I had the good fortune to spend Christmas with a family who have lived in their cottage for over 40 years, they bought the first half before they married, tiny little place in which they managed to have both sons! Then the adjoining cottage was acquired and the mammoth job of joining them commenced. I’ve know this couple for only a few years and the more I see them and their cottage, the more I appreciate their achievements. This year I was brought back to my childhood as we traded tales of how our Nans used to make all our clothes, apart from vests, pants and bodices which all came from the Co-op. My own Nan was an expert seamstress and used her trusy old german treadle sewing machine daily – there were 3 of us girls to keep in frocks, skirts, blouses, nighties. When she wasn’t sewing, out came the knitting bag and many a sweater or cardi issued forth!