are on the right ....

The wood is still sound so after a gentle rub down I am going to nourish them with teak oil and replace the canvas ready for next summer.

these were unearthed on a visit to a local guide group fun day .... the Enid Blyton Literary Society was formed in 1995 and this is the first series of journals that they produced.  There are some gorgeous illustrations and articles ... some fireside reading for the winter methinks.

Tomorrow is auction viewing day so guess where I will be!


  1. What treasures! I'm not sure where to start - as for your carrots, they contain carotene which is a source of vitamin A. Vitamin A is necessary for healthy eyes and a deficiency can cause night blindness, so although eating carrots won't help you see in the dark, there is some truth in the statement.

  2. Oh dear - you are beginning to sound like my mother with your old wives tales!!! She still tells me off if I dont dry my hair properly before I leave the house! Great finds and love the chairs - and the old photos.

  3. Yes, Diane, my mother wouldn't let us out with wet hair either, and what about eating crusts to make your hair curl?
    Lovely finds, and the quilt is going to be stunning - I'm envious of the time for quiet contemplation though! Wish I could send my lot off to school - as I've probably said before..

  4. You asked for more sayings, well my Mum was a great one and when I took Mr.T home for the first time he thought we were all mad, his family didn't go in for old wives sayings.
    Here's a few.
    If you cant fight, wear a big hat !
    Red hat, no drawers !
    All round will's mothers, (meaning she had been every where)
    Be quiet or you'll get a flea in your ear. (meaning you'll get a clout ) not that she ever did.
    Straight from the horses mouth !
    I also love car boots, my week isn't complete without one. lol
    Briony x

  5. The French for dandelion is pissenlit isn't it? ... bearing in mind lit=bed then the rest speaks for itself!

    The eating your crust saying never worked for me as my hair is a bit curly anyway and I didn't want it even more so!

    Another great haul of finds ... I do wonder where you keep it all!

    Your quilt is wonderful.

    Love the photo of you, your family on those chairs and look forward to seeing them "made over" next summer.

  6. Lovely quilt and my, my, some very nice finds along the way ... :0)

    Shirl x

  7. Well, my son was pointing out to me yesterday that in French, dandelions are 'pis en lit' which does indeed mean 'wet the bed' so it sounds like you've got some old cross-the-channel plantlore going on there!

  8. Thanks for your comment. Oh, I so wish that I could crochet - I would love some white crochet snowflakes to hang off my garlands in my hallway. I hope to learn one day...xx

  9. Absolutely beautiful quilt, I love the colours. You had some great finds from the car boot and charity shops. I love the old sayings, I remember when I was little if I was moody and pulling a face my Nan would tell me 'The wind will change and you'll stay like that!!' Apparently cheese makes you dream if you eat it before you go to bed, I don't know if it is true?
    Jo xx