I am staying with my wonderful Aunt Kate in Nottingham. She's in her early eighties, but you'd never believe it. I arrived last night, imagining a cosy chat and a glass of wine after a very busy day. But far from the peace and quiet I'd imagined, I was completely taken aback to find her kitchen packed with people! There were ten women sat around the table nursing various bevarages about to tuck into homemade lasagne! My Aunt started a charity called Muzika Romania many years ago working in the orphanages there, and the ladies(of all ages) were in Nottingham for a meeting to plan the charity's next project. I tried to persuade them to go on camera, but frankly, we were all too tired. Many of them professed to an interest in sewing, knitting, crochet and the like. One in particular said that as a younger woman, she'd made all her own clothes, as well as her childrens' - but that it was simply cheaper nowadays to buy everything. Another thought the new Make Do And Mend was indeed just a fashion, and that it probably wouldn't last. Lots of them bought clothes in charity shops, and hated big high-street chains largely because everyone ends up looking the same. There were also concerns about ethical issues and the manufacture of cheap clothing. My Aunt Kate's father used to work in the lace industry in Nottingham and she has a fabulous photograph of herself dressed in a pale blue lace dress - modelling for the company in the 1950's! I'll see if I can persuade her to let me put the photo on my blog...she looks beautiful!