Keeping It For Best

I’ve decided I’m not going to keep anything ‘for best’ any more. It’s something we all do, don’t we, for example with a particularly nice new jumper or a lovely mug or a pretty bag. We put it to one side for special occasions. Well, I won’t be doing so from now on.

What’s brought this on? Partly being 54 and a bit, I suppose (sorry, Christmas tends to make me a bit maudlin) but mainly that when I was doing some tidying up yesterday, I came across two tea-cloths (= tea-towels, but I was brought up with tea-cloths!) which I bought 30 years ago. The year Chris and I married in 1986 was the year the church in which we got married – St Mary Magdelene in Westerfield, Suffolk – had its 900th birthday. I got the tea-cloths and a lovely model of the church as souvenirs to celebrate both occasions.

St Mary Magdelene

Well, the two tea-cloths have hardly seen the light of day for three decades. That’s ridiculous! They’ve moved house six times with us: from Cramlington to Hartlepool in the UK; then to Corbally, to Killountain, to Shanvally, to Finnis in Ireland, and then to Les Fragnes in France. Now that they’re in their seventh house and their third country I’m not going to save them for best any longer. It’s out on display with one of them and I’m about to turn the other one into a peg bag or other bag of some sort that I will actually use. What’s the point in having something special if you never see it?

Teacloth

It’s crazy really, hoarding nice things to gloat over but never, or hardly ever, putting them to use. My family have tended to do this with things I knit for them. And it’s not because the sleeves are too long or the wool is too hideous, honestly! Well, not usually… It’s sweet of them to want to keep these things for best, but I’d rather they wore them and they got stained or holey or fell apart, rather than languish unused in a drawer or wardrobe. Dad did that with a sweater I made him. I found it in pristine condition after he died, safely tucked away in his chest of drawers with his other ‘best’ things, where it must have been lying for five or six years. It went off to a charity shop and has been worn out by now, or so I hope.

So, an end to stowing away treasures for me. I shall be proud to use, and use up, all the lovely things I get as gifts or buy myself as a treat. No more saving for best, because now is what matters.