My sister gave me a walnut box for Christmas, filled with tiny little somethings: fortunes cookies and teeny golden shoes, Lady Macbeth’s soap (out damned spot) and a literary tea-towel, a tiny tin of Alice In Wonderland mints, old (and silly!)postcards. a Sylvia Plath finger puppet, and a 1935 edition of The Woman’s Weekly Bedside Book.
While I was totally enchanted by it all, it was of course the book that thrilled me, filled as it is with the kind of domestic verse that truly gladdens the heart and helps us, even in these enlightened days of endless Tiktoc style encouragement, to home in on the tiniest of daily joys destined for our gratitude lists.
Today with a sore throat that seems to have knocked me for something of a six, I stole haldf an hour among all the other must-be-dones to sit on the sofa with a glass pot full of cinnamon tea and this darling little book and just allowed myself to stop.
And now because I want to commit some of these verses to our collective Brocante psyche, here begins the sharing of a few of those that capture the spirit of our site and remind us all over again, how and why we came to be living as Brocanteers.
I think that homely tasks are very gracious; they leave a soft enchantment in their wake, such as the sweet, warm smell that fills the kitchen, when you’ve had cakes and little scones to bake.
The sight of linen, clean and neatly folded inside the airing cupboard piled in stacks with all the smaller pieces hung out singly and slipped between the slits across the racks.
The table spread for meals with flowers upon it, the china and the glass with care a-shine — I feel these tasks to be a benediction about this very home of mine.
I think that homely tasks are very gracious, I know that they smooth out many a pain and care. I know that they stand a bulwark against pain and sorrow, and gifts like these are very choice and rare.
Jean Morton: Woman’s Weekly Bedside Book, 1935.