Dulltown, UK: Today’s stick of rhubarb is the unusually straight one – I’ve been using it as a ruler to mark out the drawing for my next lino print.
It’s that book again!
‘What book is that Dave?’
Why, my battered and smelly old junk shop copy of The Daily Express Enquire Within from 1934 of course – the one with the nice emblem on the title page – it always reminds me of the sort of thing they’d have back then as a logo for the Olympic Games.
This book contains everything that a nice middle class family should need to know in order to enjoy their sophisticated and well-informed life in the Britain of the 1930s – I can’t recall seeing any reference to that lively Mr Hitler busy doing things somewhere offstage to the east though. Still, it does cover a wide variety of categories, it was the Google of its day! Each page is printed in two columns with usually three or four items in the each. Across the head of each page there is printed a proverb or a line of pithy wisdom for you to glance at and be enlightened by as you thumb through – I will include some of these items of pith with today’s selection:
Page 444. (He who serves well needs not to be afraid to ask his wages.)
Carriage Accidents.– It is safer, as a general rule, to keep your place than to jump out. Getting out of a gig over the back, provided you can hold on a little while and run, is safer than springing from the side. But it is best to keep your place, and hold fast. In accidents people act not so much from reason as from excitement; but good rules firmly impressed upon the mind, generally rise uppermost, even in the midst of fear.
Page 443. (Patience and perseverance accomplish wonders.)
Cautions for the Prevention of Accidents.
vii. Never quit a room leaving a poker in the fire.
xii. When benumbed with cold beware of sleeping out of doors; rub yourself, if you have it in your power, with snow, and do not hastily approach the fire.
xiii. Always air vaults, and damp and confined spaces, by letting them remain open some time before you enter, or by scattering powdered lime in them. When a lighted candle will not burn, animal life cannot exist; it is therefore an excellent caution to use this simple test before entering.
Page 224. (He is well paid that is well satisfied.)
Laws of Employer and Employed.
Agreements with menial servants need not be stamped; but contracts of a higher and special character should be.
Liveries.– It should be agreed that servants deliver these up on quitting service.
Illnesses.– If a servant, retained for a year, happens within the period of his service to fall sick, or to be hurt or lamed, or otherwise to become of infirm body by act of God, while doing his master’s business, the master cannot put such servant away, nor abate any part of his wages for such time, unless the servant agrees that he may do so.
Page 99. (Procure not friends in haste, nor break the ties of friendship needlessly.)
Hints on carving.
Hares should be placed with their heads to the left of the carver. Slices my be taken down the whole length of the back; the legs, which, next to the back, are considered the best eating may then be taken off, and the flesh divided from or served upon them, after the small bones have been parted from the thighs. The shoulders, which are not much esteemed, though sometimes liked by sportsmen, may be taken off by passing the knife between the joint and the trunk.