Sunday, 3 February 2019

Magical, mysterious stuff!

A young friend of mine recently announced that she is expecting twins. Surprisingly she did so by simply stating the fact, rather than posting a scan photo on Facebook. I’m sure it’s very exciting for the parents to see their embryo on the screen - back in my day it was not such a routine procedure and the medical staff just told you all was fine - but it doesn’t make for the most appealing photo of a baby. More like a picture of a tadpole - or tadpoles in the case of multiples!

Anyway, she is expecting twins. And twins are always very appealing.

In Saturday’s Guardian magazine there was a short article about identical twins who live together. They moved out of the family home together a couple of years ago and went, like Dick Wittington, to seek their fortune in London. The most time they have ever spent apart in their lives is three weeks. They can go shopping separately and come back with identical items.

Quote: “I honestly feel that because we spend so much time together our brains are connected.” 

Maybe so. There is something extra special bout identical twins.

But what struck me most was this:- “... we’ve managed to turn our twin connection into a career - we produce a YouTube channel”.

I still find this kind of thing a mystery of the modern age. I know there is all the advertising and so on but, really, how does doing stuff on YouTube become a career? Do careers officers in schools have a handy leaflet on “How to become a successful YouTuber”? I bet they don’t. After all, when someone tells the careers advisor that they want to be a pop star, an actor or a professional sportsperson, the careers adviser usually pushes them down some other path, as an insurance policy, just in case they don’t succeed in their career of choice.

At almost five years old, our second youngest grandchild looks set for a career as a fashion designer. She wrote me a letter. Well, she drew me a picture of a dress - her proud mummy and daddy said she had put a lot of thought into it - and on the back wrote “Grandma I woud (sic) like this dress pleas (sic). Lots off (sic) love, Mia.” You can’t expect perfect spelling in a novice letterxwriter! There was even a postscript, in case I couldn’t work it out from the picture: “It’s blue with roses at the bottom. Pink lace at the top.”

Apparently she told her parents I didn’t need to get another present for her birthday time next week, just make the dress, as I am a kind of magic dress making grandma. No pressure then!

This is what happens when you show your daughter-in-law how to read dress patterns and prove yourself a capable stitcher. Now I have a reputation to maintain.

Once upon a time this would not have been a problem but nowadays fabric shops, like wool shops and haberdasheries, are few and far between. So I went on the internet and found a couple of possibilities, one in Ashton and one in Stalybridge. There are some in Oldham but they tend to sell mostly fabric for making saris and salwar kameez. This is a sign that it is mostly Asian women who sew their own clothes these days.

However, the shop in Ashton, while still catering for the saris and salwar kameez market, proved to be a veritable Aladdin’s cave, full of fabrics of all kinds and colours, not to mention a reasonable range of trims and ribbons and other such stuff. Quite delightful! And the Asian lady who ran it was very friendly and helpful.

And so some blue fabric, some fabric with rose patterns and some pink lace fabric were purchased and a dress amazingly similar to the original design was produced.

What else would you do on a cold and snowy weekend in February?

Perhaps I am a magic, dress making grandma after all!

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