Good morning! Welcome to "Morning Musings".

Musings: to meditate, think, contemplate, deliberate, ponder, reflect, ruminate, reverie, daydream, introspection, dream, preoccupation, brood, cogitate.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

A Year With Beatrix Potter & Friends - November

I hope you haven't minded having to stay at Derwentwater since October because I only realized later that I had not told you that Jemima would be staying on until this month!  If you did not want to stay you would have had to find your own way back to Near Sawrey, so I apologize profusely if that was, indeed, what you had to do!  Today Jemima will be taking us on a tour of Cat Bells.  You can see it on the map (lower left corner) just south of Lingholm and west of Owl (St. Herbert's) Island where we were last month with Squirrel Nutkin. . . .

Cat Bells has a summit of 1,480 feet.  This is the view from the top overlooking Newlands Valley. . . .

credit:  Enchanted England
Jemima is ready to take you to Cat Bells. . . .

QUACK!  I've been enjoying my month at the lake--away from that noisy farm yard!  The leaves are changing into delightful colors and the sun is still quite warm in the afternoons when I take my swim.  I'm glad you have stayed to finish our tour of Derwentwater.  Now, let me tell you about a little girl I met named Lucie. . . .


The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle
as told by Jemima Puddle-duck

Quack!  Lucie lives on a farm in Little-town.  She is always losing her pocket handkerchiefs.  Last week she lost three of her handkins AND her pinny.  She stopped to ask Tabby Kitten if she’d seen them. . . .




Tabby did not answer her so she asked Henny-penny who likes to run around the yard clucking, “I go barefoot, barefoot, barefoot”. . . .



Henny-penny did not answer either.  Quack!   Lucie sat upon the stile.  That is when she thought she saw some white things spread upon the grass way up on the hillside that is behind Little-town. . . .


So she followed the pathway up the steep hill. . . .



After a bit she the path ended where she saw some clothes were hanging on a little line of plaited rushes strung between some trees, but no handkerchiefs.  This is when she noticed there was a little door in the side of the hill.  She could hear a song being sung from inside. . . .



When Lucie knocked upon the door an anxious voice called, “Who’s that!?”  Lucie stepped inside and saw a very stout short lady with prickles coming through her cap. . . .


When Lucie asked her if she’d seen her pocket-handkins the very stout short lady introduced herself as Mrs. Tiggy-winkle, an excellent clear-starcher.  Mrs. Tiggy-winkle then took a little scarlet waist-coat belonging to Cock Robin out of the basket and began ironing it. . . .


After Mrs. Tiggy-winkle pulled out a few more things Lucie cried, “There’s one of my pocket-hankins!” and indeed it was, as well as her pinny. . . .


When Mrs. Tiggy-winkle held up two long, skinny yellow things Lucie asked if they were gloves.  But no, they were Sally Henny-penny’s stockings. . . .


Then she ironed a red handkerchief that belonged to old Mrs. Rabbit.  Mrs. Tiggy-winkle had had to wash it separately because it smelled so of onions. . . 

Next she held up a pair of white mittens belonging to Tabby Kitten. . . .

When she’d finished the ironing she hung up some clothes to air.  Among these were Squirrel Nutkin’s red tailcoat with no tail and a blue jacket, which had shrunken, belonging to Peter Rabbit. . . .


When she’d finished all her work Mrs. Tiggy-winkle made tea.  Lucie did not want to sit too close because of all the hair-pins sticking wrong-end-out in her cap and gown! . . . .


Lucie helped Mrs. Tiggy-winkle tie up the laundry in bundles.  Her own handkins and pinny were tied up in a separate bundle and fastened with a silver safety pin.  Mrs. Tiggy-winkle locked the door and slid the key under the door-sill. . . .


As they headed down the hill Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny, and other of her customers, came out of the fern to get their clothes. . . .


By the time they got to the bottom of the hill only Lucie’s bundle remained. . . .


When Lucie reached the stile and turned to thank the washer-woman there was no one there!  Mrs. Tiggy-winkle had not even given her the washing bill.  She looked up the hill and saw Mrs. Tiggy-winkle running, but where was her cap and shawl?  Her petticoat and gown? and how small she'd grown. . . .



Quack!  Quack!  Why, Mrs. Tiggy-winkle was nothing but a hedgehog!  Quack! . . .

             *         *          

Beatrix Potter adds this footnote to her story: Now some people say that little Lucie had been asleep upon the stile--but then how could she have found three clean pocket-handkins and a pinny, pinned with a silver safety-in?  And besides--I have seen that door into the back of the hill called Cat Bells--and besides I am very well acquainted with dear Mrs. Tiggy-winkle!


*          *         *          *

Published in 1905 the book was dedicated to "The Real little Lucie of Newlands," the Vicar of Newlands' daughter,  who was the model for Beatrix's Lucie.  Lucie's house is modeled after the nearby farmhouse called Skelgill.  Mrs. Tiggy-winkle was modeled after Kitty MacDonald, the Scottish washerwoman who did the Potters' laundry when on vacation in Scotland.  Beatrix had written in her journal in 1892, "She is a comical, round little old woman, as brown as a berry and wears a multitude of petticoats and a white mutch [a linen cap]."  The hedgehog was modeled after her own pet hedgehog, Mrs. Tiggy-winkle.  You can read more about the background of the book HERE.  

You can listen to Beatrix Potter's full story and pictures here. . . .

            

Here is the animated version of the story.  Once you get to Mr. Jeremy's story (which you saw earlier this year) skip to 21:56 to finish Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle's story. . . .

            

Here is the Royal Ballet dancing Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle. . . .

            

~ ~

These are my practice drawings this month. . . .


This is the illustration I will paint from Beatrix's book where Mrs. Tiggy-winkle is dipping Tom Tittlemouse's dicky shirt-fronts into starch. . . .

First my drawing. . . .

My watercolor. . . .


This month's Peter Rabbit's Little Guide to Life advice for us. . . .

"Clean clothes are an essential of good grooming.  Nothing is more off-putting than a handkerchief reeking of onion, muddy stockings or a jacket stained with blackberry juice.  If you do not wish to launder your clothes yourself, regularly bring them to a reliable washerwoman such as Mrs. Tiggy-winkle."

If you'd like to learn to draw a hedgehog, Jan Brett shows you how HERE.

We are returning to Near Sawrey where our tour will conclude next month, so unless you wish to set up housekeeping here in Derwentwater, hop on Farmer Cannon's wagon. . . .

.•*¨`*•. ☆ .•*¨`*•
Take Joy!

22 comments:

  1. Your post was a joy to read, the illustrations of the book are a real delight. You certainly are making great progress with your water colours I loved todays. Take care.

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thank you, Lorraine. ❤️

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  2. Great job on your watercolor drawing. Great idea to share the steps to draw a hedgehog!

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  3. "Mrs Tiggy-Winkle" is one of my PR favorites. It was one of 4 books in a little boxed set I received as a baby, and pretty well wore out as a child. I wish I had them now, but something tells me the five sibs that followed me didn't leave much of them left. It was these books that made me believe the animals talked, wore clothes and otherwise behaved just as people did - and sparked a lot of stories of my own in my imagination. I absolutely love your painting this month too - best one ever. All your practice is paying off, Cathy. The colors are lovely too. I don't know the size of your actual painting, but you should think about framing this and hanging it in your laundry room. That's what I'd do at least. It's too nice NOT to be seen regularly. PS - did you see Susan Branch's most recent post? She did an incredible job of it I think. Agreed with her, and very glad she took the initiative to write it. It couldn't have been easy, but it was so important. I left a comment for the first time since I heard her father had passed away. Have a wonderful weekend! 🍁

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    1. Thank you, Janet. ❤️ I'm going to put the paintings in a portfolio like a book. I'd rather have them all there together. Yes, I saw Susan Branch's post and left a comment agreeing that we need to come together, but it is still in moderation. Unfortunately, she stirred up a hornets nest and several people were very uncivil in the way they told her. It was the same on Twitter and the FOSB Facebook page! I feel those commenters proved her blog post right--the division in this country over the election is serious and unless we stop listening to what the news and social media is feeding us (some of which is not true even) and start respecting each other's different opinions, we can't work together to solve the problems. Instead these people said they were "done with" her, unfollowing her, etc. What was disheartening to me was to see the "girlfriends" taking snipes at each other! As my husband remarked, if Susan Branch's "girlfriends" can't even get along what hope is there for the rest of nation!

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    2. Gee, that's a shame about people quitting on Susan because of differing views. I truly believe the party to blame here is Trump. He's the factor that's so radically different. There have always been 2 sides to every election before, but when it was over, we got back to business as usual. But he encourages this childish behavior. He has stirred up anger & hatred in the fans at his rallies. Somehow they've got the idea they're entitled to a victory lap, to crow about the win. This has NEVER been the case before. Not even in 2000 when we had to wait 5 weeks to learn who'd won. And I think that's because until this year, everyone involved was a grownup. I don't see Trump as a mature adult. Honestly, as a former teacher, his behavior & his language sounds much more like about an 8 or 9-year old kid. But that's another issue entirely. Tell Ken he has nailed it - if Susan's Girlfriends can't get along, what the heck?? Have a great weekend.

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    3. Hi Janet.....I think YOU'VE nailed it on the head about what the difference has been this time--why both sides are angry--the ones he stirred up and the reaction from the other side. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

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  4. This is one of my Beatrix Potter stories! What a wonderful visit. Sarah x

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Sarah. ❤️

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  5. Another delightful post. Mrs Tiggywinkle is one of my favourites. I love your drawing and painting of Mrs Tiggywinkle. My Great Grandmother was a rather short, rotund laundress and I loosely associate Mrs Tiggywinkle with Ma for some reason. I'm sure Catbells was one of the walks highlighted in Julia Bradbury's "Wainwright's Walks" {TV series of walks based on the books of Alfred Wainwright} which I know you will enjoy if you can get to watch it.

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    1. Thank you, Deborah. ❤️ I glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for telling me about the TV series, "Wainwright's Walks." I looked and found them on YouTube. I will have to check it out.

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  6. What a charming post, Cathy. I'm glad we are taking our walks around Derwentwater with our wellies on as it is snowing there today. Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle is so hard working and one of my favorite characters of Beatrix Potter. I do love a hedgehog that does laundry. Your watercolor rendition is my favorite you have done, Cathy. Very nice--the iron is so real looking as well as Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle features. ♥

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    1. Thank you, Martha Ellen! ❤️ Yes, I saw that it snowed. It seems we left just in time yesterday!

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  7. Miss Tiggy Winkle has always impressed me. I wonder what clear starching is? Thanks for all your work to put this on your blog, and I enjoyed your sketches and the water color was great! So vivid! Those eyes ...

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    1. It's not work when I know people are enjoying it! Thank you! ❤️I found this about clear starching: "Good laundresses were expected to "clear-starch": preparing transparent starch mixtures and knowing how to use them. Clear-starching meant keeping delicate muslin and similar fabrics from being clogged with starch granules in the loose weave, and avoiding thickening caused by visible traces of starch clinging to the threads." http://www.oldandinteresting.com/laundry-starch-history.aspx

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    2. I thought that might be what it was, Makes sense but must have been complicated to do. Oh to have a good laundress in my house to do our laundry--not my strong suit. Thanks for doing the research. And have a happy Thanksgiving.

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    3. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too, Dotsie!

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  8. Fun post, and as always, informative as well. And I always enjoy the comments and replies. Now I know about 'clear-starch"!
    I'm sure your grands will enjoy your art more and more as you introduce them to Beatrix Potter.
    Love Mrs. Tiggy-winkle!

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    1. Thank you, Elaine! ❤️I'm learning a lot, too. If I ever go there I will know where to go and what not to miss.

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  9. Dearest Cathy,
    You always create such a happy place to come and escape and visit!!
    I so enjoyed this lovely post!! xxx ooo

    Sending lots of love and warmth and hoping that you are headed into a joyful December!!
    xxx ooo Linnie

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    1. Thank you, Linnie! I AM headed into a Joyful December! I hope yours will be as well. ❤️

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