Do you remember Grandma’s button-jar? I recall spending hours playing with the buttons, sorting them into matching sets or into groups of the same colour or size. Then there was Mum’s sewing box. It always needed tidying. So I embarked upon the simple task of tidying my own sewing-box. So far it has taken me two days as I linger reminiscing far too long over each item. This needlebook was stitched by me when I was in Junior School . . . And this thimble belonged to Grandma. I was ten when Gran died and my Mother gave the thimble to me. Thereby hangs a tale: when my husband and I were ready to leave the family home in Africa to travel with our baby son to UK I caused havoc at the last minute because I could not find my thimble. With minutes to spare before catching the boat train the household was in uproar. “Hunt the thimble” takes on a whole new dimension when a panicking traveller is weeping and wailing at the centre. I am embarrassed now when I look back. And I was mortified back then when I realised that I had tucked my thimble into my ‘bra’ for safekeeping. Phew! And what IS this strange silver prong thing? The pointy bit slides in and out. I wondered whether it was for easing out the points on collar seams?
The original task has been complicated by my rash decision to sort out my sewing drawers at the same time. I can hear my late Mother’s exasperated voice, “OH Janie! Did you HAVE to tip it all out? Why didn’t you finish tidying the sewing box first?” You’d think I’d learn. I vaguely remember learning about “core constructs” when studying psychology. Okay, so this must be one of my core constructs. And the second core construct is “the tendency to engage in displacement activity”. It is sunset in an hour’s time so I just need to nip out for a quick walk (a) to reach my daily goal of 6,500 steps and (b) to watch the sunset over the estuary. Or the other way round. Take your pick. Then, of course it will be suppertime . . .