Thursday 17 March 2022. Approaching Census night the old kitchen has the look of a Victorian museum, or maybe a low budget costume drama. Granny’s white cotton nighties hang in front of the shiny black range. Crisp and cool to the touch, they are the very devil to iron.
These are things of impressive though now impractical beauty and I rediscovered them during one of those lockdown cupboard clear-outs of 2020. On impulse, I dug them out again to spruce them up in time for our Scottish Census 2021 – postponed because of Covid. Removing the creases and wrinkles from yards and yards of best cotton, tackling the finicky fine tucks and broderie anglaise round the neckline, I’m thankful for the steam iron. A Victorian maid standing in the old scullery (more or less where I am typing now) would have been applying flat irons heated on the coal-fired range, and no doubt listening out for the bells summoning servants to other tasks in grander parts of the house. Let’s call on Elizabeth…Continue reading