Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Better Home Management?

I've been finding I haven't enough time to fit in everything I want to do so decided to look at some of my Home Management books for some tips. I know a few months ago one of the magazines had an article about such books and I made a mental note to look at mine ...

As ever these have been picked up for pennies at the car boot - I was drawn to this one with its wonderful adverts at the beginning and end of the book. Love the way these ads set the books in their own time frame.

I remember my mum's mangle being kept in a cupboard at the bottom of the washer and being intrigued as to the way it worked - to the extent that I still carry the scar from testing it by putting my finger into it...

Not sure about this being a safe way of drying your washing!

Time to fly round the house on your broomstick?

This book gives great illustrations of how to design your rooms, buy furniture and cope with your movable gas (yes gas) washing machine which you trundle across the kitchen to the sink...

This scruffy looking edition is great fun giving lots of useful information. This must be the one which inspired the magazine title " First kill your turtle" as yes,it says that turtle soup must be made from freshly killed turtles.

Great info re bed bugs which can live for a year without food and travel great distances. It suggests using a blow lamp against them! Make your own fly papers by smearing stiff paper with treacle - no advise re the resulting influx of wasps.

This one reminded me of one of the two Fat Ladies who often said that recipes used to be called receipts. This book is proof giving recipes for delicacies such as potted head, dumb cake (for Christmas eve apparently) and roast cygnet (which I thought was illegal)


This picture shows the sort of delight you might find as you flick through - a long cherished recipe tucked into the pages which has probably been hidden for years.

Mrs Beeton was a 20p find and I intend using it as the basis of my future housekeeping. "A mistress can assist her servant in her work, and lighten it for her, without having to perform offices uncongenial and distasteful to a woman of education and refinement". Oh how I yearn not to have to perform offices uncongenial and distasteful!

Mrs B argues with herself as to the best time to start spring cleaning and urges that it should be undertaken after the last fire of winter on March 25th. But then again in "these more degenerate days" many don't begin to turn the house "out of the windows" until May (and that written a hundred years ago!). The rules were incredibly strict and each household seemed to need at least a cook and a housemaid. Mine certainly needs both. Along with a gardener and an odd job man.

So just to prick your consciences - have you cleaned your looking glass lately?

Simply sponge the surface with equal parts of gin and water, dust with powder blue and rub off with an old silk handkerchief.

Can somebody pass me the gin please?

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Taste and Smile

I don't think I showed you these sugar holders that I picked up over the winter. I suspect they were produced in the 60s or 70s.

Yesterday was the first day of Niobe's hols so we had an "us day". This usually involves Niobe making a cake and me clearing up after her. No change there then. The sugar packaging made me look at my containers and note a certain simialarity of style...

Turned it round and noticed the command on the back

And so we shall!

We'll skate over the things that went wrong: - the fact that by insisting we went to the wool shop before we went to the river and by having to do a detour to pick the petrol I had forgotten (don't you just hate when that happens - that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach as your realise you have the wrong shoes on for walking anywhere to get help) I made us miss the pub lunch we had built ourselves up to...

Fortunately I had with me a bowl of strawberries and the picnic blanket so we lazed by the river under a cloudless blue sky... (as I tested her on her driving theory - maybe I should have left it at the dot, dot, dot!)

Have a great weekend!


Sunday, 3 April 2011

Serious Booting Time is Back!

The car boot has been light on finds of late but on Sunday I struck lucky. It started with this Ladybird book which had lost its cover - although it looked uninspiring something made me look inside where I found pictures and a story which I hadn't thought about for years.

I must have read this in about 1963 -does anyone else remember it? I loved the illustrations then and once I'd seen one of the pictures the others came flooding back. Isn't it funny what triggers memory? A simple image buried for years was enough to take me back to my regular seat in the armchair curled up with a book and an apple - simple days!

Loving these vintage curtains - 3 of them. Irises and roses on a crimson background... not barkcloth this time but probably 50s.

I'm a sucker for black, white and red 50s ceramics too so this tureen came home with me ...

as did the Coronation and jubilee mugs - both pre war.

Also some bits of haberdashery including a bunch of crochet hooks which will be great for my crochet class tonight...

and some vintage advertising cards.I'll have to do a separate post about them! They appear to have been used routinely to advertise all manner of things and I was amazed to find these Ross fish finger cards!Lately I've picked up all sorts of these advertising cards - from fish fingers to batteries to stockings!


The little habd painted jug had to come home

and then I spotted a table groaning with Beryl ware. There was no way I could carry it all so I had to satisfy myself with a tureen and a couple of other bits

but my favourite finds were these delightful boats seen here ridng the crest of a cheap as chips Afghan!

Hope the thrifting gods have been good to you too!

Friday, 1 April 2011

Foolish ways

Text received from Niobe today " There's something wrong with UCAS - I just got an e-mail and its saying my Exeter uni applications have been unsuccesful! I don't understand. What am I going to do?" I immediately switched into Mum role and phoned (getting her voicemail) ladling out advice and sympathy. I then sat at my desk wondering how I was going to deal with the inevitable fallout from this situation. 5 Minutes later text received - April fool! Imagine my response! Immediate revenge was sought and my young colleague texted her saying "Is your Mum ok - she's just run out of the office very distressed? I'm worried about her". Response received "aaaaggghh - it was an April fool joke!" Turned out this all took place in a RE lesson and Niobe was almost in tears because she thought she'd upset me as I had supposedly run out of the office!' (Sounds as if her school has been like Waterloo Road today - in joke for those who watch it!) That'll teach her!!