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.
Ever since Eve, gardens and clothing have had a problematic relationship – particularly for women. Before I even made my passionate avowal of regular gardening, I had made a frustrating discovery in this regard. As suitable as my long-skirted dresses are for many a pursuit, gardening is not one of them.
What clued me in? Standing on my hem with muddy gumboots when bending over my work. Frustratingly unavoidable.
And yet, women (and even ladies) have gardened lo these many centuries. The problem, I deem, is the combination of ladylike attire with unladylike gardening. A full sweeping skirt is all very well for a little light flower-gathering on a dry summer’s day with a Sussex trug over one arm, but squatting down in the muddy grass uttering dire threats against a dock root is in an altogether different class of gardening.
But I’m darned if I know what to call it. Follow the process, if you will, and advise accordingly.
As so often happens, necessity was the mother of this design. I got sick of constantly mislaying my tiny scissors – the ones I use for snipping off ends of thread, yarn etc. What with working on the rose quilt and churning out a stream of granny squares for prayer blankets – not to mention wrestling with socks – those scissors were getting a lot of use, in a lot of different places.