First apologies for not posting for such a long time - I've been stitching for Festival of Quilts, decluttering the house, trying to tame the garden and - as a result of the decluttering and the tenth anniversary of my husband's death - reliving bits of the past both bad and good...
My mother photographed here shortly before she died
continued this tradition, but with some variations. When not at work (she worked part-time) she and my grandmother, who lived with us, had the housework done by lunchtime. Depending on the wather, the afternoons (which I remember as wonerful times) were spent going for walks, reading, gardening or doing other enjoyable things (though I did not inherit the green fingers); and I grew up believing that this time was something you were entitled to. I am heartily grateful for that: such a belief has stood me in good stead.
My mother also believed, along with my grandmother, in beautifying the house. (I just typed beatifying which would work just as well). Every so often we would arrive home from school to discover total chaos for a couple of days as one or other os the rooms was redecorated. Usually to very good effect - much of my colour sense I learnt from my mother. And the same attitude went for clothes: we couldn't afford much and day-to-day clothes were often hand-me-downs from better-off members of the family, but best clothes were always the best that could be afforded (though a good suit - usually called a "costume" in those days - would have to last a long time) and looking positively stunning in them was a definite plus and definitely not something to feel guilty about (I could never understand the streak of puritanism that dictated that everything had to be ugly).
As far as stitching and artmaking goes I was lucky enough to learn that that was guilt-free too. My mother knitted and embroidered - often what she made could put to practical use but it was far more than that - she knitted complicated fairisles and lacy things that wen well beyond practical, and as the embroidered items were never actually used they cannot be said to have been purely functional by any stretch of the imagination.
And she also encouraged me to paint (largely I think because it gave her a chance to paint herself) and drew the most amazing cartoon characters. As I grew older she was proud of my ability to use a brush and a needle - though when it came to career choices the protestant ethic won out and I never got to go to art school: university plus teaching gave far better options for making a living.
And for myself what impact has it had on me? Well, as a student I had no remorse about wasting anything except food (and the idea it was sinful to waste unless it could be avoided has stuck with me - from time to time I have to clear out the unidentifiable objects from my freezer - it's OK to waste them if you can't remember what they were or when). I wasted time and money with enormous enthusiasm - though I did have one term where I had to dig myself out of an enormous hole, and managed to do so. Once I started work and got married though I suddenly reverted to type: my husband at one point had to persuade me that I should spend money on clothes for myself, and it took a few more years before I could persuade myself that I should spend money on other things I wanted...
My husband was an enormous influence on me: he never considered time or money creating stuff as in any way wasteful. To him it was a positive. Here we are in our youth, together but in separate photographs (note the matching M&S jumpers - sweet eh?):