When I was very young, my mother got very excited one evening when she discovered a cricket, sitting on our living room hearth in our ancient cottage home, ‘singing’ its little heart out. It is an old belief that such an occurrence will bring great good luck. Magical! It stayed with us for several evenings and finally disappeared, never to return.
This led to my parent reading certain passages aloud from the story entitled ‘The Cricket On The Hearth’ by Charles Dickens… but it is only during this past few days that I felt prompted to take down one of my volumes of Dickens and read the whole of that short story all the way through… and there, to my utter amazement, I found a description of my younger family working life… something so common and familiar to us all… it took my breath away!
For in the story, there is a toy maker called Caleb Plummer who lives with his blind daughter, Bertha. Their living room is also their workshop which is filled with every kind of wooden toy in every stage of completion imaginable… among others, horses, animated toys, musical instruments, dolls and doll’s houses… and it is this last which held me spell bound!
In view if my recently rekindled interest and involvement in doll’s houses and doll’s house miniatures through the current children’s story I am writing, this has taken on an even greater relevance than when I first made these observations on Facebook six years ago.
For in my younger years, and for at least two decades of my adult life, my family and I were