Author Topic: An afternoon of nostaligia,  (Read 318 times)

gunwharfman

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An afternoon of nostaligia,
« on: 21:25:32, 03/01/19 »
I thought I would have a bit of nostalgia this afternoon so I started to read 'Travels with a Donkey in the Cevenne' by Robert Louise Stevenson again. I did his walk a few years ago, from Le Puy en Velay, and I know others on the Forum have walked it too.

My wife was watching me as I read and suddenly burst out laughing because I was sitting in the armchair and she said I was smiling and grimacing, not noticing that she was trying to keep control but then couldn't contain herself! What made me smile was the reminder of some of the things he took with him, which included a revolver, a little spirit lamp and pan, a lantern and some halfpenny candles, a jack knife, a large leather flask, cakes of chocolate, tins of Bologna sausage, a leg of cold mutton, a bottle of Beaujolais, an empty bottle to carry milk, white and black bread, (what is black bread?) an egg beater, a sheepskin bag and an empty knapsack. His clothes were a pilot coat, country velveteen and a knitted spencer. What are the last two items??

Then of course he took his sleeping bag, 'the child of his invention' he called it, which was nearly 6 feet square, 'commodious as a valise' and he called it the 'sack'. It was made from green cart-cloth on the outside with sheeps fur within, plus he took a fur cap. OK he bought a donkey to carry it all, there is no way he could have carried it on his back. All of my memories of the walk came flooding back to me!

gunwharfman

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Re: An afternoon of nostaligia,
« Reply #1 on: 21:26:10, 03/01/19 »
Sorry, should have checked my spelling!

Bigfoot_Mike

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Re: An afternoon of nostaligia,
« Reply #2 on: 21:43:32, 03/01/19 »
Black bread would probably be rye bread or Pumperknickel. A Spencer was a tail-less outer coat. Velveteen is a fabric that is similar to velvet, so a country velveteen must be some type of garment made from that cloth.

Ridge

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Re: An afternoon of nostaligia,
« Reply #3 on: 21:59:11, 03/01/19 »
On the clothes, as Bf_M says, a Spencer is a short jacket but I've never heard of a knitted one. Velveteen is a bit of a catch all, it was probably not dissimilar to a moleskin shooting/Norfolk jacket.
Over hill, over dale. Thorough brush, thorough brier....
I do wander every where

astaman

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Re: An afternoon of nostaligia,
« Reply #4 on: 22:30:05, 03/01/19 »
Spencer also has another meaning. Where I come from (Shetland) it is a woollen vest. In the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth century Shetland women (and sometimes men) hand knitted them in large numbers for local merchants and wool brokers who then sold them on to wider markets. I think, but I'm not certain, that the term was used this way elsewhere in Scotland. Stevenson was of course a Scot so it may be that he was referring to a knitted vest.

Ridge

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Re: An afternoon of nostaligia,
« Reply #5 on: 22:49:31, 03/01/19 »
That's interesting astaman.
gwm, if you think you would benefit from one there is a pattern here
https://www.etsy.com/listing/516744529/1940s-bestway-knitting-leaflet-899
Over hill, over dale. Thorough brush, thorough brier....
I do wander every where

astaman

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Re: An afternoon of nostaligia,
« Reply #6 on: 22:56:49, 03/01/19 »
Thanks Ridge. I'm impressed, I'll get Frau Astaman to order the yarn right away. I'm thinking, a marketing opportunity for a new organic range of gender neutral baselayers for alternatively adventurous hill walker. A novel aspect of wild camping.

Innominate Man

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Re: An afternoon of nostaligia,
« Reply #7 on: 23:24:23, 03/01/19 »
That's interesting astaman.
gwm, if you think you would benefit from one there is a pattern here
https://www.etsy.com/listing/516744529/1940s-bestway-knitting-leaflet-899
Blimey, she isn't quite the picture I'd conjured up from astaman's description  ;D
Brings a whole new meaning to the idea of 'rustle/ing up a spencer'

Only a hill but all of life to me, up there between the sunset and the sea. 
Geoffrey Winthrop Young

jimbob

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Re: An afternoon of nostaligia,
« Reply #8 on: 23:31:13, 03/01/19 »
The older meaning of vest is still used in the USA. We now call them waistcoats.
Too little, too late, too bad......

Innominate Man

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Re: An afternoon of nostaligia,
« Reply #9 on: 23:38:15, 03/01/19 »
Funnily enough Frank Spencer was often seen in a string vest  ::)
Only a hill but all of life to me, up there between the sunset and the sea. 
Geoffrey Winthrop Young