When the past becomes the future…

We had two visitors this weekend. Ben’s mum and sister made a 400 mile round trip to spend the afternoon with us. I say us, I mean Oscar 😉 They’ve done it a couple of times before. They share the driving. Rachel enjoys some time off from mummy duties and I think Catherine rather enjoys having Rachel to herself for a couple of hours. I like to think it’s as much for them as it is for us.

This time they also had another reason for coming. They bought with them Ben and Rachel’s paternal grandmother’s antique grandfather clock.

We found out back in 2007, that Ben was to be left the clock in Betty’s will. She told us on the night of our engagement party. The family story tells us that the clock was originally made in the 18th Century and has been in the Tapp family every since. Betty made it clear that guardianship of this piece, one day, would be passed to Ben. At the time he was flattered and rather touched that she trusted him with, what has always been, such an important piece to her.

In the intervening years Betty, this tall, strong, opinionated, strong willed, wonderful woman, has developed Alzheimer’s and latterly has moved into nursing accommodation. As her condition worsened in became obviously that her house would need to be sold to finance this intensive care. This is how Ben has come to receive his inheritance while his grandmother is still with us. It made him rather uncomfortable at first, but we discussed it and agreed that the clock would be better off with us, than placed into storage.


The Tapp Family Clock

This is how it ended up in pieces, in the back of Rachel’s card, whizzing across the south of England last Saturday and is now sat in our bedroom, out of the reaches of Oscars curious hands, awaiting professional restoration and installation.

It really is a beautiful piece and Ben and I spent ages, sat on the floor, discovering it, last Saturday night. It clearly needs a bit of TLC, but wouldn’t you if you were that old? It’s age is apparent manly in the many little repairs and different aged pieces on it. It’s like seeing the many hands that have touched is over the years and it brings home just how honoured we are to have been entrusted with this beautiful piece of family history.

It also shows me where Oscar fits into this line. He is the next generation, the next steward of family history and I feel we have a responsibility to find out and pass on as much information both about the piece and the family as we can.

I know Betty would be thrilled to know the clock is with Ben. I don’t know if she’s been told, I don’t know if she’d know who Ben is. But I wish I could tell her how much we love her and how much we will love this clock, much as she did and that one day in the future this amazing piece of family history will be passed on to the next generation.


UPDATE: You can find a post about the clock’s restoration here.

Diary of an Imperfect Mum

The only thing wrong with Primark…

I’m having an afternoon off from mummy duties and spending a bit of alone time in Guildford. I needed to get Oscar some more short pyjamas (as the ones our friend Becky bought him for his birthday are proving such a hit). So my first instinct was to go to M&S. They have always been a staple of O’s wardrobe, providing good quality basics at reasonable prices. So anyway I went straight there and got exactly what I wanted. Short pyjamas, three pairs, for 12.

However, as all my maternity/holiday/savings finally ran out this month I’m on something of a budget drive. It’s not that I wasted money before but one of the things I always worked hard for in my life was the ability not have to budget. But needs must and anyway I think “hmmm I wonder if Primarni has anything cheaper?”

I don’t often go to Primark. Not because I have anything against it per se, just as a plus size I’ve never found anything to fit me in there. I have also found the children’s section, particularly for young boys, to be woefully small, especially in the Guildford branch. But as I’m trying to careful with my pennies (well not my pennies but that’s another post) I thought I’d check it out.

It was a mistake and a complete waste of time. Not because, as I suspected, they had nothing I wanted. They did have some really nice little boy clothes. No the problem with Primark was the people in Primark. I’m not talking about the staff, who seemed present and helpful. No I mean the customers.

I know that makes me sound like the worse kind of snob and to some extent it is the people themselves. The kind who will leave their babies screaming in the buggy whilst they rummage for a bargain. It upsets me but who am I to judge?

No, I think its the environment that brings out the worst in people. The low prices somehow send out a signal that this store isn’t really worth caring about thus clothes and shoes and accessories are thrown about with complete disregard rather like a jumble sale. I even found myself taking less care than I ever would in M&S for example. It was then I realised I needed to leave, empty handed.

If you do want to, I think Primark is one to do first thing in the morning and midweek. Other than that I think I’m going to stick to M&S and shop the sales.