At 51, three times married, I have about as much interest in romance as I have in ironing antimacassars
, dusting doilies or stuffing lavender sachets.
The speaker's immortal sofa, "covered in protective dull green serge, / antimacassars
of yellow lace on the armrests," is acquired from her mother-in-law.
The Victorian middle classes filled their homes with objects: figurines, antimacassars
, pincushions in the shape of a blancmange, and other forms of bric-a-brac that would keep 20th-century junk shops in business and give the Victorians a reputation for bad taste.
DAYS BECOME more imaginary the older you get; that is, more clotted by images of what might have been but wasn't, of impossible love affairs, valises stuffed with money, at least one Nobel Prize, embroidered antimacassars
of one's youth, that age when one gave precious little consideration to time swiftly flying like a fantastic lizard into the future that is now.
Items included a black silk apron embroidered with coloured floss silks, fine crochet antimacassars
, a child's dress with a tatted and lace stitch front and bodice, a bridal veil, scarlet cloth slippers in applique, and what was described as 'a very beautiful sample of Indian lace'.
Although Lagerlof's storytelling is grippingly vivid, pacy, and even racy, her romantically high-toned style of writing can read like the literary equivalent of lace antimacassars
Those who remain in Africa take advantage of the opportunity to send items home with those returning to the US after brief sojourns abroad and crochet antimacassars
and bed covers in fluorescent pinks and yellows.
The other DIY warnings included carpet in bathrooms, poor preparation, following fashions without tweaking them to fit your own home and antimacassars
- the doilies that fit on chair arms.
It is as if we still pay a premium for antimacassars
and moustache cups because the Victorians rated them.
Coverlets and antimacassars
, cases and containers are devised in abundance; in these, the traces of the most ordinary objects of use are imprinted.
It was a quick transport back to antimacassars
, short pants and scratchy-needle upholstery.
Self-sufficiency through stitching an ill-fitting vest from antimacassars
that another woman had crocheted artfully a hundred years before.
Q IT might sound old-fashioned but I am looking for antimacassars
- you know, the bits of lace your granny used to have draped on the back of the sofa and chairs.
The McCollums had furnished their house ardently: chiming clocks and porcelain figurines and hand-stitched antimacassars
and graven glassware and pictures of sunset-silhouetted African kings left no blank space.
Oil lamps, siphon bottles, dried flowers, lace doilies, embroidered pillow covers and shams, antimacassars
, porcelain-headed dolls, and discolored photos add to the verisimilitude, reinforcing an illusion that one has entered a dwelling suspended in time.