Song of the Shirt
With fingers weary and worn,
With eyelids heavy and red,
A woman sat, in unwomanly rags,
Plying her needle and thread
Stitch! stitch! stitch!
In poverty, hunger, and dirt,
And still with a voice of dolorous pitch
She sang the "Song of the Shirt."
Poem by Thos Hood
Image: Beatrix Potter, from Illustrations for “The Tailor of Gloucester”, The Mice Sewing the Mayor’s Coat, c. 1902, pen and ink and watercolor on paper, 9.2 x 11.1 cm, Tate Gallery, London.
Busy day at work. Fingers nimble on the keyboard rather than with a needle and thread. Totally dissatisfying though. I'd much rather dabble in the domestic arts and read poetry than write official prose. I'm changing my area of work shortly so that may improve things. One can hope. I really need to get a better handle on work-life balance. A bit more discipline and organisation wouldn't go astray. A few menu plans. Early nights. More exercise. Reading of books. Playing games together. A few dates with the Strong Silent One.
The children are zooming through primary school and there are fresh challenges in having children from 6-10 years of age for a working mother I am finding. It's harder, by far, than having littlies in long, work-based day care which we had grown accustomed to. The school days are shorter days and there is after-school care to manage and school holidays to contend with. No cooked lunches. Homework and music practice put extra demands on every-one, as do the extra-curricular pursuits. This certainly is a year of adjustment for all of us. A slower, gentler time when items were hand-sewn sounds very attractive. Which is just as well, as there are plenty of those Guide badges waiting for me and my sewing basket.