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the ‘perfect’ tea towel

May 2, 2013

Yesterday I met with dramaturg Ola Animashawun to discuss the second draft of my new play ‘A Ploughed Heart’. We discussed what each of the characters wants and different methods of redrafting – we also discussed Hennell’s ‘Enquiry Concerning the Origin of Christianity’, personal pilgrimages (in this case a Japanese schoolteacher’s own search for George), and Phrenology. Which brings me to the tea towel (below) which I purchased a few weeks back in one of my favourite shops Liberty


I have an eclectic collection of tea towels (all of which are used). It’s something I’ve definitely picked up from the women in my family. My grandmother always brought a tea towel back with her from the many day trips she went on and over her 92 years amassed quite a large collection. While my mother spent years endlessly searching for the ‘perfect’ tea towel – it had to wear well, wash and iron easily and most importantly absorb water. They all took housekeeping very seriously, in fact the only time I can remember my older sister Pam ever complementing me was on the cleanliness of my house (she actually told my mother not me): ‘our vanessa’s house shines’. I’d like to point out that the compliment coincided with me being out of work for a few months. However, the most celebrated housekeeper in the family was great auntie Nellie who became only the fourth person to receive the Benemerenti Papal medal in 200 years for her work (unpaid for 16 years) as housekeeper to Father Charles Wall. I know what some of you are thinking but she was nothing like Mrs Doyle of Father Ted fame.

After our meeting I washed the mugs and tea plates (my compliments to Allesley Village Country Market WI for the sponge cake) and reached for my latest tea towel – I know they would have all approved.


From → A Ploughed Heart

  1. Mark permalink

    My favourite tea towels are the one I bought Vanessa from the shop at the Comedie Francaise in Paris which says on it ‘a table mes amis’, and the Dolly Parton towel that has a picture of her and title ‘Jolene’ on it!

  2. That Dolly Parton one has faded very quickly…

  3. John Burton permalink

    Well, yes, pneumatic bliss rarely lasts! And leaves us all deflated.

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