Monday, 14 April 2014

Stepping Back in Time

Sometimes a chance encounter or a casual remark can send you spinning way back in time.  I was sitting In my local garden centre having a cup of cappuccino and a very nice slice of white chocolate and cranberry tray bake 

when I became aware of a lady staring at me, she actually came over and sat down next to me and asked me if I was the lady who had come to the craft fair last year she said, "I remember you  because my friend gave you some things for the Syrian refugees". I agreed that yes I was, in fact I blogged about that encounter here.

We got chatting as fellow crafter's do and she asked me where I usually bought my wool from and said that she usually got hers from Kemp's, well I thought she meant Kemp's on line but she was actually referring to a shop called Kemp's and when she explained where it was I couldn't believe it!  This wool shop stands opposite the Hospital where I did my nursing training many years ago, I couldn't believe that it was still there 41 years on. 

 I remember I had just started going out with my future husband, he was a Doctor on one of the wards and I worked as a student nurse on night duty, I decided that I wanted to make him a jumper and I bought the wool from that very shop, it was the first wool I had ever bought and it was for the first big project I would ever make. It was a ribbed polo neck sweater in petrol blue and it took me forever to make but it was loved and worn for years and years.

Another thing I bought
was this

As you can see it's a bit worse for wear and has been well used over the years, I taught myself how to crochet out of that same book.

I couldn't leave it there of course, I had a need to actually go back there and see the shop in question, so I took the bus into the town and walked up to the shop, a very long walk but this was a trip down memory lane and I wanted to see it all. 

I found the shop right opposite the hospital in exactly in the same place,  I  took a deep breath opened the door and went inside.  It has changed of course the front part of it taken up with lovely hand knitted baby items and quite a good selection of wool at the back.  I spent ages in there studying all they had and did I make a purchase? well yes of course I did, I couldn't go all that way for nothing.

Right next door to the wool shop is a little shop that sells magazines and gift cards and doubles up as a coffee shop so feeling quite tired after my long walk and long browse in the wool shop I went in and had a cappuccino and sat there for a long while gazing across the road, the hospital is still there but has changed enormously, in fact they were drawing up the plans for the new hospital, when I was doing my training, we got to see the model of the new hospital before we all left and went our separate ways.

I could see the nurses home where I used to live, now turned into offices, my bedroom was fourth from the corner right, second floor down.

I was transported back to the sound of giggling girls, getting ready to go out for the evening, some sat on the floor in the corridor drying their hair, while boxes of Carmen rollers were heating up in preparation, that dot seemed to take ages to turn black.  Then in my mind’s eye I can see and hear a dear friend I haven’t seen or heard from since then, strutting up and down in her new shoes asking what do you think, do they go with this dress? Pointing her toes and twirling her ankle, have a good look! Don’t you think the pink one’s would be better? we would all sigh in exasperation, she could never make up her mind.  
Where is she now? Where have they all gone those lovely girls that meant so much to me at the time, gone and some never seen or heard of again.  We had such good times, do the ghosts of our giggling voices still echo in those corridors.

I feel a tear rolling down my cheek and rapidly bring myself back to the present, back to the little café and my now empty cup, it’s time to go home.

Three friends having a laugh outside the nurses home

Pub just down the road where we would all go for a drink after work.

Me as a student Nurse on the steps of the nurses home.

Have a great week !

with lots of love


  1. What a lovely memory and sweet set of connections all from a chance conversation. I love your old nursing pic and recall the old 'proper' nurses' cape - very fetching and, if I may say, you do look rather like the nurse on the front of the old ladybird Nurse book. Whatever you make with that wool will be imbued with the fondest of memories.

  2. What a lovely trip down memory lane for you! You looked great in your nurses uniform. When I was a child I thought those capes were very glamorous. I think I was attracted to the idea of the swirlyness of the cape! Odd child I know! Love your new yarn purchases and the cute buttons! Hope that you have a great week. xx

  3. Lovely pictures ! Thanks for sharing a little of your life !
    Have a nice week !

  4. Thanks so much for sharing your lovely memories Linda, you drew me right in with your touching narrative! How amazing that the wool shop is still there and even more amazing that you could re-visit it and relive your memories! Love, Joy xo

  5. It sounds like you had a truly lovely day - buying yarn and remembering friends. Have a good day today. :)

  6. A beautiful post Linda :) How wonderful that one chance meeting sent you back in time to where you started your career and all the happy memories! I think it's great that you were able to visit the old yarn shop and enjoy browsing through the aisles and through your memories. Going back in time can sometimes bring a tear to the eye, but hopefully they were happy tears. Wendy xox

  7. I love this, Linda! I enjoyed it so much. Isn't it funny how something simple can take us directly back to a time or place, like it was happening right now? I'm glad you had this trip down memory lane, it sounds like a very happy time in your life. I know exactly what you mean about the black dot on the curlers because my first curling iron had the same exact feature. :)

  8. Good Afternoon Linda, Oh how lovely that a chance encounter brought back such lovely memories for you. I had expected you to say, that the wool shop was not there any more, as so many have closed or turned themselves into knick knack shops with just a little wool being sold at the back of the shop. So for the wool shop still to be there must have been wonderful for you.
    You never know, maybe someone reading your blog might recognise your friends and you can all meet up again. Time does slip by doesn't it and it is sad that we lose contact with our friends, but life moves on and it happens without us meaning for it to happen.
    I am keeping my fingers crossed that you meet up with your old friends as there would be lots of stories and laughter for you all to share.
    Best Wishes

  9. Wow! That's wonderful Linda! How special to meet up like that, memories are fantastic. I just love your nursing photos. :) Hope you have a blessed week ahead.


  10. A charming story, Linda. Sadly there are very few cosy wool shops around these days.

  11. That wool shop must be doing something right to have survived so long. The first shop I bought wool and patterns in disappeared many years ago. Ditto several other wool shops I have known and shopped in. The shop I sometimes use now only survives because is also sells things like ladies' dresses and skirts...very strange. It seems to be a hard business to make a living from.

  12. A beautiful trip down memory lane Linda, it always catches me off guard when I count the years backwards, time slips by so quickly without us even realising :-)

  13. What a surprise when I looked at your page slowly scrolling and there suddenly was me! Even though I'm wrapped up in a sheet ( good job the home sister didn't see us) and being attacked g
    By a snake ! happy days and we are still friends after 43 years

  14. My room was also on the 2nd floor 5th from the right next to the room covered by the tree

  15. Linda, that is such a great post. Thanks for sharing. It has been lovely travelling down Memory Lane with you x

  16. Thanks Linda, a really interesting post and it brought back some of my own memories :-)
    Tracey xx

  17. Linda, I LOVE this post. Wow! That definitely was a trip back in time and what a lovely trip it was. How nice to see you as a nurse in training. Fantastic. Best wishes, Tammy

  18. Oh Linda, what a lovely, lovely post, so touching!!! I'm happy with you that the random meeting in the garden centre led you to this wonderful trip :-). Thanks for sharing your memories with us!
    Hugs, Nata

  19. Lovely to see the photos of you as a student nurse.
    And happy memories stay with us forever.....


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