Can you hand me a towel, please.

How many times have you asked that question?

You know, your hands are wet and the towel is not on the hook where it normally resides.

‘SOMEBODY’ moved it. Grrrr!

Often the answer absently wings its way back to you: Which one?

Let it be beige, blue, pink or yellow but never bring a white one with the yellow stripe.

A pair of white towels with a deep egg yolk yellow stripe loving lives in the airing cupboard and are only for looking at. They are delicate and have a long story. History.

Towels from Cawnpore, India

Towels from Cawnpore, India

Now, to you they might look like old rags. No. They are ‘Anti –queues’ and not faded!

Really.

As I said in a previous post about shapely legs… ‘They were purchased as a gift before I was even a gleam in my father’s eye. A gift for a woman. A woman I never had the opportunity to meet. The fact that she loved, used and cared for them, was enough for me. They may be my treasure at the moment, but I am really a temporary guardian until the day when I pass them on to the next generation.’

The next generation in this case is my Elly.

I have used them many years ago.

After Elly’s first dip in the baby bath, I loving wrapped her in one of these towels and handed her to her dad. It was long before the days of instant cameras & mobile phones with the option of delivering photos round the world as soon as you click. Never mind, I have the memory stored in my head… just as well, my Elly is way to big for wrapping in one of those towels these days. 😉

Muir Mills Logo

Muir Mills Logo

Jack bought the towels in India, when he was serving there in World War 2 and posted them home to his mother. It was before being moved on to Burma and the injury that ended his war.

Right, it is your turn now. What everyday object or item in your house has a long history or story behind it?

22 thoughts on “Can you hand me a towel, please.

  1. cedar51

    I have some ornaments that would look totally out of place in todays’ society…one is a china rabbit, the other is a strange kind of roughened china of a seem to recall a poodle holding a handbag – (there are more, but these spring to mind) – they aren’t big.

    They were the gifts I bought for my Mother from the local bric’a’brac store in Taumarunui (my home town) and they were always for Mothers Day… I suspect she gave me shillings to buy them with and she never failed me in her response on the day…

    and then there is my Dad’s piano music – books and sheets…which arrived into my life about a decade ago – some classical whilst other quite modern for the era, some of my brothers, some of my sisters and few of mine (mine from school days of learning to play)…I can’t bear to part with them, even though I have no piano to go with them…

    oh Ihave lot of similar memories but also from other decades of my life…

    Reply
    1. cedar51

      OH, I’ve just looked sideways on the bed and there is Panda…he has only just arrived in that position as the high shelf he looked down from has been removed. I thought he and the much younger Napier (mini bear) should be together & closer to me (having a hard time here, right now now…)

      Panda is the princely age of 60 (5 years younger than me), when he was just 2 he lost his “noise” – he was left outside one winters night and got very wet and cold. He spent about 6 months in the hot water cupboard and Mother would let me stand on a stool and talk to him each week…

      He supposed to go to England with Mother and me, but there wasn’t room in the suitcase so he stayed at home with Dad.

      He lost an eye, somewhere along the way, bits of fur but he still sits and neck moves – he is wearing one of Mothers scarves…

      Napier is in good condition but then again he’s only been in my life since the early 1990s…maybe I’ll get them photographed for my blog…

      Reply
    2. Grannymar Post author

      Interesting memories, Cathy. I am glad I gave you the opportunity to recall them.

      Reply
  2. dunnasead.co

    a wedding-ring quilt in pale yellow with the rings made from pastel summer dresses of my grandmother, ggm and gggm, all put together by grandma for the wedding of my mom and dad. Grandma Serelda was a pioneer woman, who learned to sew from patterns brought from paris. she made all the wedding dresses in the town. A second favorite is an elite brotherhood Bible my great grandfather brought along when he left in the great hunger and carried in the american civil war.

    Reply
    1. Grannymar Post author

      Great stories, Lin, I love those old quilts, and such memories they contain.

      Reply
  3. rummuser

    So, another connection to India! It is no longer Cawnpore. It is now Kanpur and to the best of my knowledge, these towels are no longer made there. Similar ones come from the deep South of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. I use similar ones from there.

    Kanpur is now more of a leather products city. It was one of my favourite places to visit during my days of marketing.

    Reply
    1. Grannymar Post author

      Thanks Ramana, I thought you might be able to add some information about the towels.

      Reply
  4. katechiconi

    I have two red morrocco bound books with gold stamped spines. The Jungle Book and the Second Jungle Book. They were published in 1913 especially for the Indian market, in very lightweight paper. My parents bought them second hand in Nigeria for my brother. They were originally owned by a gentleman with a Portuguese name who lived in Lahore. Then my parents autographed them, and now they are mine. I can’t check the details, as they’re at home and I’m in hospital in Brisbane, but they are treasured.

    Reply
  5. Debra

    I loved this story, Marie. It’s wonderful to hear how these towels have been cared for over so many years. They really do tell a story! I have many little personal “treasures” that have significance to me, but nothing quite as “ordinary turned extraordinary” as these beautiful towels. I’m sure one day Elly will indeed treasure them, too!

    Reply
    1. Grannymar Post author

      Debra, The towels are over seventy years old, Jack was back in hospital in England in 1944/45, heavily drugged and wrapped in Plaster from armpits to ankle, with no recollection of the end of war or any celebrations.

      Reply
  6. Brig

    This will seem strange I am sure, but it is what it is… Mine is an old branding iron with the Cowman’s family brand. It sets on the mantle. There are none left save that one. It has so many memories of the home ranch attached to it.

    Reply
    1. Grannymar Post author

      Brig, the branding iron was one of the tools of trade in your life at the ranch. An item touched by so many hands over the years as they worked with the horses. If it could only speak… what wonderful stories you would hear. A real treasure worth far more than a modern vase on the mantle. Enjoy.

      Reply
  7. nick

    Most of our household items have a long story behind them, since many of them were bought soon after we set up home together 35 years ago. Jenny can remember exactly where and when we acquired most of them, quite often when we were on holiday somewhere. It’s fun to recall all the friends and relatives who have sat around the kitchen table with us.

    Reply
    1. Grannymar Post author

      A kitchen table is special in my eyes and the heart of a home! May you and Jenny enjoy sharing food and time with friends for many a long year ahead.

      Reply
    1. Grannymar Post author

      Yes, I did think that, Nick when I was taking the photo. Any connection?

      On another topic, I was in Brown’s for a coffee the other day and you know me… I talk to everyone. I had a nice chat with a gentleman who I see behind the counter occasionally. I suddenly realised that if I closed my eyes I could be talking to you. He voice was exactly like yours!

      Reply
  8. wisewebwoman

    Lovely story. You had a way of weaving it that had me right there. Mine is a teacloth embroidered by my mother. It has now gone on stage too as part of the props in a play. Mum was on stage herself so very apropos. Every time I look at it I smile. Irish linen, beautiful embroidery of lilacs.

    XO
    WWW

    Reply
    1. Grannymar Post author

      WWW, I am smiling, there were many items that I ‘borrowed’ from home to use as props for the musical society that I was part of back in the 1970’s. Moving on to a production that Elly wrote & directed for a youth group in her teens. Someone asked if I was going to see the show. “Of course I am” I said, ” I want to see how many of my household items are making their début on stage”! 😆

      Reply

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