A Blog For Ellen week 2

A Blog For Ellen

Object #1 – Delphinium

Pig-shaped cushion made from scraps from Mum’s scrap bagDelphinium

I don’t remember from what the pink material was a scrap. The ears are sprigged lawn left over from my best nightie.

It touched my feet and made me feel as beautifully light as a proper golden-ringlet-haired girl in a story. It had pert shoulder frills, and was gathered full enough into the yoke that it didn’t touch you anywhere from armpit-level down. The sewing pattern also made pyjamas or a baby-doll nightie. I had the pyjamas.

You can’t tell from the image that on Delphinium’s other side the ear is reversed with the curve to the front. Which is wrong and which is right, I never settled.

The sprigged lawn was folded away in the chest of drawers in the yellow room for a long time before mum decided it could be a nightie for me. There was a lot of material – not fabric, material – waiting to become the right thing. Some of it had waited a generation or two already. Mum would finger it and remember it had been bought for a dress that never quite happened by Granny, or for something no one even wears anymore. You had to fold it away neatly if you got it out to look at. That was a drawer full of such dreams of future happiness. If this was my sundress, or dungarees, I would be able to fly, work spells, dance till dawn with the other eleven dancing princesses, climb trees properly. Mum sewed while I went to sea in the sewing machine cover.

Delphinium was the first name I thought of. I’ve defended it a lot over the years. I can’t justify it, except that her ears are flowery and delphiniums are flowers. The general feeling I got was I’d overstepped the mark and been pretentious.

Delphinium is a cushion, not a toy. She is for putting your head on. I never played with her. She lay on my pillow beside Ellie, her older, blue floral colleague, an elephant-shaped cushion.

She is on the right, in the loft, if you want her.