When ‘The Sound of Music’ premiered in 1959 it created an’ all things alpine’ craze which lasted into the mid 60s. That was the start of yodel-based music, swiss fondue love, swiss kitsch and dirndl fashion.
My Grandparents travelled extensively through Europe during those years. They had both worked hard and this had always been their great retirement dream. My Grandmother had run her own business for many years, and my GF was high up in the railways.
They would go away for 6 months, come home and then be off on some exciting new adventure again.
With all the treasures they collected from their travels their house was fascinating. My Grandmother had great taste and great style. She was also quite the magpie, and as they had a huge house … it meant they had plenty of spaces to fill up, and plenty of places for 10 curious grandchildren to explore and hunt for shiny things.
Nana stuffed things everywhere – in drawers, in cupboards, in vases .. old postcards, travel labels, vintage embroidery trims, travel brochures, photographs, ornaments… it was exciting :o)
Swiss Kitsch . Alpine Style . Happy Heidi
Every trip she went on she brought each of us 6 granddaughters back a doll from that country (in it’s traditional costume) – remember those?.. and a traditional silver charm to add to our charm bracelets. We all had different charms but I remember a few of my favorites being a windmill that could spin around, a fish that could wriggle and a tiny cow bell.
I fondly remember my Grand dad’s collection of luggage and hotel labels that he had stuck underneath one of the coffee tables. I would often get under there staring up at them, dreaming of all the places they had been to.
Once they brought back a huge carved wooden cuckoo clock. I remember I used to wait patiently for the chime and the little bird to come out. I also remember – not so fondly.. how its loud ticking noise would keep me up at night.
My GM’s favorite song was ‘Edelweiss’ from The Sound of Music. All 10 of us grandchildren specially learnt the words, dressed up and sung it to Nana for one of her birthdays..
When my grandparents did both die it was like the end of an era. I vividly remember thinking that at the time.. and it made me sad. They were both born in 1910 and died in their 90’s.
Their children (my Aunties and Uncles) cleared out all their treasures and all the memories. I remember the big rubbish skip that was placed outside their house, and I remember them splitting up the valuable items between themselves.
I kind of wish I had got to keep some of the little things.. those non valuable things that were stuffed in Nana’s cupboards and were special just to me.
Love and baby steps,