I love books but since the Prime Weasel (ooh, sedition) put GST on everything except his eyebrow wax I can't afford them. I don't go to the library either because I have to give them back and that really hurts. So I made a bad mistake yesterday. I went looking for information in the place where time stands still, my bookcases. The only way to do this safely is to think where the particular book I want is located. Go straight to the shelf, do not look above, below, right or left. Do not think that's a bit dusty, I'll take it out and clean it. Don't pick out the one with the spine to the back and turn it around. It's been like that since the books were last moved and it hasn't come to any harm. Don't get curious about the book jammed in the corner, it's not hiding, it's asleep. Too late, I've crossed the time barrier and I'm gone, emerging hours later with a stack of books I want to read again to add to the pile I haven't read yet.
On the bottom shelf I found this, put out to celebrate 50 years of the Women's Weekly. I love the old fashions, love the 30s dance shoes with jewelled heels, love the dinky hats. Am amazed how Yves St. Laurent's clothes could still turn heads now. Stunning.
I loved these tips on etiquette from the 1930s.
When a man is presented to a lady he should not offer his hand. He should bow and smile. Two men may shake hands at discretion.
I'd love for this to come back into fashion so would men, they wouldn't have to let go of their beer. I must admit I'm a handshaker (it was good enough for Princess Di) because it's the only legit way to grab a strange man.
Don't be condescending when addressing a social inferior, or gushing if the position be reversed.
This is a hard one for women as men are our natural inferiors but I think we pull it off quite well. As for gushing, ladies never gush. Maybe a small delicate gush at a Colette Dinnigan number followed by a slight gasp at the price tag.
A lady should not bring her mouth down to her food - that is for horses to do. She should sit erect and bring the food to her mouth.
Another difficult call here. How one eats in a social situation and how one scarfs straight from the fridge at home wouldn't usually be an issue. Unless one forgot oneself and did a bit too much bringing to one's mouth of the Cab. Sav.
Then I came across this little gem from a Germaine Greer of the 30s.
"a magistrate observed that 75 percent of divorces were due to bad housekeeping."
Nonsense bridled Linda Littlejohn in a spirited and enlightening article.....
No single reason is the main reason for divorce....There are innumerable....The absolute lack of training by both parties in sexual life and its harmonies and disharmonies....the monotony of the daily toil, so often taken for granted....the strain on the tempers of many caused by economic stress....Our present legislation is also tending to encourage divorce, for in some cases we deny to married women the right to earn and in doing so we class marriage as a profession and to penalise....Marriage was never intended as a profession and to penalise women because they conform to conventions of society in their love-life is surely a strange reward for virtue.
What would she say today when women juggle three professions, wife, mother, worker or four if bedroom pole dancing is a profession. Some of our magistrates are still living back in the 1930s though.
I have to say it was my bad housekeeping that contributed to my divorce. If I had remembered to put the rat poison away, he'd have eaten the pie.