Monday, 16 September 2013
Now that the warmth of Summer has leached from the day, the cool of Autumn sends me scurrying for my scarf drawer to drape soft silks, wools and cottons round my neck.
This is how I find myself unconsciously echoing the rhythms of childhood ; burrowing my nose down into their gentle folds as I curl up on the sofa lost in a book.
As a small child 'manky' went everywhere with me. It was a piece of my mother's silk petticoat, that felt cool and gentle against my skin and smelt of love and comfort. Cocooned under thick quilts at night, I would stroke it slowly against my cheek,soothing my body into sleep. During my waking hours it was clutched tight in my hand as I went about my daily routine. It was a part of me, my protection against a confusing world.
Being a third child, I wanted so much to be accepted as a 'big girl' in the eyes of my family; so one chilly night when the fire was roaring in the grate, and my father was home on leave, I solemnly put down my mug of warm milk and handed him 'manky' ; demanding that he put into the flames..... which of course, he did!
Watching 'manky' slowly disintegrate into ashes was, I suppose, a small rite of passage.......... the funny thing is since that night, I cannot bear to drink hot milk