Thank you so much for stopping by Roses & Snowflakes. I hope that you enjoy having a potter around. The blog aims to celebrate the gentle, home-centred joys of everyday life, and maybe – just maybe – give back a fraction of the pleasure and inspiration I’ve gained over the years from reading the blogs of creative and generous people from around the world.
I am so far from being knowledgeable on stitching, baking and homemaking that it’s almost funny. (In fact, homemaking originally only got in there because it rhymes neatly with baking.) But I value them enormously for the happiness they bring to me, and the love I hope they share with my family and friends.
I also wanted to embrace the old-fashioned values that are connected to them – the importance of “home”, taking pride in what you do, patience and tenacity.
And suddenly I realised, these were exactly the skills and values that I so admire in Nella Last. You may already know all about Nella Last, from the published volumes of her edited diaries, or the television drama “Housewife, 49” that was based on them. If not, suffice to say now that throughout the second world war, despite bombing, rationing and bouts of poor health, she volunteered her time tirelessly to her community, sewed constantly (clothes for herself, sheets for soldiers’ hospital beds, dolls for sick children), produced delicious food for her family and hungry servicemen, and kept her home beautiful and welcoming. How do we know this? Because she wrote thousands of pages of diaries both during the war and after it for Mass Observation, a project devised by the British government to find out about the lives and thoughts of ordinary people around the country. And then I made the connection that – of course – blogs are, for the most part, the lives and thoughts of ordinary people.
So, here’s to Nella Last, and hoping that one day I will have even a hint of the grit, humour, resourcefulness, generosity and grace that she had, and that she displayed every day through her stitching, baking and homemaking.
PS Why, you may ask, Roses & Snowflakes? They summed up to me the beauty of everyday life and are, just like sewing, cooking and looking after my family, “some of my favourite things”. And yes, given the focus of this blog, “bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens” would have been a more appropriate name. But it was just too long.