Wednesday, 7 April 2010


We have a brand new seller to Frock Around The Clock at this weekend's Vintage Sunday at the Empire. Mary Cosgrove will be selling vintage cookery, sewing and knitting books dating from the 1920s to 1950s which I am sure will prove to be very popular.

I am of the generation who learnt Domestic Science at school as a compulsory subject - in fact it was my favourite subject and I won the school prize for this in my O Level year (yes, way before GCSEs). I learnt to sew and knit at my Mother's knee and I took over the role as household baker before I even hit double figures in age, but I never quite got the hang of crocheting in spite of my Granny's endless patience.

It is strange to me then that a lot of young people finish school now without learning these basic housekeeping skills, but finally it is official - It Is Hip To Be A Homemaker Again. Suddenly we are all signing up for dressmaking classes, going on cupcake-making courses and joining knitting groups.

The rewards of baking are many - ranging from self-satisfaction at achieving prowess in the kitchen, to delighting family and friends (sometimes the way to the heart is through the stomach - just ask any chocolate lover), and the fact that foodstuffs baked from scratch with wholesome ingredients are better than shop bought any day. And if you have experienced the aroma of a tray of muffins fresh from the oven as you step through the front door after a long day at school or the office you will know that it is one of the best smells in the world.

And it's not just us gals who are donning our pretty vintage aprons and whisking eggs, sifting flour, and picking up the needle and thread - the boys are getting in on the action too. And so they should. Despite my love for domesticity I don't believe that the kitchen is just the woman's domain. My nineteen year old son cooks dinner on a regular basis, helps me to make the Christmas puddings every year, and he does his own sewing jobs which is why I know that those old homecraft books are going to be very popular this Sunday. I hope there is one that will teach me how to master the art of crochet!

The next Vintage Sunday at the Empire takes place on Sunday 11th April at the Empire Music Hall, Botanic Avenue, Belfast from 12 Noon to 4.30pm, and admission costs £2. Be sure to arrive early so you don't miss the bargains!

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