Do you read the Fashion Magazines, or the weekly 'Fashion' day in your newspaper? What about furniture? Do you follow the latest trends - for example it does seem as though'Three Piece Suites' (remember them?) are now more or less de trop.When I was growing up (1940s and 1950s) everyone 'needed' a three piece suite - a settee and two armchairs. My parents had one in their 'front room'. I can see it now - covered in a sort of bronzy-coloured, velvety material- not particularly comfortable. It 'sat' in our front room, along with our 'radiogram' and as far as I can remember the two records they possessed, (One was 'We are the Queen's Navy' - can't remember what the other one was but it was of the same ilk) and my piano. I spent hours playing the piano even though it was always freezing cold in there.
We only went in the Front Room on Christmas Day and New Year's Day and if someone 'special' was paying a visit. The curtains were kept semi-drawn to stop the sun fading the suite. (when I married the farmer in 1993 his parents had the same kind of front room except for piano read china cabinet with glass front and best china only used when 'important people' visited.)
Does anyone live like this any more?
And what about Fashion? My mother favoured what she called the costume. By the time I came along it became 'the suit'. For any special occasion it was necessary to have a new suit. I have photographs of her and my father when they were on a week's holiday - staying in a Boarding House in Llandudno. My mother is sitting in some kind of summer house/hut half way up the Great Orme - she is wearing a suit! And similarly my mother and two of her sisters sitting in deck chairs on the sands - in suits!
I do remember following Fashion when the mini came in for the first time (early seventies for a guess) and I had a gorgeous yellow mini skirt which I wore with a navy blue silk shirt blouse with the top two buttons open and the sleeves rolled up almost to the elbow. (very daring). But compared with today's mini skirts it would have been considered almost long.
Now if I see some chair I like I would buy it - making sure the cover didn't clash fiercely with any other piece of furniture I owned.
But as for clothes - I look (probably with the astonishment - or even horror) at today's fashionistas and think 'never in a million years would I wear that'. Apart from anything else - I used to have good legs - I am 5ft 9in (in old money) and my legs were worth looking at boys. But now my arthritic knees are best kept under wraps, seen only by me and by my carers. It is trousers all the time - I no longer possess a skirt apart from a full length woollen plaid skirt I can't bear to take to the Charity Shop - I love it too much (and yes it would hide my knees but I can no longer fasten it at the waist!)
If you are someone like the gorgeous Dame Judi Dench (almost as old as me) you can develop your own fashion. She cuts a dash in the same kind of clothes always - and I am sure she has many outfits. They always look divine on her.
As a final parting shot - I think the mini had been 'in' earlier than that. My sister who was 22 years older than me (same parents) always liked to dress fashionably. When I was in my early teens and played the organ at the Methodist Chapel my family attended, my sister asked who the preacher was one Sunday morning just as I was setting off to play. When I said his name she gave a roar of laughter - he was by this time a Bank Manager in Lincoln - and she related how once she and her friend were walking down the street in Lincoln (they would be in their mid teens) and he, with a group of young pals, had shouted across the road, "Look at Vera Smithson lads - she's got legs right up to her bum!"
I never saw that preacher in the same light again!
See you tomorrow.