Creature Comforts

By alison August 29, 2010 15 Comments 2 Min Read

“How people appear to despise them, don’t they? The hot-water bottle on a bitter night; the toast and butter on a Winter’s afternoon; the extra special brand of jam when one’s appetite flags.
“Oh!” they say, with a scorn which scarcely tries to conceal itself, “Those things seem to matter to you! Fancy!!
Yes, they do matter. We don’t live for them, and we can do without them if needs be, but they brighten one up, don’t they?
A log on the fire and a hot cup of tea will lift a burden off one’s back sometimes; they are like a cheery novel passed on to us to read when we’ve been scanning nothing but horrors in a sensational paper.
And we like pretty clothes. We don’t love them. We can go three years shabby if needs be, and make two old dresses into a coat frock; we can knit ourselves hats out of faded unravelled jumpers of the past. and we can do it without telling the world that we’ve done it. But we like pretty things. And if we feel we can afford a becoming hat, all fresh and fit to brave the sunlight, we go to the hat shop with a lilt about our spirits which isn’t exactly vanity, only a delight in the well-being of “something nice to wear.”
The house likes creature-comforts too, poor thing! It desires to have new curtains and a lovely rug or two. It’s a plucky old house and doesn’t grumble when we “catch together” the holes in the muslin and darn the mats with wool that tones. It sighs a bit when we shift the stair carpet for the fifth time bringing the original “rubs” to the fore; but it cheers up over polished stair-rods and creaks down a murmur. It revels in paint and table-covers and lowly pots and pans all new and tinkered-up. It sympathises with the garden which asks if it may have a score of those asters mentioned in the catalogue; or a few shillingsworth of seedlings which it will nurse into sturdy children.
Perhaps we give the house two pots of enamel, a sale-bought carpet, and three cushion covers and say “You must make that do for the time, my dear.” Perhaps we purchase six threepenny roots from a market-woman and a fourpenny seed-envelope of virginia-stocks from the “general” shop and tuck the lot into the earth’s brown arms at the back of the house with the remark, “No money for more, just now- don’t grumble!”
And the house and the garden cheer up and make the best of things; and we buy a new scarf and a new hat and feel almost worldly.
Yes, creature comforts are very nice, whatever drab-hearted folks may declare to the contrary.”
Another charming piece from Lillian Gard, circa 1921. I recognise a soul-mate when I see one…

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15 Comments

  1. Sally Hackney says:

    Thanks for these" comforts" today Alison and Lillian. Every word rings so true to me. Smiles, Sally

  2. Debbi says:

    Soulmates indeed! I thought it was you!

  3. Debbi says:

    Soulmates indeed! I thought it was you!

  4. Tracelaine says:

    That is so delightful. I choked down a giggle reading "It sighs a bit when we shift the stair carpet for the fifth time…but it cheers up over polished stair-rods and creaks down a murmur." Putting life into this old house really makes a gal want to coo and coddle a bit more.

  5. Oh, yes, Alison, charming indeed! Anyone can get excited about the big things in life, but only truly joyful people can revel in these little things that make up day-to-day life.

  6. Oh, yes, Alison, charming indeed! Anyone can get excited about the big things in life, but only truly joyful people can revel in these little things that make up day-to-day life.

  7. Dori says:

    Oh, Alison, I love this! Oh, the simple, lovely, little joys of life are the best!

  8. Dori says:

    Oh, Alison, I love this! Oh, the simple, lovely, little joys of life are the best!

  9. Mrs Rosemary London says:

    Where did you find this material by LillianGard ? as there is very little info on her available on the internet.I would love to read more by her.

    1. brocantehome says:

      Hi Rosemary, I too have searched for some longer pieces of prose by Lillian Gard, but apart from a few poems haven't found much at all online. The pieces I post on BrocanteHome are sadly few and far between in my collection of mammoth sized Girls Own annuals but when I come across them they are always some kind of puttery wonderful. If I do happen across anything more I will let you know.x

  10. Hausfrau says:

    Oh, me too–absolutely!

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