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The Spanish Fan
Fans became the ideal instrument of communication throughout an era when young ladies of good families were constantly guarded and escorted by their chaperon, so that they could have no intimate contact with the opposite sex before marriage and during a time where freedom of expression for women was totally restricted.
However as I am sure you all know love and passion will have its way and the forbidden fruit is always the most tempting, hence the language of fans became a form of intimate communication generally between admirers or lovers.
I'd like to give you here just a brief insight into the basics of fan communication:
1. To fan yourself rapidly means "I love you immensely"
2. To fan yourself slowly pausing now and again means that "you are married and you aren't interested". If you open and close your fan slowly it means the same.
3. Now then ...careful with this one.....to close your fan slowly means "YES". but if you open and close your fan quickly...sharpish like you mean "Watch it! I'm engaged "
4. To close your fan means "NO"
5. Here's another one you have to be pretty careful with...to drop your fan means "I belong to you"
6. If you lift your hair slightly with your fan it means "I'm thinking of you,I won't forget you"
7. If you cover your face with an open fan it means "Follow me when I leave".
8. If you hold an open fan with both hands it means "best if you forget me".
9. A half open fan over the lips means "you can kiss me"
10. To pass your fan from one hand to the other means " You're messing around with someone else"
and there are many many more.
I learnt some of these from my mother-in-law, the rest I read about.
She always had a fan in her bag and a different one for each occasion .... even during her last years she carried a fan with her. She taught me how to use a fan...which isn't complicated it's just a twist and flick of the wrist. I started to carry one in my bag years ago and continue to do so...it always comes in handy winter or summer and it travels well.
Fans in Spain other than being a decorative graceful item are still used frequently by all ages and always forms part of the regional dress here.
I'd say that fans are a very versatile instrument to have in your handbag not only as a cooling device but to keep the sun out of your eyes...it also entertains a noisy fidgety child and keep flies and mosquitoes at bay.
However don't think the language of fans has died out it has just evolved.
This is my own personal version of modern 2012 language of fans:
1. Fanning yourself rapidly in a hot suffocating restaurant means "switch the flipping air conditioning on" I assure you it works 99% of the time.
2. Holding up a closed fan above your head means "errr waiter ??? "
3. It can also mean " I'm over here dear"
4.Holding a closed fan and tapping it against the bottom of your chin means " hang on I'm thinking"
5.Fanning yourself erratically and fidgeting while in a queue means "come on I'm in a hurry"
6.Opening and shutting your fan quickly while holding it in both hands means "I'm bored..haven't you finished talking about football yet?"
there are more but I'd be telling, wouldn't I?
Fans can be quite cheap and some extremely expensive ones, especially ones hand painted and decorated on both sides and signed by the artist.
You can get a small handbag fan,a daily fan,a beach fan, a fan for men and one of my favourites, the large fan which is used at a bull fight, ( incidentally don't think for a minute I have been to a bullfight I am totally against it and luckily Sr P too).
You can also buy covers for your fan but I decided, inspired by all the crochet makes throughout blog land, to make my own.
I am not totally happy with it as it is a bit of a tight fit.
I plan to make another for one of my other fans and I'll make it a bit wider.
I've used Nº 5 perle cotton and a 1,50 hook and a bright pink transparent bead (which looks orangey in the photo) to hook the flap down. Its a very basic pattern made up as I went along in one piece...it could also be adapted to make pouches for glasses,ipods,mobile phones and many other things I'm sure.
Friday tomorrow folks...... so have a great weekend