Tuesday, 5 January 2016

A blast from the past

Those of you who read regularly (thank you :)) may remember this post about my aunt.
http://happeninguponhappiness.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/the-epitome-of-frugality.html

We went over to see my aunt before Christmas as we always do, to exchange presents. We had tea and cake - home made of course! I took a few photos to try and demonstrate how simply and frugally she lives. They're aren't great quality as they were snapped hastily on my phone and the light is always so dim, but in some ways they are even more evocative because of it. We were chatting about her mother, my grandmother, who was cared for by my aunt at home until she passed away peacefully at the age of 103. Her last brief visit to hospital was remarkable in that despite being over 100 and much the oldest on the ward, my grandmother took no medication other than something to 'keep her regular'! Right up to the end she had all of her faculties and despute being very frail (she was a tiny little thing anyway), was quite well really. My aunt is 92 at the end of January, so they must have strong genes. Amazing women!

Anyway here are the photos .....

No heat whatsoever in the bathroom

High flush original toilet

Landing - trip hazards everywhere! Under the cover is a very old dolls house, which I used to adore playing with as a child. 

Back parlour. No central heating, no fitted carpets, no modern double glazing, picture rail and heavy dark wood furniture. 

This is the trolley she uses to wheel items from the kitchen to the dining room. Proper China cups  and saucers, cake forks, proper loose leaf tea in a china pot, handmade tea cosy ;) 

About as 'fitted' as it gets in the kitchen - 1940s unit probably very 'in' right now! 

The kitchen sink looking out over the back garden. She still grows her own tomato and runner beans and harvests apples from the ancient trees to make chutney. 

It's like walking back in time, but to a simpler, less hectic life. Everything is mended or re used, very little money is spent and there are no luxuries. She doesn't want more than the basics, although she has accepted a small TV, a DVD player (although I suspect she has never used it!) and cordless phones to be able to take them in the  garden in case of a fall. 
The one thing the house isn't? Clutter free!! Oh my, when the time comes, this house may take me a while to clear, but I'm sure to find some treasures in there too :) 



25 comments:

  1. Oh that house reminds me so much of my lovely nan and granddad's house, and even my mother's house when I was a small child. Lovely memories, thank you.

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  2. This takes me back, when I was a little girl and visiting my nan, many years ago. Except she didn`t have a bathroom and only an outside toilet. Washing was done in the sink or a tin bath, by the fire. The front parlour was the best room and never used, full of treasure and clutter. Wonderful memories, thank you.

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  3. I love all of it. We have original picture rails and I still use picture hooks, the same as your aunt, to hang pictures. The kitchen dresser is fab.

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  4. That is not a house, that is a home! It reminds me how homes were until the 1960s. I know because I'm old enough to remember that immediate post-war era when a kitchen cabinet was a luxury item.
    Margaret P

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  5. I love the old furniture and bath, amazing!

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  6. It's a wonderful time capsule, and so neatly kept. It must be lovely to visit her and step back in time, and hear all about your family.

    The house is very reminiscent of my Auntie Ida's house, although they had the luxury of a gas fire in the main room, which they kept on so low it made a pop, pop, popping sound all the time as it struggled to stay alight. I spent lots of happy weekends staying with her and my Uncle Harold when I was a child, I remember having to climb onto a chair to get into bed because the old fashioned spare bed was so high off the ground ... and underneath it was full of mystery parcels and boxes, I never found out what they contained.

    I would LOVE to have a peek at that dolls house :-)

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    1. My grandmothers old room is full of boxes and unknown items - all under dust sheets. Goodness knows what's in that room!

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  7. I would step back in time every time I visited my aunt May and uncle Fred. Your photos remind me so much of that time and when we bought our current house which was internally a time capsule to the sixties.

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  8. A trip down memory lane, I love the kitchen cabinet. I had one just like it but in blue, it held an amazing amount of food and utensils.

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  9. THe tall library/desk is lovely. I love dark wool furniture. What a delight that she is still so vital and remembers stories.

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    1. I have to admit to having my eye on that piece in particular as its very beautiful!
      She really is a wonderful woman :)

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  10. Those kitchen cabinets are worth a fortune now, Col's mum had one when I first knew them.
    Lovely to see a place so un-modernised

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  11. Your aunt's house is wonderful and is testament to how simply you can live, without modern luxuries. It must be a treat to visit her and have a proper afternoon tea from bone china. Like Sue, I would love to have a peek at that doll's house !

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  12. My Grandad is 102 and up until before Christmas he too lived in a house exactly like this. He had lived there for nearly 80 years and didn't want to move out. He still has all his faculties as well. He puts it down to having a huge bowl of porridge with black treacle but I think it is because he has always been so active. I loved visiting him and remembering the times I had spent there as a child. This post has brought back many memories.

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  13. These photos remind me of my Grandparents house also. They had a unit just like that in their kitchen and they moved into the house just after my father was born in 1932. They had a separate toilet and bathroom and even the internal doors are as I remember them. I haven't thought about the house for ages, thanks for the memory nudge.

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  14. thank you for sharing...love to know what's growing in the planter...green beans maybe? Jan

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  15. I loved your first article about your "frugal aunt" and this is wonderful as well. I recommend that you save a copy of both for your history. She sounds such a unique and special person and I admire what she does. I tried going without heat and using a small heater BUT I just couldn't get warm she must be a strong healthy person!

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    1. She's very strong still and wears lots of layers!

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  16. I love your Aunties home. It's inspirational. You can tell lots of tea and chats have been shared and I love that fact the tea set is ready for a new visitor ( something I,'ve forgotten). Everything is present and correct, unlike my home but just like my family's of days gone by. Thank you for sharing and all the very best to your Aunty.

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  17. Every photo brought back memories.... I hope that your Aunt continues to enjoy her home for a long time! Jx

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  18. Wow, I will tell Ded Dee's Vegetable Patch about this. Fab. Love the yellow kitchen cabinet, my mumu used to have a trolley like that for our tea on Sundays. Fab runner on the landing.

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  19. Reminds me so much of my Nan's House. The kitchen unit brought back so many memories or staying with my grand parents.

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  20. Bless your Aunty it just goes to show that the simple things in life are indeed the best and so much more less stressful to. She has a lovely home. I have been a vintage collector for a few years now and also run vintage fairs. But my love for all things from the past makes me decorate and furnish my own home with items from times past. I have a few of the larder cabinets they are like mini time warps you can put so much in them :-) Simple living is the way forward and backwards if you know what I mean. Best wishes, dee x

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    1. Absolutely - I totally agree about simplicity being the best way :)

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