Thursday, January 14, 2010


Here's just a quick thought... these very funny tea towels were featured on The Bottom of the Ironing Basket, from all tea towels. Just about ready for a dinner party tonight and the sentiment feels perfect.

I'd love to order some of these but, here in Phuket the maid/housekeepers are from a culture that doesn't seem to understand the 'cycle of cloths' and a great tea towel like this has a very short life.  I was raised in the fifties and early sixties, my mother and grandmother lodged in my 'cleaning psyche' the use of various worn out pieces of clothing and towels etc that make excellent cleaning tools. In turn you would have your linen tea towels forever, and they were perfect for shining your crystal and drying your silver as they became softer more absorbent and just nicely faded. This sequence of training of course was coming from their own mother's teachings learned during the great depression and war years. Women of this era were great recyclers before the term ever was used.

Underwear usually, 100% cotton is soft and gentle on your mahogany with lemon oil, threadbare towels are great for cleaning silver etc., when the cloth was on it's very last legs it would go to the men for cleaning bikes, lawn mowers etc. then it was finally disposed of.

Well after ten years here, I just about given up on ever having proper tea towels. Finding a maid cleaning the loo with your favorite tea towel (when you only have 2 left) can reduce one to tears or  a screeching fit according to your hormone level of the moment. Here is what most of mine look like, new or old, this is a good one, no horrible stains in addition to holes. I have two brand new ones hidden away in my dresser, rather like good lingerie, a gift from a very thoughtful friend. I think they may not see the light of day until I live in another country. My darling daughter #3 thinks I am quite insane, of course her good cooking knife is hidden when she is away as my husband treats knives, as the maid does tea towels but that's another story.

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