After 2 hours of hard grafting Katrina was alarmed when she caught sight of her hands. They looked hideous. Her skin was dryer than ever, cracked and on the verge of bleeding. It looked very much like the skin condition that we’d define nowadays as eczema. Katrina brushed off the seriousness of it and put their condition down to the fact that she was working with a brand new type of fabric. She had an allergic reaction to an unusual type of dye before, which had dried her skin completely. That was nothing compared to this.
She walked upstairs and rubbed a soothing cream upon her hands which immediately soaked up the moisture as if, they were completely dehydrated. In her top draw were a pair of white cotton gloves which she put on. The work remaining was not so detailed and she could probably manage for a while with gloved hands. The last thing she wanted was to get droplets of blood upon the pure white gown. Perhaps it was the soap the travelers had washed the material in? She thought. It may have been something foreign and unusual.
Katrina decided to pay a visit to see the traveler to inquire. The woman was there and had her long shiny black hair twisted into a jet black plait. There were new piles of the most unusual colours of material. She gazed up recognising Katrina’s face and smiled.
“Hello” Katrina began. “I’m here to inquire about some material I purchased from you the other day. It seems that my skin is effected by it.”
The woman looked puzzled and shook her head so that her large hooped earrings jangled like sleigh bells. “It’s just cloth. It should have no effect at all.” She put heavy emphasis on the last two words.
Getting information from this woman was as much use as trying to draw blood from a stone.
“And when you said I’d pay what did you mean?” she continued rather abruptly.
“Well the material was free yes, but if the pair that are due to get married aren’t suitably matched then you pay.” The woman still wasn’t making herself very clear. “Just keep wearing gloves from now on. Your skin is sensitive. That is my piece of advice to you, my family didn’t call me Zsofika, Hungarian for wise for nothing . Good day!”
Katrina left the stall none the wiser, except to the fact that the traveler was called Zsofika and she was Hungarian. Not exactly vital information. She would have liked to have discovered more background history, how did they make the material and what from? ‘What does she mean I pay? In cash or something else?’ Katrina thought, now she was more puzzled than ever.
At long last the dress was beginning to take real shape and Katrina could in vision Isabella in the dress in her mind. The labour time had taken her a little longer than she had once originally hoped, as the cotton gloves meant that her fingers weren’t as nimble and quick. The dress looked lacy and beautiful. Isabella was going to look like a queen.
She received a chirpy un-announced visit from Isabella. It was just as well .Katrina needed to ask her a few questions regarding the style of the dress.
“Hello!” Isabella beamed. “I was just popping in to see how you were getting on!”
Katrina smiled politely. “It’s lovely to see you. It’s lucky you came in really as I was wanting to ask you some more questions about how you’d like the dress.”
Isabella thought for the moment. “Well I’d love full sleeves of course. But I was wondering whether it would be odd to add a piece of colour, for example a coloured sash? Just to make it a little unusual. It wouldn’t look to fussy would it? What do you think?”
Katrina thought “Well of course it would depend on the colour, but no I think that would be pretty”
“And I just love how you’ve done the skirt, fairly straight and flowing.”
Isabella caught sight of Katrina’s parched hands. “Oh my goodness your poor hands ! What on earth happened!”
Katrina paused. “Oh I’ve been working quite hard and washing my hands frequently. It wouldn’t do to get your beautiful dress dirty.”
Isabella nodded. “Well I hope they get better soon. I’m so excited about the wedding now”, she beamed. “Everything is starting to get in order. We’re going to have the service in the church. It’s just a small affair but I’d love so much for you to be there!”
Katrina was very flattered and paused.
“Please! “ Isabella continued. She sounded so enthusiastic. “I simply have to have the woman there who made my dress!”
To be continued…..