Friday, 16 August 2013

Plot missing?

One thing I've noticed since I entered the land of blogs is how easily I can be influenced by different tastes. Apparently I've always been like this but it's only since I started this darned documenting that I have had to acknowledge it. Sadly the rest of the family have also had to acknowledge it - which is why Mr K arrived back from a short trip the other day with this

and I - rather more than I am comfortable to admit - was thrilled! No longer will I struggle to hold my drink and snacks at the same time - with 'Palatray' I can comfortably utilise my free hand for other things! Hair brushing, ping pong and waving at others will all be a breeze secure in the knowledge that my buffet is close to hand.

I'm so thrilled it's scrubbable and next time I am having an individual supper I'll know just where to turn!

I wonder if the patent was ever received - I can't seem to turn anything up on the internet - anyone else heard of it?

In the same week I found this little box of treasures.

Now I know that a while ago I would have had a quick peek inside and instantly recoiled. Why then did I part with three pounds of my hard earned money to pay for a set of these?

Yes - table mats with the most formal settings, a twentieth century take on some of the Dutch masters perhaps?

I wonder what Rembrandt would have made of a Toby Jug?

I can't decide whether I like them or not. They are hideous in so many ways yet I am still fascinated by the fact that somebody actually went to the trouble of sourcing, staging and then developing these little tableaus.

Perhaps it was the same element of fascination that made me (yes actually 'made' me) bring this home the other day.

I was initially attracted by the fair isle jumpers but when I examined it further I discovered this

Fancy that! A breakfast cereal giving away a knitting booklet! You want to see inside?

This wonderful lady is having a glorious time trying to work out exactly what she is looking it but the person behind is having none of it.

Then there's this sturdy chap. There's nothing he doesn't know about a wireless.

And here we have Delicate Deirdre - gazing wistfully at a bloom in a jug whilst trying to balance on one leg.

Oh yes. Who could resist these little blasts from the past. I think that might be the fascination. I don't just see these as decorative items (phew - that's a relief!) I see them as part of our social history. Reminders of a time when plastic was a miracle and knitted dresses were 'de rigeur'. At least that's what I'm telling myself. It's either that or I've totally lost the plot!

Ta ta now - I'm off for a silverskin onion




  1. It's kitsch innit?...something soooo bad that it's good. Hard to pronounce too... used to call it quiche! Check out Anne Taintor's captions and enjoy that buffet, just remember which hand it's in! Eco Ethel xx

  2. Giggled my way through this post. Thanks for making me laugh. I too have lots of vintage knitting patterns with hilarious slogans. Jo x

  3. Hahaha, so funny. I love those old magazines, I try to buy them whenever I see them at garage sales. I can't believe what people used to think was the height of taste and style. They'll be laughing at us someday. :)

  4. Oh I would have bought them too! I keep telling my OH I'm preserving our social history, it's huge responsibility :)

  5. Haha! I love the Woman's Own magazine picture, The woman looks like she's been at the gin bottle and is about to keel over! Probably sick of being taken fishing :) xx

  6. Oh Jane, it is all soooo FABULOUS! I am green with envy! The table mats are just brilliant - you simply must have a themed dinner party - they are perfect for your art teacher hubby to instruct others on the qualities of a still life...and the knitting book, where are they all now, those yarn-loving fashionistas? Now I'm going to go crochet a dinky doily and tray liner for your utterly superb Palatray! Chrissie x

  7. What a fascinating little tray, almost like a little painters gadget for food. Love those knitting pictures, amybe I will try to look all wistful at a flower while trying to balance.

  8. I love the photo of the chap with the pipe and the wireless. Did you see the typewriter on the table beside him? And, could that be a reel to reel tape recorder on the floor over in the corner? It looks like one we had when I was a child. What fun! :oD

  9. Oh my darling how absolutely fabulous! I can just see Joanna Lumley in the same pose! (no not the one with the pipe). The nostalgia in that magazine is just wonderful and makes me chuckle a bit that this is how people tried to portray themselves back in the day. You've got to use those table mats and watch as you take the plates away... what conversation pieces! xx

  10. Oh dear, there's no hope for you, Jane. Yes, they are all hideous. Yes it's kitsch. But you can salve your conscience and your reputation by considering them as collectors's items of social commentary. (I hope you get away with it!) Great fun though. Yes, I shall be picturing you, perhaps standing on one leg, wearing your new hand-knit, palatray in hand as you brush your hair, cook a roast dinner, perhaps, or conduct the Halle Orchestra! Enjoy!

  11. Loved this post ... the models were so staged in those days, my favourite is the man with the wireless!

    The little tray will come in very useful just so long as you can fit it in your bag ... it will come in handy at weddings, funerals, christenings and school reunions ... and will always be a talking point ...

    Have a wonderful weekend

    Love Claire xxx

  12. Judging by your last photo ... I think you should definitely do a series and have them produced as tablemats for the next generation ;) ... Bee xx

  13. What a great post. Hilarious, actually. I needed this giggle before bed - now I can sleep soundly knowing that cereal and knitting go together. : )

  14. Freebies with porridge oats? They had so much more fun back then!

    And Bee's right, you should!

  15. Hahaha! I enjoyed these wonderfully horrible things very much. Maybe you should make some enlarged photos like that last and iron them between waxed paper to use as table mats.

  16. You are just TOO funny Jane!! This was so silly and entertaining! I read it to my daughter too, and we both laughed our way through your comments and the photos. But the last photo was the best! Love that skewer arrangement ... you've found your true calling!! I'm sure the magazine editing scouts will be ringing you up soon!

  17. Ha ha I love this post! The suggestion of using the palatray for serving food and drink to your family in the car, had me imagining herding everyone outside to sit in the car to eat their snacks!


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