Friday, 6 December 2013

WordPress Daily Prompt: The Power of Touch

Textures are everywhere: The rough edges of a stone wall. The smooth innocence of a baby’s cheek. The sense of touch brings back memories for us. What texture is particularly evocative to you? 

Photographers, artists, poets: show us TEXTURE.


There was a time when textures were an important part of a pastime. I could not really call it a hobby; it was more a necessity, but an enjoyable necessity. Basically it started with me and my impossible figure. I was always the tallest in the class and the tallest at work. I was also a tad too tall for the fashion world. It was a time when dresses were still worn, the blissful days of jeans had not yet arrived, meaning that the dress would fit but the proportions not. 

There was only one solution, do-it-yourself. I enrolled for an eight week sewing course which eventually lasted approximately fifteen years. We were a brood of chickens in all shapes and sizes, but the seamstress in charge soon recognized our figures, our problems and we were all set. I realised why a bought skirt did not fit. No-one really has a perfect figure. You think the waistline is straight? Forget it, mine was a couple of centimetres higher at the front and a couple lower at the back. Eventually the problem was no longer a problem and a quick alteration to a pattern was a normal process.

After a while recognising the quality of the materials you bought for the finished garment became part of the job. Cheaper synthetic material never gave the perfect result and this was where making it yourself was an advantage. What you made yourself was always more reasonable than buying it, although patience was required for the finished garment. A pattern was not sufficient. It was not a matter of laying the pattern pieces on the cloth, cutting it and piecing it together. A regular pattern never fits the contours of your body, nobody is perfect. It requires alteration until the dress sits. With time you get used to the feel of the material. Does it leave a tingling electric synthetic sensation in the tips of your fingers or does it have that breath of genuine that it required for a satisfying finished product.

I remember a masterpiece I made. A 100% dark blue cashmere coat: the feel was as if you had the softness of a lamb under your fingers. It was an expensive material, but the finished product would have cost ten times as much to buy. Needless to say this memory of my dressmaking achievements has long been disposed of. With time the body seems to grow in mysterious widths and not everything is built to last. The coat would have lasted, but my figure did not.

Today I am a jeans clad lady. They are so useful, coming in all shapes, sizes, widths and forms and completed with a longer t-shirt or blouse you can show yourself on the street without having worries of being the tent figure of the year.

By the way I would like to give my thanks to Fluffy the feline for allowing me to show the close-up of his fur in the above photo. He is a so-called “blue” tabby, although it is still a mystery to me where the blue description originates. The colour resembles more my hair colour, 50 shades of grey (there we are again). His breed is Selkirk Rex, meaning a gene anomaly in the cat races. The original Selkirk Rex was an appearance in a litter of cats somewhere in the States. A breeder saw that this was unique and from this cat, named Miss de Pesto, the race was bred with Persian cats. It was discovered that the gene was dominant resulting in cats with wavy, and to an extent, curly fur. Over the years they were bred with each other, although they are still mixed with Persians. From the year 2015 they are only allowed to mix with their own breed and will then perhaps be accepted in cat shows. Our Fluffy is a 100% Selkirk Rex, his daddy being Coolman and his mummy Lucy, both pure Selkirk Rex cats. Fluffy is now 10 years old, had an accident when he was 2 years old and has been blind since, but he does not realise it and is quite independent. His fur is something like cotton wool and I am always finding hairs on the carpet when he moults.

He likes a stroke, especially under the chin, as well as my short-haired Tabby. Tabby’s favourite is a tummy tickle. She mostly curls up with me when I have my golden oldie sleep after lunch. We also have a long haired black cat known as Nera. It would perhaps be nice to run your fingers through her fur but there are disadvantages. In Summer you might meet with a stray snail or other such strange object that decided it would be a comfortable place to take a siesta. The second danger is Nera. She is not the friendly purry type of feline. Even the vet covers her in a cloth when she gets her jabs. She has her fur cut once a year, under anaesthetic. Nera is to be taken in small doses and she does not like being touched without her express permission.
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1 comment:

  1. I never knew the history of the Selkirk Rex, that was most interesting.