Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Ready- Aye Ready

Christmas 1975, and here’s my husband in his New Year’s Eve outfit. The theme of the party was rôle reversal, and we were asked to dress in the style of an occupation normally undertaken by the opposite sex. My husband is demonstrating the ‘domestic drudge’ look, hence his down-in-the-mouth look. I’ve no idea what the rosette he is sporting has written on it, some witty comment designed to draw snorts of laughter from his brother officers no doubt. Yes, this was an RAF Mess party at Waddington, Lincolnshire, where we were stationed. This would have been deemed amusing nearly forty years ago when women’s lib was just taking off and the PC brigade didn’t have much of a voice.

The very useful pinny has a design which was later to come under fire from the latter. It depicts a label for “Camp” Coffee a very well-known store-cupboard standby and something of an advertising icon.  When we were children, our mothers used it  whenever a recipe called for ‘coffee essence’, and we followed suit when we had homes of our own. Without it coffee cake, coffee icing, coffee kisses etc. would have been much duller, and what would we have used as ‘coffee sauce’ on our ice cream?


Camp is apparently still available, but back in 2006 the label was changed after pressure was put on the company, citing racism. The new label has the Sikh soldier seated next to the Highlander as an equal, enjoying a nice cup of coffee. Not historically accurate of course, but more palatable to the modern consumer. The slogan on the label was ‘Ready- aye ready’ with the aye being used in the sense of ‘always’, confirming the instant nature of the brew.

The pinny (or apron) was used by me whenever a job called for protection from mess. Here’s me wearing it as I slap on the wallpaper paste and to keep myself out of a potentially sticky situation. I’m newly returned from honeymoon - hence the slight tan- and was probably acting as paperhanger’s assistant. We would have had an assembly line going, with me sloshing on the paste and my husband manoeuvring the wallpaper into position. Being the seventies it was very likely wood chip wallpaper. This was our first home and we wanted only the best!

I expect you’d like to see my outfit for New Year 1975 too. Well by good fortune I also wore a pinny. Here I am dressed as a Lady Butcher, meat cleaver (cleverly fashioned from hardboard) in hand. Striped apron and lightweight plastic boater. I’ve no idea why I chose this rôle and it’s quite possible that I offended the vegetarian guests, but it was probably based on the availability of costumes. The striped pinny was to hand and obviously suggested itself as a butcher’s apron. The less time we had to spend sorting out our costume, the more time to enjoy ourselves.

I don’t look too happy either. Let’s hope we both cheered up when we got to the party and had a few glasses of bubbly.

For more cheerful pinny-wearers, visit this week’s Sepia Saturday, where this was the theme suggested by the image below. Ready? - Aye Ready!



17 comments:

  1. An entertaining take on this week's theme!

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  2. Butcher? Methinks you look a little like Lizzy Borden with that humungous meat cleaver. The apron is no doubt a valuable collectible by now. Very funny post.

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  3. I wonder what costumes would be fashioned for a role-reversal party now.

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  4. Ii' surprised the PC brigade has not objected to the word ;Camp' and not just the soldiers. You would have made a fearsome butcher.

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  5. Coffee essence sounds good. I don't think we have anything like that here.

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  6. Wallpaper paste? Oh, I remember that stuff -- it was awful, but you look happy enough slathering it on while wearing that nifty apron!

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  7. Nice apron, it reminds me of the style of Hergé's Tintin.

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  8. Fantastic selection for this week!

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  9. A perfect fit all around. I think butchers may be the only traditional occupation to still use striped aprons.

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  10. 'Aye' for always - so that's what it is, thanks. The role reversal theme sounds fun.

    Hazel

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  11. Wonderful photos. I am not sure I would want to cross you when you were in your role as a butcher. Truly frightening.

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  12. This is so funny! I loved your pictures and the commentary. I wonder if you guys got into a tiff prior to going to the party or something. You are very pretty as a wallpaper assistant.

    Kathy M.

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  13. You could have used that first photo for last week's prompt - with the mo!
    Love the 'Camp' apron - Mr Jax wants one for scout camps!

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  14. A fun blog that suits the theme perfectly.

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  15. A great wee blog! That apron reminds me of the numerous aprons my family used to wear at 80s family BBQs. They were usually humourous, eg a woman's body with my Grandad's head sticking out of the top!

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  16. One of my earliest memories is of staring intently at the Camp Coffee label and trying to make sense of it. "What does it say?" "Ready, aye, ready" "Why? What does that mean? Why is that man wearing a skirt? Why has he got a tent?"etc. I greatly admired the Indian's outfit, though. It seemed far more attractive than the (to me) slightly creepy idea of a man wearing a skirt. .

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  17. Fun fun set of apron photographs! Glad I visited!

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