There’s an old mill near here that has been given a new lease of life as a museum of country living.
Each floor of the old mill is crowded with the past. There are room set ups depicting different lifestyles of this area. A crofters rough cottage or this cosy bedroom. I like these vignettes of other lives. Though you have to laugh when you see the dummies that they put into some of the rooms. Plastic people with dodgy wigs have no place amoungst the treasured old dishes, found furnishings and mitinae of the past.
Clothes maketh the man or woman. Old lace, delicate garments perserved from an age when T shirts and shorts could never have been imagined far less purchased from the local supermarket.
Hardy workwear in tough old fabrics. Sensible clothing built to last.
The tools of the trade. The woman’s realm in the kitchen and laundry. Washing baskets, ancient pegs. Scrubbing boards and iron tubs. Days of hard work to keep house. No washing machines, hoovers, dish washers or even hot water.
Every picture tells a story. Every item here is history, real stories, real lives. Who wore these little shoes? What was her life like?
Just things, day to day things. There are no real treasures in this museum, this is just a museum of normality. Remembering the every day.
I love all this. To me this is far more interesting than trekking amoungst the bones of dinosaurs or oohing and aahing over the decadent jewels of a millenia ago encased in bullet proof glass with guards and spotlights.
This is managable history.
My favourite part of the old mill is the pantry. A small inauspicious display. Just a cupboard with its doors open and drawers askew to show the the day to day foodstuffs and cleaners of time gone by. Some items are fairly recent, some go back a long , long time.
It is fun placing some things from your own life and thinking back, tossing around memories.
A quiet day, peaceful pottering in other people’s lives. Lots of imaginings.
But the best of imaginings can get a little stiffling after a while. Sunshine becons and a walk alongside the river.
A man with his little dog enjoying their day. Giant weeds that have taken over some or the river bank and lend an other worldly aspect. More friendly clover spilling on to the path and lavender planted in an old milk churn.
The river itself. Worth coming here just for the walk, the scenery and also for that wee glimpse into the past. A slowing down away from the hussle and bustle of mordern life.
Back here and it’s Monday morning and here I am in front of a computer screen, the modern world in all it’s glory. Yesterday and today, the best of both worlds I guess.