Saturday, 31 March 2012

Feeling Blue

Having arrived in Worcestershire via Chinnor yesterday I am feeling blue in a big way.

This is not depression, but nostalgia...

I purchased a powder blue knitted jumper for the bargain price of 1.00GBP at the recent Gear Change Fashion Event. I turned up at the family get-together in Chinnor to find my maternal grandmother, Myrtle dressed in at least two items of a similar shade. The Hammond matriarchal palette seems to be anything from grey blue through powder blue to cornflower and french navy. Not surprisingly I find myself craving vintage boys dressing gowns and my childhood sky blue bedroom walls. Thankfully my parents' ridiculously spacious bathroom is painted a similar colour and my mother somewhat intuitively has given me the use of a baby blue bath sheet for the duration of our stay here. Perhaps these associations explain my adoration of the Swiss Blue Topaz ring I bought myself in 2008 as an independence gift.

I have a similar relationship with the colours ranging from pale turquoise to jade and teal. My paternal grandmother, Helen Constance was deeply enamoured of these shades. In my own home decor Helen is most poignantly reflected in a beautiful vintage teal bedspread given to me by my dear friend Lena Dunkin, of The Lady Magazine on a visit to her country home.

When Helen Constance died in 2007 I was sad that I hadn't spent more time near her especially in the last couple of years of her life. She was a really wonderful woman. She attended finishing school and was a shining example of the perfect woman and wife of her generation. She made the concept seem romantic rather than outmoded and her occasional naughty streak, (I put this down to growing up in the 20s and 30s lucky thing!), strengthened rather than weakened my admiration of the feminine ideal she represented. Her independence came to the fore when my Grandfather died at a rather young age. I was only 4 at the time and she lived at least 30 years without him, never looking at another man again. Helen was undeniably matriarchal and an inspiring example both for the men and women of our family.

Flights of family fancy aside, however, these shades of blue will always be held as dear as the women who wear/wore them. xxx

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