Moulders Lane

Category: Thoughts on Life

Something for the Tea-break

When trying to find a word last week to describe the delightful medley of Wodehouse reviews I’d discovered at The Aroma of Books, ‘gallumifray’ occurred to me. Unsure if I’d made this up or not, and unable to find it in Chambers, I ran a Google search and stumbled upon this endearingly bonkers site.

Devoted to the celebration and importance of Biscuits in daily life – did you know a survey had found that the varieties of biscuits on offer at business meetings can affect how the meeting goes?? or how many biscuits etiquette requires you to take, when offered with your cup of tea? Read the rest of this entry »

The Girl’s Own Wardrobe – dressing for summer in the inter-war period

After unearthing the previous article on Christmas Decorations during the inter-war period of the classic Wodehouse novels, I’ve been looking further through my copy of The Girl’s Own Annual for 1922/23. What strikes me is that many of the articles on How to Negotiate Life are just as relevant for us today, with many of the ideas we think of as new and excitingly contemporary disclosed as concepts with which our great-grandmothers were familiar.

I rather liked this article on concerns about fashion trends, the machinations of the fashion industry and how to get around post War (post Recession) straitened circumstances, which could have been written today, not 92 years ago. I suppose now we have the (option?) of buying cheap throw-away garments made in a country with un-regulated working conditions by people on pitifully low wages. Without wishing to go into ‘Spode mode’ on the subject of British manufacturing (the decline of Marks and Spencer as the bulwark of British made high quality basics is a whole other post!) we do seriously need to put more thought and effort into choosing items of clothing – as outlined in this delightful article.

Transcribed by myself; copyright The Lutterworth Press.

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Votes for Women! Gertrude Jekyll on the £20 Bank Note

I was going through some old newspapers to be thrown away when I came across a well-argued little article in the Gardening section, putting the case for Gertrude Jekyll as what the Bank of England rather engagingly describes as its new ‘character’ on the back of the next £20 bank note.

I came to gardening myself in the early nineties – my grandfather was a professional gardener, and my grandmother and mother both keen amateurs, so I had little chance earlier of my own bit of earth – and was strongly influenced by the Arts and Crafts revival of the period, spending hours in bookshops poring over the stunning photographs of Tony Lord and Andrew Lawson, studying the painterly techniques of Rosemary Verey and browsing facsimile editions, reissued by the Royal Horticultural Society, of works by Margery Fish and, of course, Gertrude Jekyll.

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The British Workman

I was sitting at my desk one morning, when a noise made me look up. A large pantechnicon had pulled up outside the un-occupied house next door, the name and details of a removals company professionally decorating its side. I pointed it out to my companion, who remarked that they must be taking the furniture away at last. ‘Just wait’, I said, and recounted the story of my own experience moving house, when I’d relocated with work and the firm had paid. ‘It’s absolutely marvellous how efficient these people are, they’ll be in and out in a jiffy; have that house completely cleared in no time.’

We waited.

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The Smoking Room

I recently found a rather battered, old paperback of P. G. Wodehouse short stories, held together by Sellotape, and as he is everywhere acclaimed as the master of the snappy sentence I thought I couldn’t do better than to read them and imbibe some tips on style.

One of the things I have always liked when reading writers of the early twentieth century is the throwaway snippet of social manners and mores you frequently come across, and in the story I have just finished the hero emerges at one point from the smoking room of the golf club.

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