Monday 1 June 2015

Couldn't resist!

I've mentioned our forays around the local flea market stalls before. It's pretty much a weekly occurrence and one where we never go with a shopping list - we simply buy the unusual and the irresistible. Never know what we'll come home with!

This week there was no way I could resist this book!

Published in 1911 it has practical advice on every page - not sure I'll ever need to know how to fold a pair of combinations but never say never!

I always knew there were good reasons for not spending too much time with housework but it's reassuring to see the thought reinforced in black and white.

And also good to know I can probably cope with household duties without a servant.

I rarely read books these days unless they relate to my work but I have to confess, this one has me enthralled and although it's a huge volume I shall devour it all! Be warned - no doubt I'll be quoting from it on a regular basis.

Back now to Chapter 2 which is all about the house, its contents, how to decorate the library and choose the essential piano.

Only just over a hundred years ago but a million miles away!
Bye for now, Linda


  1. Brings back memories of home economics at school and some badge I did at Girls Brigade. In Home Economics, first class, we were taught how to iron a tea towel, making especial note to press right into the corners(!), and at Girls Brigade we had to demonstrate how to fold a shirt. My education seemed to be 70 years out of date!

  2. Hi Cathy - ahh but do you still iron your tea towels I wonder? What's that saying about life being too short to..............?

    1. Actually I don't iron tea towels ….. because I have a house husband who does it for me!! He started doing most of the housework as he retired before me, and now I am also retired, I spend most of my time being a perpetual student. I just cook and shop - he does the rest!

  3. Oh, what a delight! My father was 7 in 1911; his baby sister (my aunt), 4. Their mother (my grandmother) was a farm wife, who (I'm told), plucked a dozen chickens for dinner on her wedding day (no servant(s)). And we think we have it rough! ;-) I remember as a girl learning how to iron a man's shirt -- so I could iron my step-father's white shirts -- I can still do this without thinking. However, I no longer iron my sheets, most pillow-cases, or tea towels...though the odd linen garment gets a press from time to time. Most of my ironing is on patchwork!

  4. Love, love, love those kinds of books. And yes..., I do still iron my tea towels and bed linens! (Friends and family have been known to scoff!)

    Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to future installments.

  5. I would love to have a copy of this book. Who is the author?

  6. Great find! I had an original Enquire Within Upon Everything book once, mid 1800's. Fabulous reads.

  7. Hi Debbie - There's a long list of contributors but the editor is Florence B Jack. You should be able to track it down with just the title I think and the cover is very distinctive.

  8. That book was such a great find! What was the recommended dress for women who did their own cleaning? That subject was introduced on p. 56, at the bottom of the first column: "To begin with, the woman who does her own work must dress suitably when performing her household duties . . ." (The photo doesn't show the rest of the sentence/paragraph?) Thanks!

  9. Hi Joanna - the advice continues at great length about what kind of overall should be worn to protect your good 'afternoon dress' whatever that might be! I think I'd better post the rest of the page next time I blog as you've got me back reading all kinds of gems.