Ahhhh the weekend! Oh boy does it take on a whole new dimension when I’ve just spent the week either starting work in the wee dark hours of the morning or lurching home much closer to midnight than I’m used to.
How did we spend those precious weekend hours? Those that weren’t consumed by sausage making that is. Well … Saturday morning Julian and I indulged in a new shared passion. Op-shopping. Oh I know. I’ve been an adoring (compulsive) fan of the op shop for years. But Julian – not so much until this past month or so. Now he not only agrees to drop into one we happen to be passing, but SUGGESTS WE GO! Which is just what we did on Saturday morning.
Our current favourites – down the Mornington Peninsula. Some real treasures down that way … crystal glasses for my Fronti and Julian’s Canadian Dry, amazing Pioneer headphones from the 1970s, sweet thick flannelettes, thick and colourful pure wool blankets made in all those Australian woollen mills that no longer exist, marvellous leather coats also from the 70s, those very useful pyrex and firestone baking dishes, a wonderful recording of Martin Shaw reading The Hobbit – a lovely companion for my long and late drive home from the hospital after the late shift. Something new and wonderful every week. At one store we haunt they even have a genuine Made in England Goblin Teasmade. Be still my racing heart. We’ve not bought it. It’s $90. I secretly think it would be perfect for my bedside table. Julian thinks it’s a little bit appalling.
But my absolute favourite thing to look out for is … sewing machines. I confess. I adore old sewing machines. There are a few living at Bootville now. Nowhere near as many sewing machines as bicycle frames I might add. But a few. And the weekend just past … we found another one. Julian called me over to shelves full of mismatched bits and pieces and asked what immediately jumped out at me. I scanned the shelves back and forth and honestly couldn’t pick out anything of great interest. “What!” he hooted. “Look at your feet!”
Oh there! An almost immaculate 1956 Lemair Helvetia. Gorgeous shiny curvy body. Intact cords and foot. Tested. With it’s box of attachments – lots of intricate feet, nine spare bobbins, and two screwdrivers. An equally appealing price tag. Even guaranteed by Good Housekeeping :-) We quickly sealed everything back in its carry case and lugged it up to the counter just in case anybody else was thinking of breathing on it.
As soon as we got it home, we shoved aside the currently in use vintage sewing machine (a dear little mint green Husqvarna I literally pulled out of a huge rubbish skip) and set up the Lemair. It even had a reel of Coat’s thread on top – didn’t they make thread so thick back then – fabulous stuff. Plugged it in and sewed. Immaculately. Motor purring away. Stitches being elegantly placed like fat grains of arborio rice in the straightest possible rows. Magic.
So Sunday, when I wasn’t helping with sausages, I sewed and sewed and sewed. Pillowcases, hair ties, a wee flannel quilt … hours of blissful sitting at the craft table in the living room with my new old sewing machine purring away. Hot milk and cups of tea at my side. My family bustling about.
What more could a tired, home-starved girl want. Nothing, I tell you. Absolutely nothing. And I even have lovely new pillowcases on my bed – leaping foxes and radiant Liberty blooms. Yes, there’s a lot to be grateful for indeed.