Tuesday, 11 November 2014

A very old quilt, and visiting a friend

Firstly, the very old quilt, which I found at the car boot sale on Sunday and fell in love with. I am not very good at dating from the patterns used, but I would hazard a guess at it being a hundred years old.  It has been loved and used and washed to death, and the shabby in shabby-chic is an understatement.  I love it (which is just as well, as I may end up stuck with it!) but it is SO soft and comforting.  I will try and get a photo of it laid out so you can see it in its entirety.  A little piece of social history anyway.

Yesterday I went to see my dear friend A, who I was an Uni with (we were both mature students), but who is sadly now terminally ill.  I always get together a basket of goodies for her - something home-baked (often biscuits, but this time Apple and Cinnamon Snickerdoodles), a little jar of home-made jam (Bramble Jelly this time), a magazine with good countryside photos in, a little piece of china, just small things to cheer her up and make it feel like it's her birthday every time I visit.  I also took her an Amarylis yesterday, so she has something to look forward to when it flowers in a few weeks' time, and a finished tablecloth which she had started embroidering and I offered to complete for her.

I was late getting to her as I drove up over the lanes past Horeb to get to a garage for fuel and that added half an hour to the journey (she lives about an hour away, in the foothills of the Cambrian Mountains.)  I did stop for just a minute to take a few swift photos of the scenery a couple of miles from her cottage.

It was a damp grey misty day.  These sheep were hopeful I had come to feed them!

I love the drive to A's, although the lane gets narrower and narrower, the closer I get to her! and I always hope I shan't meet something coming the other way.

I love the way the moss colonizes the banks, and along this stretch the roots of the Beech trees writhe and bury themselves in the stone walls, like arthritic fingers.

It was a lovely day - we talked and talked - and she showed me some old family photos and I took a couple of names to research for her as she didn't know what became of them.  One who she thought might have died as a child, as never any mention of her, survived till her 70s and married and had three daughters, so I shall try to trace them forward today.

It is very hard when you are made aware of your own mortality, and I know my friend isn't ready to go yet.  I only hope I can help her through her final months and she has happy memories to see her through.  We have had some lovely outings this summer, and next time I shall get some photos I took run off in town, so she can relive those memories for a while longer yet.


  1. What a sweet post, BB, your thoughtfulness surrounding your friend brought me a tear of solidarity and compassion. We're all aging so rapidly it seems; hubby was quite ill over weekend and expressed his desire to not be like "this" for many more painful days and nights. He got on the mend in time to keep his spirits from totally crashing but yes, I know what you mean by helping those months to be cheerful ones with memories of happy times and past events to keep one company as the days wind down. Your pictures of A's lane charm and delight. Rural is where I spent my youth and it still feels like home to be amongst stone walls, bramble vines, flowing creeks and winding narrow paths that were not built for vehicles such as we have today. Thank you for taking us with you. I will hold A up to the Universal Healing Power and hope she's getting on as well as can be.

  2. Thank you Lynda, I am just doing what I would hope someone might do for me were I in a similar condition. I am sorry to hear that your husband has been poorly too (I think when you get to 60 bits start falling off!)

    The lanes to A's were definitely built back in the horse and cart days as they are pretty well the width of one and not much space either side! It always feels a bit like going on an adventure, as it is quite "wild and woolley" where she is.

    She is having more chemo today and was SO poorly with it when I phoned last week. I only hope it doesn't hit her the same way this week too.

  3. P.S. I wasn't suggesting your husband is 60 plus, only that I AM!!!

  4. Always hard BB, but I am sure your visits are a great help.

    I love that quilt - amd sure it is very old as it is obviously made of snippets from things the maker salvaged rather than from bought-in material.

  5. Lovely thought the basket of goodies, and a great cheering up present. x

  6. Lovely photos, very atmospheric. Your old quilt is wonderful. I made one like it I believe it's called cobweb or spiders web. How sad about your friend. Some people keep away in these situations, for fear of not knowing what to do or say, so good for you that you are able to support her during this tough time.

  7. How very sad what you friend is going through but that you are continuing your friendship and brightening her days is wonderful. Sometimes friends just drift away not knowing what to do or say.
    I would add the photos you took on the drive to see her. The very alert sheep in the fifth photo just makes me giggle.

    cheers, parsnip

  8. BB,your days with your friend are so full of thoughtfulness and your gifts so appropriate. I feel sure that A must be cheered by seeing you every time you venture into her beautiful corner of the Welsh countryside.
    I do hope that A`s next chemo is less debilitating than the previous one. She is in my thoughts.

    Your new, very old quilt is a treasure.

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  10. So sorry about your friend but it sounds like you#re being an extremely good friend to her. So many people run a mile in the face of mortality. On a more trivial note, I love the quilt. x

  11. Thanks for all your comments. . I would like to think that someone might do the same for me if I were ever terminally ill. We have been good friends in the past, and then a little blip with life getting in the way for both of us, but I hope I can make her final months a little happier.

    Em - it's not easy. Either for her to face up to her mortality, or for me to think deep about it either.

    DW - she sounded better when I spoke to her on Wednesday, so I hope that was just a blip.

    Kath - I am tempted to keep the quilt for a bit longer, in which case I "ought" to free up one of the others! We'll see.

    parsnip - those sheep were convinced I had brought grub for them, and as I went back to the car, they all came running over, bleating : )

    thelma - I do my best, and tbh, get great pleasure from putting together A's goodies.

  12. Sorry for such a late reply, I read this earlier in the week and am only now doing a catch up. You are being a great friend at such a terrible time. It must be dreadful for you too to see your friend so ill, as I get older I wonder who out of my group of friends will become ill, it might be me of course.
    I would have no clue about quilts!