Thursday, 20 December 2012

Sepia Saturday 157

Whilst, looking for a suitable image for this week's SS, I came across this.  It reminded me of a time when the Grand-daughter stayed with us over the Christmas period.  Now your might have noticed that this is a little boy, but she was very Tom-Boyish, still a plays football for the County.  And, let's face it, this little lad is a bit girly.  He'd have a hell of a time where we come from.
Before I digress too far let's get back to the. story.
She was only four or five but insisted that we put up a stocking for Santa to fill. We, three grown-ups, tried to convince her that he couldn't get in because we lived in a mobile and didn't have a proper chimney. Her response was that he gets into our flat and we don't even have a fire-place. He Will get in; he's magic and invisible. Out argued by a child, we set about hanging up the stocking, setting a plate with a mince-pie and a glass of whiskey - she must have known the old-boy quite well, because she was certain that he liked mince-pies and whiskey (large) and also putting out a saucer of milk for his reindeer.
Eventually we got her to bed and to sleep, we sat back to rest a little.  The Stocking was filled, the other presents set under the Tree. The Scotch was drunk (thanks Santa) a bite was taken from the mince-pie and the saucer of milk was used to make tea. 
Sometime later we all went off to bed.  None of us, however, were due to get much sleep, because we were shortly awaken by shouts of joy - He's been, he's been , I nearly saw him, I heard him, heard him,  he left me some presents.  Half asleep, bare-footed, and trying to maintain the illusion, I walked towards the mantelpiece.  As I walked over I swear I felt something with stiff fur brush in to me.  There was a feint odour, just a fading hint, of the cattle byre.  As soon as it was experienced, it disappeared.  I was just about to dismiss it as a mental aberration when I trod in something that oozed between my toes.  It was warm, moist and obviously fresh, but I could not see it.  It was invisible, invisible reindeer poo.
It must have been magic because since then I've never suffered from athlete's foot or had cold feet.
Seasonal Greetings to all Sepialand

Friday, 14 December 2012

Sepia Saturday 156


The Kiss, a much used title in the Arts, in poetry, in photography,

Alfred Eisenstaedt
 offering reality, but often staged
in paintings

in Sculpture
Constantin Brancusi
The Kiss is seen as the most sensitive of human acts
 and also one of lust and carnality, 
one of friendship and of peace
 and also betrayal 
At this time of the year, it has become confused in the mythology of Christmas and with kissing under Mistletoe [(Viscum album) of the order Santalales (a purely coincidental similarity to Santa)]

Whilst, kissing under the mistletoe recieved much publicity in the Victorian period with advances in reading and printing, it is much older. It was extremely popular in the 15th and 16th Centuries, but its origin go back much further.  Many associate the origin with the Norse myths and the slaying Baldr the Beautiful.
In the Britain mistletoe has always been associated with Druids, who are believed to have held it in great esteem especially when it was found on sacred Oaks.
  The oak is an infrequent host fot the mistletoe and where it occurred the mistletoe was believed  to be endowed with extra magical powers.  It was cut from the boughs of the tree with a golden sickle and let fall to be caught in in a hide or a blanket.  If they failed to catch it and it fell to earth, it's powers would immediately be dissapated.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Sepia Saturday 155

A very interesting theme this week.  At first I was drawn to the obvious, to overalls, the bib and brace and the workingman's protective clothing, but as I researched the theme I began to consider what is the working man and what is his clothing as defined by his job.

Mid 19th century early Bib and Brace - called an Overall with Apron.  Clearly designed to provide total coverage and protection from dirt and grease, and aimed at the manual factory worker.
So too, the smock of the agricultural worker
His 13th Century counterpart may not have had the same protection
This assembly of Welsh Miners shows typical workingman's clothing
and they remained as "clean" as this because of their practice of working in their longjohns or less

In the 19th and early 20th Centuries specialisation and the factorisation of production extended to every thing and this included working clothes as can be seen from Jacob Reed's advert.
Not all workingmen laboured in factories or on the land or under it, but still they could be recognised the their "Dress"
And, we must not forget the role of the working woman in the home and the distinctive outfit of pinnie and apron worn in the interwar years and up and to the 1950s

The Navigator in Jolly Jill Tar clothing.