Enquire Within (14). A delicate hand is one of the chief points of beauty…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s existential angst is centred around the sound of the word cracknel.

What’s that fusty smell Dave… is it you?
No no, it’s just that old junk shop book lying there on the table; it’s The Daily Express Enquire Within from 1934 – after all these years, no wonder it’s a little bit whiffy!
See, it’s a pretty drab cloth-covered volume, a dirty red with faded black lettering. The title page is more interesting though, it has a stylish globe emblem on it. ‘Globe emblem’ those words do go together well don’t they? Globe emblem, globe emblem…

DSCN4009This is a compendium of advice, wisdom, and useful information for any nice middle class family living in Britain in the 1930s. Shall we dip in and see what takes our fancy dear reader? We will also glance at the proverbs and quotations which run across the tops of all the pages too.

Page 399. (We increase our wealth when we lessen our desires.)
Precautions in Cases of Fire.
The following precautions should be impressed upon the memory of all our readers.
iii. A solution of pearlash in water, thrown upon a fire, extinguishes it instantly. The proportion is a quarter of a pound, dissolved in some hot water, and then poured into a bucket of common water.

Page 108. (Bottles of brandy are followed by bottles of physic.)
Oyster Ketchup. – Take some fresh oysters; wash them in their own liquor, strain it, pound them in a marble mortar; to a pint of oysters add a pint of sherry; boil them up and add an ounce of salt, two teaspoonfuls of pounded mace, and one of cayenne; let it just boil up again, skim it and rub it through a sieve; when cold, bottle it, cork well and it seal down.

Page 405. (Desperate cuts must have desperate cures.)
Lavender Water. – Essence of musk, four drachms; essence of ambergris, four drachms; oil of cinnamon, ten drops; English lavender, six drachms; oil of geranium, two drachms; spirit of wine, twenty ounces. To be all mixed together.

Page 437. (He that plays with fire may be burnt.)
To Whiten the Nails. – Diluted sulphuric acid, two drachms; tincture of myrrh, one drachm; spring water, four ounces: mix. First cleanse with white soap, and then dip the fingers into the mixture, A delicate hand is one of the chief points of beauty, and these applications are really effective.

Page 13, (Peace hath her victories no less renowned than war.)
Names and Situations of the Various Joints.
ii. Scottish Mode of Division. – This gives a greater variety of pieces for boiling. The names of the pieces in the Scottish plan, not found in the English, are the hough, or shin; the nineholes, or the piece lying between the brisket and the shoulder; the thick and thin runner, taken from the rib and chuck pieces from the English plan; the shoulder layer, the English shoulder, but cut differently; the spare rib or fore-eye, the sticking piece, &c.

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
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6 Responses to Enquire Within (14). A delicate hand is one of the chief points of beauty…

  1. I like the fire precaution one, but I’m curious as to what a bucket of UNcommon water would be like, as opposed to the “common water” they suggest using. And yes, the Scots re renown for variety in their meat division. A little goes a long way 😀

    • Dave Whatt says:

      Yes, indeed – “common water” what a strange phrase!…
      My favourite division of the meat was the “nineholes”… Sounds a bit like golf – that’s also Scottish I believe…

      • Well it is mostly a Scottish game (waste of a good walk, in my opinion!) but its gradually being “Trumpified”……which is a bad thing. A very bad thing. 🙂

      • Dave Whatt says:

        Golf: I forget who it was who defined it as (something like) “Getting a little ball into a hole in the ground with tools remarkably unsuited for the purpose…”

      • Various people down the years have supposed to have said this, but Winston Churchill is the most famous one, and he substituted the word “tools” with “weapons” (which I think is ironic for a prime minister!)

      • Dave Whatt says:

        It might have been Oscar Wilde…? I can imagine him saying that…

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