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Back to Blankets

We have come full circle.   My late uncle was a group manager for the Co-operative Wholesale Society in the 1940s and 1950s, and the small group of factories he oversaw in those days manufactured woollen blankets.  I have said it before, but it won’t hurt to say it again:  it was said of my uncle that “he could take the wool of a sheep’s back and know every process up to the final product.”

In the 1970s we decided to dispense with our blankets. We would “go modern” and have what in those days was referred to as a ‘continental quilt’.  It was relatively expensive, plus the purchase of a cover and matching pillow cases, to bedding today and we really had to push out the fiscal boat in order to afford it.

These last few nights it has been  rather humid and I thought it might be a good idea to try out a cotton sheet and blankets again.  However, we only had one, rather old, cellular blanket which I bought about 20 years ago.  I put this on the bed, with a light wool throw, and since then have slept much better with the lightness of these two things.

And so I have bought a new wool cellular blanket produced by a company called Hainsworth who hold the Royal Warrant.  It wasn’t cheap, but good things rarely are.  The leaflet with the blanket says:

“The Hainsworth family have been weaving the look of iconic England since 1783.  Our fabrics adorn palaces and buildings of great importance, covering the wool sack in the House of Lords, creating striking scarlet uniforms worn by the Queen’s Royal Guards and we are proud to hold the Royal Warrant for supplying furnishing fabric to Her Majesty the Queen.  Made in the heart of Yorkshire for over 230 years, Hainsworth cloth is visual representation of England around the world and every length of fabric we weave is another little piece of history.”

Wouldn’t my late uncle be pleased to know we’ve returned to blankets! Well, for the summer.

I have also learned from the leaflet  that in 1339 a man named Thomas Blanket was granted permission by a local magistrate to set up a loom on which to make a ‘well raised surface’ fabric for use as bed covering.  So that’s how blankets got their name!

So to move on …

Today we called at the charity shop (boutique) in order to drop off yet more of my magazines and the rails looked a picture …

Unfortunately for me, all rather formal and in silky fabrics, not what I wear, especially in summer, but oh, the colours look wonderful, and I’m sure these will be sold swiftly, perhaps for summer weddings garden parties and so forth.

One of the windows look especially good, with artificial grass and a little ‘dog’ plus parrot and dove …

From Wellswood to Waitrose, and my goodness, lots of lovely lupins for sale.  We adore lupins but we have not had any success growing them – the slugs and snails get them. So much so that they make off with not only the plants but even the roots disappear.

Inside, yet more flowers and plants …

and a lovely fresh food display, with wine, eggs and purple sprouting broccoli …

I should’ve added that we weren’t driving our own car, but a courtesy car from our local garage. They have our car in to do the repair. The AA man had only done a temporary job, and so it will be in the garage for a few days and in the meantime we were given the keys to a small van-like car.  I won’t say more – someone reading this might have one and absolutely adore it! – other than I certainly wouldn’t swap ours for it, even though our car is 18 years old.  The garage chap said, “You won’t find it’s like your car!”  So I said, “Will I have to get out and push it up the hills?”

Seriously, the only good points are (1) that it has the speedometer on the dashboard so in VERY LARGE NUMERALS  you can easily see what speed you are doing. Not that this is exactly necessary as it’s 0-to-60-in-never! and (2) it’s small, therefore easy to park.

The flowers I bought this week are creamy white stocks and creamy white freesias. The Freesias have yet to open, but they will be lovely when they have opened.

Here are the stocks, along with my latest magazine

It is also the beginning of the month and so a new Waitrose magazine, too …

Post was rather nice, too.  I’ve already mentioned the lovely wool cellular blanket, but also a book arrived … Delight by J B Priestley.  This is now a companion volume to Modern Delight.

This book was originally published in 1949 and this is the 60th anniversary edition. I am so looking forward to reading this in bed – under my new cellular blanket – this evening.  My goodness, an old-fashioned blanket and a book published almost 70 years ago. Folks, I am regressing!  Pass the cocoa, do!

My other item in the post was a tin of Roger & Gallet’s lovely body balm …

This is the 3rd consecutive tin of this I’ve had, I love it so much.

Of course, as well as arranging the flowers- if you call putting them in a jug of water “arranging” them – I put the food away. There was quite a lot today, and it took a considerable time as I clean out the fridge and tidy the larder (not a real larder but a cupboard) before I put the food away, making sure that things that need using first, are easily seen so that they remind me.

There are a number of yellow-sticker items here, and actually, I’m not terribly fond of buying yellow-sticker food.  Yes, they are cheaper, you save money, but often the items are very close, or are actually on, their use-by date, and so they must be used very quickly indeed, and when I’m buying food I want it to last a week (yes, I can freeze some things, but not all of them.)  My modus operandi has always been to buy the longest use-by date I can find; this ensures little to no waste.  I’ve found yellow-sticker produce is often past it’s best, or what is acceptable to me.  Others will no doubt disagree, but while I don’t mind spending less on things which don’t go into my digestive system (loo rolls, kitchen rolls, washing up liquid), I don’t mind spending a bit more on food that is in the peak of condition.  We are what we eat.

On that point I will mention that about a decade ago my husband required a medical procedure which needed surgery on an ear.  It healed in next to no time and when he went to see the surgeon for a follow-up, the surgeon said that the wound had healed remarkably quickly and this indicated not only good genes, but also a good diet!  I repeat, we are what we eat.

Now for a much-needed cup of tea and then I might tackle the ironing.  And while I’m having that cup of tea, I think I might be tempted into buying (online) a green scalloped-edge sheet to match the recently-purchased pillow cases – I think these would look lovely with the new blanket!  (I do put the bed cover on the bed during the day, but on the photo above, of our bed, I have left it turned down so you can see the blanket.)

A last thought … I wonder if anyone under 50 has ever slept under a sheet and blankets? I wonder if anyone under 50 even knows how to make a bed using sheets and blankets!

Until next time.

 

 

About Margaret Powling

Margaret Powling
Margaret’s main interests are her husband and family, her friends, her home, her garden, writing, literature, architecture, décor, social history, photography, historic houses and gardens, and towns, villages and the countryside. She writes about the things she enjoys: flowers, scent, fine soap, monthly style magazines, and other such small indulgences, such as afternoon tea or simply enjoying her summerhouse with a book. She invites you to enjoy this virtual visit to South Devon, England.

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42 comments

  1. Eloise (thisissixty.blog)

    Haha, my mum, the nurse, taught me to make beds with hospital corners and I was very good at it but by the age of 19, with my own home I had turned to the continental quilt, often referred to nowadays as a duvet. I bought cellular blankets for my babies but I don’t think they’ve ever slept under a blanket since.
    Yellow stickers! You and I read several of the same blogs and the writers are often showing us the great bargains they find. I have often bemoaned the fact that I never seem to find any worth having (looking at some, they are WAY past their best) but I did once buy about a dozen boxes of raspberries for some ridiculous price like 20p. They looked perfect and froze well. I think Tesco must have accidentally added a zero to their order because there were loads. I’d have bought more but for a lack of freezer space. I think it’s a case of looking but not being seduced just because something is cheap, I often reach right b ancient into shelves to get items with the furthest date.
    We certainly are what we eat; I know when I feel sluggish it’s because I’ve eaten rubbish (too much sugary carbs). Talking of slugs, we’ve never been able to keep lupins either. I love the cream stocks.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      I almost asked the question on my post, “who knows what hospital corners are?” No, they are not made of brick and are there to be a carpark hazard!
      I am looking forward to trying out the – expensive! – blanket this evening! Believe me, on a hot summer’s night, a sheet and light wool cellular blanket is a joy compared with even a summer-weight duvet.
      Oh, thank goodness that someone agrees with me, and I seldom find any yellow-sticker produce worth buying, regardless of how inexpensive it is. Yes, you are right – look but don’t be seduced by the offers just because they are cheap. And yes, I dig deep so that I get to the back or below things, to get the longest use-by date! I am trying to cut out a lot of carbs. Strange, when husband was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, and we went to a couple of Diabetes Days, where diet was explained to us (I was surprised when people of my generation were pretty clueless regarding proteins, fats, carbs, etc) the advice then was to have some carbs with every meal! Now, I think they’ve changed their mind! But, of course, they meant good carbs, brown rice, granary bread, etc. But they’re all carbs!
      Yes, the cream stocks are lovely and smell wonderful!

  2. Ah Margaret, a woman after my own heart as we dispensed with duvets a number of years ago! I always joke with my friends that I like to layer my nest and it does makes sense to me to have layers that you can throw off or pull up as the temperature dictates. We currently have a sheet, two light summer blankets and a pretty patchwork eiderdown to “ dress “ the bed when it’s made up. For the colder, winter months we swap out the blankets for heavier ones with a high gsm and a large velvet bedspread to really cosy things up. My ethos is that you spend so long in bed you may as well be comfy!
    With regard to the yellow stickers I do pick up the odd bargain providing that they can be frozen or used more or less that day, Waitrose don’t tend to be that good at discounting as I have often seen something that runs out of date that day only reduced by £1 or so, but perhaps I just shop the wrong time of day and the real bargains occur later, nearer to closing time.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Layering your nest sounds so cosy, Elaine! Yes, how can we have ever chosen duvets in summer when we have good old English blankets, not the heavy ones, tucked in so tightly they trapped our young bodies as children, unable almost to move, but light cellular blankets with silk edges? I love the idea of a velvet bedspread in winter, too!
      Yesterday, there were some good money-off bargains in Waitrose, but when this happens that particular commodity is more often than not out of stock as others have got there before us!

  3. I have two old wool blankets that I have kept for many years, and I do moan about using duvet covers instead of blankets. I am useless at getting the duvet inside the cover and I really dislike it, especially since one of my children kindly decided that I needed a king size duvet for my bed, which I think is a queen or double. I wrestle with that darned cover everyday trying to get it to look nice on my bed.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Many years ago, Ratnamurti, when we still had cats, one of them was sick on our bed one morning. I swiftly removed the duvet cover but the mess had already soaked through onto the duvet and so I dug out of the airing cupboard a couple of spare single duvets that we had kept from when our sons were at home, and put those on the bed. And then we realized that having a single duvet each, on a double bed, was much better for us. No draught down the centre, no one left without any cover when one of us tugged the bulk of the double one around us, and so forth, and since then single duvets we have had, and they are so much easier to change than double ones. Goodness knows how I would change a king size one on my own – crawl into it, perhaps?
      I think people make the mistake of thinking that the duvet means we don’t need to have a bed cover. I thought this way, too, until we visited some rather swish hotels (when I was writing some hotel reviews) and found that they always had a bed cover over the duvet during the day, and this would only be removed at night. Hence us having a cream cotton cover on our bed, covering the duvet during the day. Yes, it takes a bit more effort to put this on and take it off each day, but it makes the bed look so much nicer.

  4. Ah carbs! I’m on Dr.Michael Mosley blood sugar diet at the moment. In the past every time I went for a health check a the doctors they would say I was overweight and chlorestorol was too high! So about six weeks ago I started and successfully I’ve lost a stone and half already,so pleased with myself and have stuck to it rigidly.
    Hospital corners,brings back memories of being taught by my mum how to make a bed properly, we didn’t have fitted sheets in those days just flat sheets,a blanket and an eiderdown if you got cold in winter,I doubt if you could buy one of those now?
    We always admire your Waitrose flowers,I think I’ll have to drop them a line,in our branch they are all squashed together and look very tired.
    Have a wonderful weekend Margaret.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Maybe I should attempt to lose weight, Margaret, and follow Dr Michael Mosley’s diet! I just try not to over-eat and not to have too many sugary foods. I know I could do to lose weight, though.
      Yes, no fitted sheets in my childhood, either. Even today I use flat sheets and have the top one hanging loose as I can’t bear the feeling of the sheet and blankets being tightly tucked in. As for eiderdowns, not seen new ones on sale for years although I think there are some companies still making them or refurbishing old ones.
      Sadly, a lot of flowers are too tightly wrapped. I don’t think this is the fault of the supermarket but the supplier. The first thing I do when I get home from a shopping trip, even before that essential cup of tea, is cut the ends of the stems of the flowers and, while still in their cellophane, plunge them into a jug of deep water so they can revive.

  5. Gardengoddess42

    What wonderful lupins. I’ve tried several times to grow them. But here in the heat and humidity of the midwest it is a lost cause. They struggle through their first spring after planting, are gasping their last breath by midsummer, and then wither away, never to be seen again. Lupins flourished on the chalk downs in Berkshire, where I grew up. As did foxgloves, which are also a one month wonder here. I am forever trying to recreate the gardens of my childhood. Some plants are just not having it!
    I enjoy seeing your weekly flower purchases for the house Margaret. Many years ago I would save half a crown from my weekly grocery budget to buy flowers in the market. Especially appreciated in the early spring: anemones, golden wattle, scented violets.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Yes, those lupins were show-stoppers, as they say, Gardengoddess! I didn’t look at the price because I knew it would be pointless buying yet another, although I was tempted! I’m delighted you enjoy seeing the flowers I buy each week – some might think this an extravagant indulgence, but they bring such joy to both of us. I just wish we had a flower market close by and didn’t have to rely on the choice, often very restrictive, of the few types in the supermarket. I think what you call golden wattle we call mimosa and we don’t see that as a cut flower in supermarkets here. Oh, anemones, they are wonderful, jewels of colours!

  6. Eloise (thisissixty.blog)

    b ancient? Even with predictive text (which I hate and keep turning off but it keeps coming back), I can’t imagine where that came from! But you clearly got the gist.

  7. Well, I slept under sheets and blankets until I was 24 when I married and left home. When I go back and stay with Mum and Dad I sleep under sheets and blankets. I do have to untuck the bottom corners as my feet feel trapped! I started to train as a nurse so yes, I can make a bed with sheets and blankets and I can make beautifully neat hospital corners!! It’s been so muggy recently I’ve been sleeping on the sofa or spare room bed with just a fleece over me and with all the windows open. Those stock look gorgeous – I may have to buy some. I have to be careful with flowers in the house as Husband suffers from both asthma and hay fever!

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Unless a nurse, being able to make neat ‘hospital’ corners on a bed is, I fear, a dying art. And such things are arts in themselves, I think. Making something which is rather untidy, sheets and blankets, into something neat, so that it looks like a material box, is quite a skill. But like you, I have to un-tuck blankets as I also hate my feet and legs being trapped.
      The stocks are lovely, but they had only two more days in which they could be displayed in the supermarket – I always forget to check how long they can be on display and as with foods, buy those with as long a shelf-life as possible. I know these won’t last the week, but then, stocks seldom do. From smelling wonderful, overnight they smell awful. But they are worth the money just for those first few days.

  8. Hi Margaret. What an enjoyable post – laughing is a great way to start off our day! I must confess that I also dig deep to look for the longest use-by date, and often find goods on special are not worth the savings. I recently bought some meat that had been marked down, which I do not normally do, and then discovered it did not smell very nice. I know some who would still have used it, but this lot found its way into the rubbish bin. I always say that my body is not a rubbish bin so I refuse to put rubbish into it. Nutrition can get so confusing though, with the ‘experts’ always changing things. My husband also has diabetes II and we are often given conflicting advice about the best diet for him. We both grew up with sheets and blankets and hospital corners, and I still occasionally put blankets on the bed instead of a duvet. Do hope your car is soon back in your garage. Courtesy cars might be handy, but usually something good to laugh about AFTER you have returned them! Have a great day 🙂

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Hello, Margaret in New Zealand, and I’m so glad I have given you a laugh (for they say laughter is the best medicine!) Yes, that has been my experience, too; things marked down are often not worth bothering with, and I have also had your experience of meat which looks OK in the packet and you are fooled into thinking it’s a bargain and then, ooh dear, it’s only fit for the bin. Yes, our bodies are not rubbish bins, you are right there. But as you say, the ‘experts’ are always changing their minds. Most recently we have been told to give up bacon and alcohol entirely if we want to avoid cancer – bacon I can understand, as processed meat isn’t good for us, but all alcohol when not long ago we were advised that a glass of red wine was good for us. The old adage “everything in moderation” is still the way forward, I think.
      We had an iffy moment with the courtesy car yesterday as when we returned to it in the supermarket car park, it wouldn’t start. Husband tried several times, then we thought perhaps it was because we didn’t have our seat belts on, or there was a door open, or something. We tried everything and I was just about to go into the supermarket to get the phone number of the garage (as I don’t have a smart phone with such information) when it started. No idea what we were doing wrong, but suddenly the engine fired up. It is a funny little car but if I were to have such a utilitarian vehicle, I’d buy a van instead, and go the whole hog!

  9. Yes, some young ‘uns know blankets.

    My oldest son wanted a blanket as a setting up house present. Not just any blanket but a Hudson’s Bay Point Blanket. These blankets used to be a standard Canadian wedding present. There are several styles but he wanted the cream blanket with the coloured stripes. Now there at red blankets with black strips, cream with grey. Originally they were given in trade with each strip representing a number and type of skins traded into the company. So being a thrifty Mum, I hoarded my store points and waited. The size of blanket for their bed is considered Queen sized and is over $200. I wound up getting it for $35 and a few years worth of points and a sale. They are still made in England. Thrilled and proud. It’s displayed on the bed.

    My younger son expects one when he marries, so I’m back to saving points!

    Yellow stickers? Our’s at pink. And it’s rare to find a 25% off tag. I tend to go for cheese. A nice ripe Brie for the husband with crusty bread. Supper or lunch solved.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Those Hudson Bay blankets sound wonderful, WonderCollie! I seem to recall seeing them on someone’s blog many years ago, in such vivid colours. Small wonder they are a traditional wedding present in Canada. And what a wonderful history they have. And how wonderful is that, a $200 dollar blanket for $35! Now, that is a bargain!
      Yes, cheese is a safer option for the yellow-stickers (or your pink-stickers), I think. And it can be popped into the freezer, too, to prolong its life.

  10. Hmmm. I don’t understand the question. Haha! I make the bed the same way, whether making it with blankets, with a quilt, or with a comforter. I do not use a duvet, but feel like it would be the same as making it with a comforter. I’m not sure how one would make it differently. The lupines are absolutely beautiful! I wish we could grow them so they would look so great and come back year after year. We have not had a lot of luck, though. I love that green dress in the charity shop window. My boss is tasked with getting rid of her late mother-in-law’s clothing and accessories. She is bringing things into work for co-workers to take and leave a donation which will go to a homeless shelter. There is much more to come, but so far I have found two pairs of shoes and a wonderful soft leather purse for myself. “Nana” was rather a shopaholic, according to my boss, and had many nice things. A couple days ago purses were brought in – 80 of them!

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Isn’t an American comforter like our duvet? Something like a large pillow that you put into a cotton casing to put on the bed? These are to be used without sheets, the cover of the duvet is the ‘sheet’, and these are what are removed and washed.
      How kind is that, your boss bringing in her late mother-in-law’s clothing and accessories, so that people can choose from them and make charity donations. What a very good idea. My goodness, 80 purses! And by purses, I think that means our handbags? Purses, as I think we’ve discussed before, over here, are for money only (wallets are for more than money, paper notes and credit cards and driving licence and so forth.) But 80! that’s some serious shopper!!!

      • I guess not exactly as an American comforter is an all in one piece – you don’t remove the cover for washing as you can’t remove the cover – you wash the entire thing. It’s like a puffy blanket, if that makes sense. And you do use a top sheet under it. Yes, Nana had a lot of purses (handbags) – all sizes and types. Tons of shoes as well. I wouldn’t have the space or know where to put all those things, not to mention keeping track of what I own!

        • Margaret Powling
          Margaret Powling

          Yes, I get the picture of the comforter, a bit like our quilts. I don’t have much space for collections of shoes and bags, either, Jeannine, I have just a few of each.

  11. THos l;upins are delightful. I lost mine through the cost winter but haven’t got round to replacing it yet so there’s a rather obvious gap!
    I prefer my duvet and sleep on top on the very hot nights but my dad never took to duvets and does what you have done. Works for him.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      I have slept on top of my duvet, too, Joy and when I thought that a sheet plus one cellular blanket would be insufficient, I put those over me and kept my duvet under me, and that worked very well. But I have been sleeping so much better with a light blanket even though our single duvets are supposedly supper weight.
      I adore lupins but they always disappear, snaffled by snails and slugs regardless of kind-to-animals slug bait and grit around the plants.

  12. I haven’t slept under a blanket since before I was married but what I mainly remember is how heavy they were. That’s because our house was so cold we had to have layers and layers of blankets and often put our coats on top as well to try to get warm. No central heating then – no heating at all upstairs, just in the living room. I expect one or two lightweight blankets would be nice in the summer but we have two duvets, a higher tog for the winter, so the summer one is comfortable for me unless there is a real heatwave when it just gets thrown back.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Yes, regular ‘solid’ blankets can be heavy, Alison, and much depends on the quality of the wool, too, I think; there are grades of wool, like in most things, and I think the cheaper, more scratchy blankets were the heaviest. But the blanket I bought was a cellular one, i.e. with ‘holes’ in it. The theory is that the holes ‘trap’ the warmth. It is the insulation quality of wool that keeps us warm, wool itself isn’t warm, but we are using it. I hated the heavy blankets of my childhood (no central heating in those days) and when we were married we didn’t have central heating and we had to layer the bed with about three or four blankets to keep warm. Of course, in a heatwave we’d just have a sheet and the electric fan going.

  13. Firstly let me say a big thanks for your emails, information and photos of the summerhouse.
    You went to a lot of trouble and they’re great.
    They will be a big help when we build one.
    Hubby is quite keen.
    Very hot today after days of torrential rain and we’re painting the hall, seems a waste of a nice sunny day but
    at least the paint will dry quickly – its a real chore as there are 7 doors to do.

    What a interesting post today, lots of lovely photos and topics.
    Am interested to hear about the blanket and have just looked to see where I could buy one
    (where did you get yours)?
    John Lewis came up and a double is £75.
    It got good reviews
    I still have a Xmas Voucher so might use it to get one
    Its just so hot even with a summer duvet on the bed at the moment.
    Some of the reviewers on the JL site say how they are sleeping better with the blanket
    rather than a duvet

    We get pure wool blankets for our dogs beds from a local charity
    and it always seems such a waste of such good quality pure wool blankets
    They would cost
    a small fortune to buy these days, but being second hand you couldn’t really use them.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Hello, Linda, and I’m glad you enjoyed seeing the photos of the building of the summerhouse. It doesn’t look like much work until you break it down to the details, i.e. double ‘skinned’ with insulation material sandwiched between the shiplap wood structure and the interior hardboard; making the window and window frame himself; and making the doors when the originals weren’t suitable. Thank goodness he is a practical chap! It isn’t always the cheapest thing to do, either and even 8 years ago, having written down every single item we bought for the construction, including the door furniture, paint, flooring, paint, etc, it came to a little over £1,200.
      Regarding the cellular blanket, I bought it from John Lewis online and I bought the king size for our 5ft wide bed and it was £100 (no payment for postage). I think a double would’ve been large enough as the blanket comes down to the floor all around but I just didn’t want to hassle of sending it back and getting a smaller one and then finding that wasn’t large enough!
      Yes, I read those reviews, too – that people had slept better since changing back to blankets. I have certainly slept better these past few nights, but last night, with TWO blankets on, we had to remove one of them, so tonight I will see whether this one new blanket is sufficient to keep me warm – of course, it wouldn’t be sufficient in winter, but I think it will be this weather. It’s a case of trial and error, I think.

    • If a second hand blanket is in really good condition,take it to the dry cleaners, then use it! The Hudson Bay blankets , I mentioned earlier are much sought after by thrift store stalkers.

      My youngest so found one of their blanket coats in a Salvation Army shop. He paid $175 for it. His dry cleaner charged $40 to clean it and was able to roll him the coat was at least 50 years old. Today that coat sells for $975,

      • Margaret Powling
        Margaret Powling

        Yes, I was going to suggest this, too, WonderCollie/Linda, taking the blankets to the dry cleaners so, if they are in good condition, they can be used again.

  14. We’ve always used duvets, we have a Superking sized bed, so use an Emperor sized duvet to prevent cold backs!
    I’ve always bought goosedown duvets, and always those which can be clipped together, one a 4.5 tog and the other a 9.5 to deal with all seasons.
    However, we had a week away in North Yorkshire in late April and were delighted to find Alpaca duvets and pillows on the bed. They were simply wonderful, very light, and somehow just right for whatever the temperature was.
    We already have two large Alpaca blankets from Teesdale in County Durham, I bought one, loved it, so bought another online after returning home. We keep them in the living room to snuggle under on cooler evenings!
    I’ve just ordered an Emperor duvet and three pillows, (husband likes two pillows, I only have one), Alpaca filled and I am really excited about getting them. That’s a bit ‘sad’ as our son would say!
    I do know how to do hospital corners though, and have lovely memories of being tucked into bed by mum, so tightly that I couldn’t turn over!
    Your cellular blanket reminded me of times when our son was a baby, he had pale lemon cellular cot blankets!

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      My goodness, that sounds to be a huge bed, Colette. We would’ve liked a 6ft wide bed, but there wouldn’t have been room for bedside tables if we had bought one that wide. How on earth do you manage to get the duvet into the duvet cover, I wonder? I’ve never heard of an Emperor size duvet!
      The alpaca duvets and pillows sound wonderful, I’d not heard of those, either, but how cosy they sound.

  15. Margaret,
    We get the duvet into the cover with a lot of puffing and blowing, and occasionally a few choice words!
    We’re both tall, rangy, long armed, long legged people and found we were just getting in each other’s way when we had a double bed, so we got a King Size, but eventually even that seemed small, so we moved up to a Super King. We’d have loved an Emperor sized bed, but as they’re six feet six inches, or even seven feet, we just don’t have enough space. With our six foot bed we have room for bedside cabinets, and without them there’d be nowhere for me to keep my specs, Kindle, books, notepad and pen, handcream etc, so they have to stay!
    Our duvet is to fit a seven foot bed though, so nobody gets a cold back when the other one turns over!
    I’m really looking forward to receiving the Alpaca duvet and pillows though, we both slept wonderfully on Alpaca pillows when on holiday. Our son and daughter in law are getting the cast off goose down duvets, so they’re happy too!
    When one considers the amount of time spent in bed, it’s worth making it as comfortable as possible.
    When we were staying in New York once, we had a Caesar sized bed, eight feet wide! It was absolute bliss, but if we put that in our bedroom at home, someone (not me) would have to sleep half in and half out of a wardrobe!

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      As tall people you certainly need the extra width and length on the bed, Colette. Our elder son and our daughter in law have a 6ft wide bed and when we have been away from home we have slept in six foot wide beds and love them, but it would be a real pinch for space if we had one here. We almost did, three years ago when we bought our ‘new’ (for it’s no longer new!) bed, but I don’t find 5 foot wide too small for us, even though an extra foot would be very nice. But changing that duvet that is made for a seven foot wide bed must be a struggle, even for your long arms. Perhaps one day, you will do as we do and have two duvets, one each, so they can be a bit smaller (ordinary doubles for such a large bed, perhaps?) and therefore easier to change.
      I must investigate alpaca pillows – I never seem to find a pillow that is soft yet supportive. I have goose feather & down pillows, but they flatten out rather quickly and I’m forever turning them over in order to plump them up again. Yes, I totally agree, make the bed as comfy as possible, we spend a lot of time there.
      An eight foot wide bed wouldn’t fit into most homes in this country, would it? The mental picture of you sleeping half in and half out of the wardrobe is worthy of a cartoon (if only I could draw!)

  16. Blanket coverage Margaret! Lovely to find you on here and guess what we’ve gone over to wool duvets….made in glorious Devon.
    Enjoying your Blog, it’s absolutely you!

    Interestingly we too had Hudson bay blankets, one white with blue stripes and one very old one, brown with black stripes, my Dad must have brought them over when he moved to the UK. They lasted forever.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Hello, Heather, and it’s lovely to hear from you! And such good news, that you have bought wool duvets made in Devon! Yay for Devon produce! And so glad you like my blog, I have great fun writing it.
      How lovely that you have some Hudson Bay blankets – I have heard of them but never seen them. I shall have to Google them! I hope you will look in again!

  17. I’m under 50 (by a few months !) and can recall sleeping under blankets – but when staying over at friend’s or family’s houses. From the age of about 10yo I slept under an eiderdown quilt and I recall from early childhood my parents having a beautiful purple coloured quilt which had a white cover. My late maternal grandparents were Russian and it was my grandmother who had bought the quilt. My parents’ quilt was purple, my grandmother’s was red and mum’s sister (my Aunty) owned a bright yellow one. Well it was the late 1960’s / early 1970s ! My paternal grandparents were Australian born (of English and Irish heritage) and we had top sheets, blankets and bedspreads in their (very large) household. They had 12 children so there were lots of beds !

    Thank you for another interesting post with so many topics, lovely photos and triggers for fond memories 😀

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Hello, Lara, and another person, much younger than myself, who remembers sleeping under blankets. The quilts you mentioned sound wonderful. I first slept under a quilt in the summer of 1960 when I was an exchange student with a girl in Luneburg, Germany. I had never seen one before and she had to show me how to shake it each morning. I thought it was very strange sleeping under what looked like a large pillow!
      My goodness, that was indeed a very large family, Lara. So many beds and so many sheets and pillow cases to launder!
      I’m glad the talk of duvets and blankets has evoked memories for so many readers of this blog.

  18. Just one more comment to add to this interesting article. My Mum’s wedding coat, in 1946, was tailored from a brown army blanket, she looked very glamourous in it and she was happy to state it’s origins. So little was available after the war years. So blankets certainly have their uses.

    Thanks Margaret.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      It is amazing, Heather, the various comments that my post on blankets/duvets has brought, and no better than this one from you – a wedding ensemble tailored from a brown army blanket! Talk about ingenuity! Yes, a very good use of a blanket!

    • Just read about Heather’s mum’s Wedding Coat made from an Army blanket.
      My mum’s best friend had her wedding dress made from parachute silk, she didn’t tell anyone where the parachute came from, and no-one asked!

      • Margaret Powling
        Margaret Powling

        Oh, it’s wonderful how many family history stories are emerging from my change from duvet to blanket for the summer! Yes, parachute silk, I am sure, was responsible for many a wedding dress, Colette!

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