Thursday, 7 April 2011

Keeping the home fires burning

The world from my window is very different this evening. Instead of looking out on to the village square, with its red telephone box, pub, corner shop and parish pump, I'm gazing out across the sea from the South Devon Riveria.

It's a warm and balmy night and the sea is like blue mercury, still and silent. I can hear birds tweeting and the television in the room upstairs where my colleague is putting her feet up after a long, hard day.

Mr Grigg is keeping the home fires burning while I am in Torquay, staying at the hotel that inspired John Cleese to write Fawlty Towers. Honestly. Although the view from my hotel room is absoluletly stunning. If I squint my eyes a bit I can just make out a herd of wildebeest sweeping majestically across the plain.

This evening we will be putting on our posh frocks and dancing shoes for a gala dinner before retiring sensibly to prepare ourselves for another long day tomorrow manning an exhibition stand.

The theme is Opportunities in The Time of Austerity and my granny's old china has been dusted off and knitting needles brought out as my colleague and I, dressed as Land Girls, make do and mend and smile bright red lipstick smiles at all who pass by. To demonstrate value for money, we have recycled last year's stand and added to it, with a vintage roll-a-penny board (made by my late aunt), and a table set for tea for two, with photos of our sweethearts, ration books and a spotter's guide to bombers interspersed among the cupcakes.

We have become known as The Knitting Ladies as we sit in our tartan rug-covered chairs click-clacking away as we pull in the punters to take part in our games.

I swear my colleague will punch someone if we do not win the prize for the best stand. I'm not worried about that - my aim is to catch the eye of guest speaker Michael Portillo as he walks around the exhibition hall in the morning.

He will make a beeline for us, pick up our dropped stitches and then pose for a photograph, as the company logo hovers just above his head.

That's the plan, at least.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x


  1. You knit such a vivid image with your words.

  2. I love this post! Hope you are having a grand time! I WANT PICS!!! And soon!

  3. Sounds like fun - and you have perfect weather. Looking forward to seeing the pic with Mr Portillo!

    I have the bitter-sweet memories of having a mis-spent youth hood in that town, the experience of which concluded with my first marriage ho hum ! Though it was a beautiful place on a summers day & provided pleasing walks in Cockington Manor.


A horror film for Halloween

On Halloween, I head out under the cover of darkness, a tub of sweets by the front door for young trick or treaters on the prowl with their ...