Friday, 2 September 2011

Memories of Matilda.

I came across an old photo the other day which reminded me of Auntie Matilda.

There I was a young boy wearing a multi-colored pullover. You know the type? Several horizontal lines each a different color – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet and then red again and so on. I looked like a proper walking rainbow.

It was a jersey which Auntie Matilda had knitted for my birthday and hideous as it was I had to wear it all day because she was visiting us for the day.

Thinking back, the main thing I remember about Auntie Matilda was her constant knitting. She always had a pair of knitting needles in hand and a bag full of different colored balls of wool as she talked and knitted, and ate and knitted, and drank tea and knitted and did everything else imaginable as she knitted. If knitting was an Olympic Sport she’d win medals for England for her knitting.

Every birthday, Christmas, Easter, Baptism, First Communion, Confirmation or other family event was rewarded by Auntie Matilda knitting us something or other. Pullovers, scarves, hats, caps, gloves, mittens, socks, she’d knitted them all in every color imaginable and in every kind of stitch that it is possible to knit in. She’d even knitted little cozies to keep the teapot warm, and to keep the soft-boiled eggs warm before serving them, and to keep the plates warm before serving a meal and also, would you believe, to keep the thermos flask warm when you’re out on a picnic.

She then diversified into more adventurous items such as knitting a cover for the tables, the chairs, the TV and every other piece of furniture imaginable. We had bed-spreads made of knitting, tapestries on the wall made of knitting, toilet seat covers made of knitting and to cap it all she had a large bag made of knitting to hold her knitting wool and needles.

I guess that if you unravelled all the things she had knitted for us as a family the wool would stretch to Pluto and back several times over.

I remember as a child I’d asked my parents for a fire engine for Christmas. You guessed it … she told them not to buy me one and she knitted me a bright red fire engine!

What’s the use of that? I couldn’t run it on the floor and make fire engine noises as kids do!

As she grew older Auntie Matilda continued knitting. There was no stopping her.

I was once given two Ballet tickets by my boss.

Now let me confess straight-away that I hate ballet. I don’t see the point of a stage full of people walking on tip-toe. Why can’t they hire taller dancers and be done with it?

And I equally dislike the Opera too. It’s so unreal. It’s the only place where someone gets stabbed, or has a sword run through him or takes poison and continues to sing for at least ten minutes. And the other actors, instead of helping him out and calling an ambulance they sing even louder too. What’s all that about?

Anyway … I did not want to go to the Ballet but was coerced to take Auntie Matilda with me because she loved it so. And after all, she was my Aunt and not anyone else’s … she was from my side of the family so I had to take her.

We sat there at the balcony and as soon as the lights went out and the performance started, out came the knitting needles and the balls of wool. I swear she was knitting in tune with the music!

After the performance was over, my boss, who had influence in such circles, invited us to a private party back-stage to meet the cast, choreographers, musicians and so on.

Auntie Matilda was overheard discussing in a loud voice with the producer the benefits of having knitted tutus for the ballerinas. She also suggested knitted trousers for the male dancers!

“It’ll help keep them warm when you’re touring Scotland in winter,” she said “and it’ll also cover the revealing men’s bits … you ken!”

I put my old photo away and said a silent prayer for Auntie Matilda now long departed.

Remember friends, when you’re in Heaven, should you see Jesus walking around with a multi-colored scarf and bonnet you’ll know that Auntie Matilda got to Him first!

19 comments:

  1. oh Victor, you always make me chuckle! Was your Aunt Matilda responsible for Joseph's Coat??? That coat got him into trouble with his brothers...as you know! What a great story - love it!
    Andie

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  2. Hello Andie,

    How great to see you visiting me again. I hope and pray you're keeping well.

    Thank you for telling me you enjoyed this story. I really appreciate it.

    I suspect Aunt Matilda is knitting a new coat for Joseph as we speak.

    God bless.

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  3. Hi Victor~Just popping over to congratulate you on your new book! I read about it from Noreen at Rosary Mom and it sounds wonderful. God Bless you and your endeavors for Christ.

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  4. Thanx Tiffany. How kind of you to visit here to tell me about it.

    I hope you enjoy it, and please don't forget to download my other E Books for FREE. See on the right of this comment.

    God bless.

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  5. Nice to find your blog...love your writing style and sense of humor. I've got my own knitting story to share someday. =)I followed the review of Visions by Rosary Mom. Looks great! =)
    I'll be back to visit often!

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  6. Thank you Monica for taking the time to visit me and comment here. Your kindness is very much appreciated.

    I hope you enjoy my book "Visions" and the other E Books you can download FREE on the right of this post.

    Looking forwards to your frequent visits.

    God bless you and yours.

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  7. "Now let me confess straight-away that I hate ballet. I don’t see the point of a stage full of people walking on tip-toe. Why can’t they hire taller dancers and be done with it?"

    I am STILL laughing at this ....

    Thank you for the laughs, as always.

    God Bless!

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  8. Hey Michael, at least I'm logical. They should either hire taller dancers or make them stand on chairs.

    God bless.

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  9. You are quite the character Victor! Thank you...

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  10. Hi Daily Grace,

    It's good to laugh, is it not?

    God bless.

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  11. I love this story. Funny how kids can't see the sentimental value of something lovingly made by hand, but we can as adults. That must have been tough being forced to wear those things.

    I have exactly the same opinions about opera! Why all that singing about everything?

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  12. Hello Sarah,

    I'm so glad this story made you smile. I hope you're keeping well and fully recovered after your accident.

    Why not relax by visiting a long opera followed by the ballet? (Joking of course).

    Keep smiling Sarah. God bless.

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  13. Victor, I read this story a few days ago and since then all I can think about is knitting! How about a knitted kilt? Wouldn't that be a fantastic fashion item?

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  14. What a brilliant idea Sue! Knitted kilts in all different colours. That would really be popular up North in Scotland ... especially when the wind is cold and blowing from the South!

    God bless you and yours.

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  15. I love your Auntie Matilda. People like her are what families are all about. I'm sure she brought many smiles to people's faces. And I'm sorry you missed out on your fire engine. Back when I was growing up the boys had all the good toys and we girls only had dolls.

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  16. You're so right Barb. People like Auntie Matilda do help keep families together.

    God bless you.

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  17. Victor,
    How did I miss this one? I chuckled all the way through it! My husband is not fond of ballet or opera either :)

    Too bad about the fire engine...I had a big red one with pedals and cruised around the neighborhood with it. Not to make you envious or anything...but it was REALLY cool!

    Were the arms the same length on the sweaters your aunt knitted for you? Just curious.

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  18. Oh, by the way, my word verification was dresses (really). I hope that doesn't mean your Auntie Matilda is working on some for me up there in heaven. Maybe she knits wing covers for the angels too :)

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  19. Hello Mary,

    You try cruising the neighborhood in a knitted fire engine! It was small and it squashed like a sponge every time I held it in my hand ... and the sleeves were too long! I had to fold them two or three times. "You'll grow in to them ..." they'd say. Oh yeh? You mean my arms would grow into them but my body would not. Because if my body did grow in proportion then the sweater would be too small for me to wear!!!

    Yes ... she did knit dresses too! So watch out when in Heaven.

    God bless.

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