I recently discovered a fabulous way of reducing the pile of things forming archaeological layers – or possibly new civilizations – in the mending basket. Bin? Absolutely not. Forced labour? Also no. The trick, it turns out, is to shift the goal posts.
For a ridiculously long time, I have had a flannel nightie in my mending basket, waiting for a mend. Button-bereft garments come and go, elastic waistbands stretch and are replaced, tears are darned or patched, but this was beyond me. The worn-through yoke needed replacing. Did I know how to replace a yoke? No. So I left the nightie in the basket until such time as enlightenment descended.
I have learned my lesson: before and after makeovers are much more impressive if you have a picture of Before.
I took the sleeves off my favourite dress last summer – despite the seams being both sewn and overlocked they were still coming adrift in places – and happily drafted a post about it. Only to find that I had no pictures of the dress from the four plus years I wore it avec sleeves. Despite wearing it probably twice a week, year round, all through that time.
Time immemorial…. Has a lovely sound to it, doesn’t it? Like days of yore.
In fact, in British law, time immemorial is defined as everything before the sixth of July 1189. This was decided in 1275, presumably because by that point no one could remember anything before the sixth of July 1189 and it was therefore literally time immemorial – a time that no one living could remember.
It is interesting to consider what time immemorial would be these days. It’s so easy to forget how short a time, relatively speaking, things have been The Way Things Are. Mass transport, antibiotics, Queen Elizabeth II, the Internet… Fast fashion has only been around for a few decades, and yet how strange it now seems to have just a few carefully tended items of clothing, worn for years and infrequently replaced.