Dangly Dolly

A lovely lady called Maisie lived next to my childhood home in ’70s Southend.  Ahead of her time she must have caught the decluttering bug way before Marie Kondo raised her head above the parapet.  She was always giving me stuff, handed over the type of wire and wood picket fences that were ubiquitous on council estates in those days.  Now they’ve been replaced by six foot high slats.   Back then you knew what everyone was doing in their back gardens.  Mothers didn’t need eyes in the back of their heads.  They had neighbours many doors down that dobbed you in it when you were up to no good.

Among the things that I particularly remember was a round woven white bag with a sprig of plastic lily of the valley behind a acetate display panel on its front.  It probably dated from the sixties and would have looked very natty accessorising a miniskirt. I thought that it was very posh.  Lord knows what happened to it.

This little dangly dolly has remained with me though.  She’s got to be the possession that I’ve had for the longest amount of time, nigh on half a century.  I think that she was originally a bookmark but now hangs from a picture in my bedroom.  The only maintenance that she’s needed over time is restringing.  A clever friend worked out what was hidden from view and how her arms and legs were held on.

I love her so much that I though that I made my own homage to her,  moulded from precious metal clay when jewellery making was my top craft.   That kind friend divulged her threading secret.  I think that the little silver dangly dolly worked rather well.  However though she is more precious in financial terms her little wooden predecessor is way more valuable to me.

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