Random Ramblings

Random Ramblings: Personal observations on a wide variety of subjects. Photographs of creatures and things that are taken on seeing the unusual as well as everyday things.

Rose tinted glasses don't always see

Beautiful, feminine, rustling gowns that made the most clumsiest of women glide with the beauty of a swan on a calm lake. This was the image portrayed by films and books. Along with trim waists and high heaving bosoms. There were rich velvets trimmed with fur in the winter. Fine lawn cottons piped with lace in the summer. And we, onlookers from another age were all sucked in to this illusion. This life style was soon to be changed on having a conversation with my grandmother who as a young girl had worn these very gowns that kissed the floor with every step. "You have no idea how dreadful they were." she had advised me. Then continued on what life was like on a daily basis when there was no choice but to wear them. "We had to sew ribbon on the bottoms to make them last longer as they would become ripped and frayed as we walked." She had added. She also said that every time a woman or girl stepped out their skirts would drag over everything. Whatever was on the floor would end up attached to the bottom of the hem. The edges would become caked with mud, dog excrement, spit, vomit ... whatever was on the floor would sickeningly end up on the hem. As the ribbon tore and ripped it had to be unpicked and a fresh length sewn on to extend the life of the skirt or dress. Often, washing the dresses especially on a daily basis was out of the question. Once dry the hems were brushed to relieve them of the heavy burdens of caked on dirt - this my grandmother confessed was a foul job to do. When they were washed, can you imagine how dreadful it would be. Laboriously rubbing up and down on a washboard and scrubbing at ground in dirt (no washing machines, no rubber gloves). Once they were clean, rinsed, dried and pressed - the whole process would begin all over again! The one lesson that this conversation taught me in life is that things are not always as they first appear. It pays to keep this at the back of the mind as it can often be the case that things are rarely as they first may seem to be.

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