Friday, 10 February 2012

Familiarity breeds........

....well in my case not 'contempt' as the saying goes, but the ability to do something well.

I have been clearing out my machine embroidery stuff because I feel I do not wish to do it any more. Now, all I have left is my computerised sewing maching and six drawers full of material, so this morning (as the kitchen was cold and the aga off) I shut myself in my study with the said sewing maching, which I have probably not touched for a year.

First of all, I thought, I would give it a good clean and oil. 'Take out the bobbin race and when you replace it after cleaning and oiling, make sure the race is to the left'. Well, yes, that is good plain English (if you know what the race looks like) but it may just as well have been a foreign language as first of all I couldn't get it apart and then I couldn't get it together again.

Now I could blame my age but I am not altogether sure that is the problem. Because I haven't used the machine for so long I think it was just unfamiliarity. After a lot of struggling, a break for lunch, another lot of struggling, ten minutes to thread the needle - I finally got the thing going and sewed a fine seam, feeling rather pleased with myself. Now I plan to sew for about half an hour each day until I am totally familiar with all the things this rather clever machine can do.

It looks as though life is going to be rather hard for the next few days. Tess is already sitting looking at the Aga and whining. She sleeps in front of it so there will be a rude awakening for her tonight. So it may well be that my study, which houses the central heating pipes under the floor and also the hot water tank, is the warmest place in the house.

I think we must have gone soft. When I think of my parents and the house where I was brought up. We had an open fire in the living room and that was all. On a cold winter's night you sat as near as possible and burnt the fronts of your legs, while the backs froze. When you went to bed you took either a hot water bottle or an oven shelf from the side oven, wrapped in a bit of old sheet. And you wrapped up well.

Going back to familiarity - I was ashamed when the aga engineer was here yesterday and he asked me to go and turn the oil off at the tank and I didn't know how to do it. He then found it that neither do I know where the stop tap is to turn the cold water off!

16 comments:

Toffeeapple said...

I can relate to your last two paragraphs! I have known my hot-water bottle to freeze in my bed in Wales when I was a child.

Heather said...

That's what husbands are for Pat!! We had a kitten who activated our Aga's trip-switch and turned it off. I had no idea there was a trip switch and called the engineer who had to come from miles away just to switch it on again. Hope yours will soon be working again.
Happy machining - it amazing how easy it is to forget procedures which once came naturally.

Bovey Belle said...

Not a good time for the Aga to be off! I was saying earlier today, I can remember living in an unheated tied-cottage and having to go to bed fully-clothed in the winter!

We are virtually out of heating oil, so only having the Hergom on for half an hour morning and evening and living beside the wood-burner in between!

I hope you get to grips with your sewing-machine again. It's easy to get out of the habit of things when they are only used now and again. Like me with the DVD player . . . My son thinks I have no brain!

Rachel said...

I think you need to ask the Farmer to give you a few lessons!

I do not have central heating but I do have two woodburners. I wear lots of layers, and always two pairs of socks in the evening. If your feet are warm then the whole of you is warm! One woodburner ticks over all night but the other doesn't and my farmer wears his overcoat and hat at the breakfast table! The bedrooms are cold but we only use them to sleep in; wouldn't suit modern day living where the bedroom is used as a living space.

Gerry Snape said...

Pat...I pretend that I know everything...especially when chatting to my sister...living alone...it's much easier than looking like a wimp and also easier on the potter 'cause then he just gets on with it...now come the day...hope not...I will be there and all clued up...but praying that it never comes!

jill said...

Im sure you will enjoy your sewing machine again once you have played with it again.Hope you are keeping warm and your aga is back on soon.Love Jill XX

Hildred and Charles said...

Sewing machines seem to be particularly vulnerable - when I went to do a bit of mending and had to change the colour of the thread I took the precaution of watching carefully the intricate threading pattern, - and this after 75 years of sewing.......

thousandflower said...

I sympathize. Our wood range also heats our hot water as well as heating the house and cooking our meals. Well, the coil in the stove that the water runs through developed a leak and had to be replaced. Luckily we could use the stove while we waited for a replacement but for 10 days there was no hot water except what I could heat in a big canner on the stove. Finally got it fixed yesterday and luxuriated in a big deep long bath. Civilization!!

rkbsnana said...

I remember backing up to grandma's open flame gas stove for years...raising the back of my skirt to warm thoroughly. Then backing into the corner after her stove had long been replaced by central heat. I miss that kind of heat.

rkbsnana said...

I remember backing up to grandma's open flame gas stove for years...raising the back of my skirt to warm thoroughly. Then backing into the corner after her stove had long been replaced by central heat. I miss that kind of heat.

Mary said...

I just happy to know I'm not the only one who can't remember how to do things when you no longer do them constantly! Threading the machine takes a few minutes because I only crank it up now and then these days......same with loading photos on my old PC because I use my Macs 99% of the time now.

We have electric central heat/airconditioning. Our units are getting old too and may have to be replaced soon at a huge cost.........perhaps we should just move, ha! ha!

Here's to the AGA's new lease on life.......hang in there and wear extra socks.

Happy weekend - Mary

Cloudia said...

wishing you a warm sleep tonight!

Rare Lesser Spotted said...

My goodness it's chilly here, I hope you are all keeping warm. Perhaps a camp bed in your study for Tess might be the answer to her prayers!
xx

The Weaver of Grass said...

Aga off until Wednesday - central heating full on - stove burning logs like mad and really quite warm. It seems that we all remember days when it was cold indoors. We are a tough lot aren't we.
Glad also to hear that everyone forgets how to do things!!

MorningAJ said...

My little cottage can get quite cold because the central heating isn't in every room. I should really have it sorted, but I've got used to putting blankets over the doors and turning up the fire in the lounge.

BilboWaggins said...

I too remember coal fires when I was a kid and you always shut the door when leaving a room to keep the heat in.

I was 8 or 9 when we moved to a house with central heating and I still remember sitting close to a radiator with a sense of awe!

Do enjoy using your lovely machine again.