Moving house (ie blog)

Dear All

I am moving to Blogspot.

This sounds kind of obvious now but I’ve realised that Tumblr isn’t ideally suited for blogs where large blocks of text is involved, mainly for formatting reasons but also because of the archiving system and the fact that when the ‘Read More’ button doesn’t work everyone’s dashboards get spammed. So I am moving to the more big-blocks-of-text-friendly blogspot format.

I won’t attempt to move everything I’ve already posted as with my limited HTML skills that would totally be asking for trouble. So I will just post this, indicating the move so if people want to read newer entries they know where to go.

So. It will be exactly the same, but more dashboard friendly and looking at archived posts won’t be as irritating.

24 October, 1885 - Answers to Correspondents - Miscellaneous

A Texan has a question today. Oh, and I Googled ‘lunar caustic’. It’s silver nitrate.

ROMP (Texas):- When suffering from the bite of a snake or of a mad dog, tie a band or cord tightly round the arm or leg above the wound, to prevent the entrance of the poison into the system; then wash thoroughly with salt and water to make it bleed well, and cauterise with lunar caustic, or give a touch with a hot iron. Lastly, administer a dose of raw spirits at once. As a medicine - and especially in a case of life or death - even a teetotaler must submit to the medical treatment essential to the case. Whiskey is considered the best if to be had at the moment. Your letter did you credit. We regret that it was so long mislaid.

3 October, 1885 - ‘How to Lay the Breakfast and the Luncheon Tables’ by Mary Pocock - Part One

You’d think it would be simple: tablecloth, plates, silverware, food, maybe a few flowers. Er, no. This article takes up an entire page.  Apologies to everyone whose dashboard this will show up on. Tumblr’s ‘Read More’ tag is not working.

In many houses sufficient attention is not paid to the appearance of the breakfast table. It should always look bright and cheerful, for I have remarked that the generality of people are brighter or more depressed in the morning than at any other time of the day. If the breakfasters are bright and cheerful, surely the table should be in accord with their feelings; if on the contrary they are dull and lack morning appetites, as is frequently the case with those who are not in very good health, there is even a greater reason why the table should look bright and fresh and the breakfast be appetising. Tables should invariably be laid in good time - that is to say, that everything needed in the way of plate, china, and glass should be on the table quite five minutes before the meal is served. A table hurriedly laid is sure to be untidily arranged, or things will be forgotten that ought to be at hand.

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24 December, 1887 - Answers to Correspondents - Housekeeping

 ZENOBIA. - Half a pound of butter weekly for each person in the house. We never heard of an allowance of bread, but we quite agree with you that much need for reform exists in nearly every house in this matter of taking in bread. So much is wasted and, as a general thing, far too much bread is taken in from the baker for the whole household. A good housekeeper should visit the receptacle for bread every day and make up her mind as to what is needed and what is to be done with the remains of the bread there. It may be used for soup and puddings, or grated.

A LADY’S MAID. - We are exceedingly glad to hear that instruction obtained through us enabled you to rise to the position of lady’s-maid. We thank you for the recipe you have kindly given us, and insert it for our readers’ benefit. 2. The method for cleansing and blacking a hat - first, procure a jug, jar or bottle, the end of which fits into the crown of the hat to be cleaned; and when so placed scrub with a soft nail brush, using a mild solution of chloride of lime and water - a teaspoonful of the former to half a pint of the later. Should the hat be much sunburnt or soiled use a little stronger solution. Be careful not to damp the hat too much. When the cleaning is thoroughly done, turn the hat crown downwards upon a clean cloth (the jar still inside it) to dry. This process should be slowly effected, and away from the fire, so that it should not become warped.

23 October, 1880 - ‘My District and How I Visit It’ by Dora Hope - Part 4

(For the other sections of this story, click the first tag in the list below. Today, you have gained your Poor Person’s confidence. Now it’s time to strike and achieve what this has all really been about. Then some tips about teaching “them” the basics of cooking and mending.)

The best way to begin is through the children. The parents are usually thankful to be rid of them on Sunday afternoons, and will despatch them to the Sunday-school with alacrity. If they are interested on the first afternoon there need be no moe anxiety on their score; they are pretty sure to come regularly. The parents themselve swill have plenty of excuses for not going anywhere on Sunday morning; they are both so tired after the week’s work that they like an extra hour or two’s sleep, and then there is the dinner to cook. These I consider reasonable excuses, and I think they may be forgiven if they go for a walk out into the country in the evenings. But they will be very  hardpressed to find a valid reason against attending an hour’s service in the afternoon, and that is the object I try to attain at first.

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23 October, 1880 - ‘My District and How I Visit It’ by Dora Hope - Part 3

For the other parts of this story, click the first tag in the list below. Today, visiting at the workplace, to talk at working women whilst they’re trying to get things done. I feel uncomfortable about this. Mrs Hope’s intentions are clearly well meant, but if I was a laundress trying to get through my day I’m not sure how well I’d like a do-gooder reading impoving tracts at me while I went at it.)

I found that the same feeling, an objection to being hindered over the work, prevented my entrance at a laundry, which I was anxious above all to visit. I had seen enough of the lives of the washerwomen to know what a hard and trying one it is. During the London season many of the good hands work from seven in the morning till nine at night, or even later, standing in the hot steam the whole time. Is it a wonder that the  majority of them turn to drink, to give them stimulus for their work? I know of no class of people who work harder, or under circumstances more injurious to their health.

I had heard this from a city missionary, so one of my first visits was to the laundry that was in my district. On asking to be allowed to come in and talk to the women, the mistress replied rather shortly that she paid her women such high wages that she couldn’t afford to let them waste their time talking. With that she closed the door in my face, and I was left disconsolate on the doorstep. I was not to be quite so easily beaten, though, and called next on a Monday, when I knew she could not be at work, and would perhaps spare me two minutes for conversation. I told her what I wanted, asking permission to read aloud to the women, promising that if I saw one leave off work to listen I would instantly stop too.

She next urged as excuse that they did not work on Mondays except at the busiest times. I said I would come any day she liked best, so it was finally fixed that I should go on Wednesday mornings, and read in the ironing rooms. She told me it was no use attempting it in the washing rooms; this I found to be the case, as the noise of boilers and mangles drowned all other sounds and the steam was so dense that I could not see my books. I had to be content with a word or two to each washer separately. My visits to the ironing rooms were most successful. The mistress could never complain of the work being neglected, and the women themselves always welcomed me heartily, frequently asking me to visit them at their own homes.

As soon as one has a tolerably sure footing in a family, having prepared the way by reading a few verses of Scripture on previous visits, and pointing out the duty of “assembling ourselves together to worship” it is time to broach the subject of attending a place of worship regularly.

(Dun dun DUNH!!)

More fun with Stat Counter

Apologies to the person who came to this blog by googling the phrase “WHEN DOES BROTH BECOME TEA”. I can’t tell you that. You did learn how to cook for sick people, though.

23 October, 1880 - ‘My District and How I Visit It’ by Dora Hope - Part 2

(New tumblr layout, wtf? Anyway, moving on. For the other parts of this story, click the first tag in the list below. What do you do when your target expresses no interest in accepting your charity? Wait until they leave the door open by mistake and walk right in, of course. Also, how to make a linseed poultice)

There was one room in my district to which I had long wished in vain to gain admittance. It was over a stable, and whenever I knocked at the front door a head would be popped out at the window and a voice would say, very decidedly “Not today, thank you” as though I were the baker. Now, in many, nay, most cases where one is refused admission to a room it is because the inmates have an objection to visits from anyone whom they think likely to talk to them about religion or teetoalism. Sometimes, however, it is really inconvenient to them for you to go in. If the woman be at work, she feels obliged to leave off as long as her visitor remains, and when we remember that time to her means money, we cannot wonder that we are not welcomed cordially.

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23 October, 1880 - ‘My District and How I Visit It’ by Dora Hope - Part 1

In Which We Encourage Infants to Talk to Strangers

Or to be less flip, In Which We Learn The Correct Method of Helping Those Less Fortunate Than Ourselves.

Actually, this is a very interesting article. Mrs Hope narrates her experiences as a renegade do-gooder. Given how many Answers to Correspondents are clearly responses to questions from girls as to how they can best help those less fortunate than themselves, it was probably pretty useful.

This section begins with an account of how not to go about it. Hint: the working class are people too.  We then move onto what day of the week is best to visit, the phenomenon of the latchkey child, how to help the poor with banking, and the art of practical charity.

In these few remarks about my work amongst the poor it must be premised that they do not apply to those towns and parishes of which the visiting is organised, mapped out, and superintended by clergymen. The visitor in such happy cases knows exactly what she has to do, and does it, and applies to the superintendent if she wants advice or help.

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23 October, 1880 - ‘Two American Heroines’ by J.E. Runtz Rees

In which a couple of American (or possibly Canadian, same difference to the G.O.P.) girls totally rescue a couple of young men from drowning in the St. Lawrence River.

The name of Darling is already famous in the annals of heroism. As long as English men and women value the courage which outweighs the thought of self, it always must be reverenced by them. In our own time two girls of the same name dwelling upon the Canadian shore have proved themselves not unworthy namesakes of the heroic Grace.

Upon the 5th of Decembe, 1879, Maggie and Jessie Darling were quietly occupied in their father’s house at Lansdowne, Ontario, when a cry of alarm reached their ears. Starting up from their work, they rushed to the window which overlooked the river St. Lawrence, and a terrible sight met their gaze. Robert and Alexander Carnegie, in the full enjoyment of a day upon the river, found themselves face to face with death by the sudden upsetting of their boat, to which as it floated upside-down they were clinging with the energy of despair. Happily for them their agonized cry for help reached ears open to the dangers and sufferings of others. Without a thought of themselves, Maggie and Jessie hastened to the shore, where the light skiff in which their father journeyed up and down the St Lawrence was moored.

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23 October, 1880 - ‘Chilblains’ by ‘Medicus’

Like rickets, consumption and biliousness, one of those olden-daysie-sounding complaints I didn’t really know what it was. Now I do. Thanks, Medicus! Also, we’ve managed to come this far in a 19th century magazine without anyone prescribing cod liver oil for a complaint. The good fortune ends here.

The very word “chilblain” seems a curious one, but full of very disagreeable meaning to many, especially in the winter and spring months. It is derived from two Saxon words, namely cele signifying “cold” and blegen, an “ulcer” or “sore”. In simple language, a chilblain, whether on the hands or feet, is nothing else save a mitigated form of frost bite. The evil effects of the cold are not felt, until what medical men and surgeons term reaction has taken place, that is, until the blood which has been dispelled by the chill returns to the skin, and returns to it with sufficient force to cause a certain degree of inflammation. The parts so inflamed - probably some part of the hands, or a toe or heel - will be found red and swollen, and most disagreeable itching and tingling will be felt, quite sufficient, in many cases, to entirely banish sleep. After a time the chilblain assumes a bluish hue, and children once attacked are very liable to be so again.

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23 October, 1880 - ‘How the Young Should Treat the Old’ by James Mason

Once more a reassurance that things haven’t changed very much. The main thing I’ll be taking from this article though, is the smackdown “Such is human nature, after it’s parted company with common sense and propriety.” *snerk*

The other day when riding in an omnibus I heard a young girl snub - positively snub - her mother. THis set me thinking, and I there and then determined, girls, to write a paper on the relation which all of you bear to those who are grown up, and on the respect and obedience which the young owe ot the old.

A word is enough to the wise, so I am sure you will not need to be told twice to reverence your parents and honour the aged. There are duties springing from the generous impulses of every kind heart. Anyone who fails to put them in practice will be no pattern in other virtues: you will never find her generous to the poor, ready to aid the weak, or compassionate to people in misfortune.

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9, October, 1880 - Answers to Correspondents - Miscellaneous

Or: “I Wish They Printed the Questions Too”.

ANNE. - We hope that your question on the supposed privileges of ladies during leap year was only pout to us in fun. No girl, having any self respect, would do such a thing.

ANXIETY. - Such a dress would be most unsuitable for wearing at a wedding.

A YOUNG HORSEWOMAN. - is referred to the answer given to “Lorelei”. [Not printed this month.] She ought to consult her mother or guardian as to the propriety of riding after hounds under the guardianship of a gentleman. Much depends on who he is, and if suitable, whether he never leaves her side.

LILLIE MORE. - We feel very much the enormous responsibility that you have placed upon us in asking us to advise you on entering the profession to which you refer. But we dare not to other than counsel you to abandon all ideas of thus engaging yourself. Believe us you are not alone in your particular aspirations. Most girls above the ordinary abilities have the same unhealthy craving at some particular period of their life, but when they grow older and see how incongruous is that position to a good honest girl’s they are filled with a life-long thankfulness that they did not join the profession. In addition to great abilities, unusual strength and personal attractions, a girl would need the steadfastness of a more than Job or St Paul to come out unscathed from the fiery ordeal. We happen to know many things of the life and character of the lady you mention which would lead you to either despise or pity her very much.

9 October, 1880 - ‘Puddings’ by Phillis Browne - Part 2

For the first part of this article, click the tag ‘Phillis Browne’ at the bottom of the page.

When bread crumbs are wanted for puddings, they should be made by rubbing stale bread through a wire sieve. Sometimes it is considered desirable, for economical reasons, to use stale crusts of bread. When this is the case, the bread should be scalded with boiling milk or water, and afterwards drained thoroughly and beaten up with a fork.

Sugar should always be sparingly used in making puddings, especially boiled ones. The reason for this is, that the sugar becomes liquid when cooked, and this may make the mixture too thin.

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9 October, 1880 - ‘Puddings’ by Phillis Browne - Part 1

Puddings are by many supposed to belong especially to children and young people, but there are to be found here and there in the world “grown ups” who say that they too are very fond of them. By this they mean that they are partial to particular puddings that have taken their fancy. There is pudding and there is pudding; and we may enjoy one kind and be very decidedly indifferent to another kind, and puttings are of all sorts.

It would be a very disgraceful thing if, after all the talk we have had together about cookery, the girls belonging to our cooking class were not able to make puddings. I propose, therefore, that we give a little attention to the subject, and discuss the general principles connected with their concoction.

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