Wet the wrong side thoroughly with gum water…

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

Now come along everyone, don’t dawdle!… Hey you!… You at the back! Get off your phone and pay attention! Right, now, this is the time machine, yes, I know it’s small, just try to squeeze in… come on, get out of the way, and let me get the door closed… Good, now, in two shakes of a lamb’s tail we will be back in the Britain of the early 20th c….
Yes, dear reader this is the Daily Express Enquire Within from 1934, a crusty yellowing volume with a scuffed red-brown linen cover, another of my old junk shop books.

It is packed with all the information necessary for stiff middle class life back in those strange days. Each page has several entries, they are on a wide variety of subjects, and also each has a line of pithy wisdom or an improving proverb running across the top – I will include these with today’s selection:

Page 350. (Make hay while the sun shines.)
Addresses of Persons of Rank and Distinction.
vii. Clergymen with titles.
(a) If the son of a Duke or Marquess, “To the Rev. Lord [William] ____”
(b) If the son of an Earl, Viscount, or Baron, “To the Rev. the Hon. [William] ____”
(c) If the son of a commoner, “To the Rev. [William] ____”

Page 60. (Perseverance is the bridge by which difficulty is overcome.)
Sauce for Wild Duck.
Simmer a teacupful of port wine, the same quantity of good gravy, a small shallot, with pepper, nutmeg, mace, and salt to taste, for about ten minutes; put in a bit of butter and flour; give it all one boil, and pour it over the birds, or serve in a sauce tureen.

Page 429. (Never walk one way and look another.)
Fancy Embroidery and Canvas Work.
Stiffening Work. – Wet the wrong side thoroughly with gum water or gum tragacanth, and dry it before a fire (the wet side nearest the fire) before removing it from the frame.

Page 200. (Never spend your money before you have it.)
This favourite article of diet is looked at askance by some persons as affording a ready means of adulteration. It is not so easy to pass off unwholesome food as may be imagined. But if you wish to make sure of the quality of the ingredients, make your own sausages with the aid of the sausage-machine, which will enable you to add many savoury morsels to the attractions of your table.

Page 372. (Meat feeds, and claith cleads, but manners mak the man.)
Superfluous Words.
91. Instead of “Because why?” say “Why?”
92. Instead of “Nobody else but her,” say “Nobody but her.”
93. Instead of “He fell down from the balloon,” say “He fell from the balloon.”
94. Instead of “He rose up from the ground,” say “He rose from the ground.”

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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10 Responses to Wet the wrong side thoroughly with gum water…

  1. Oh thank you – I shall be sure to address all my regular correspondence to the high falutin’ ones properly now….Also, the sausage machine, well we all have one don’t we?! It did remind me of an article (unrelated) that used a pasta machine for making collographs, which I thought was quite fun. I don’t have a pasta machine….do you think its unreasonable to buy one purely for printmaking? How does one ask for such a thing…? Me: “Yes, hello, I’d like a pasta machine, please
    Shopkeeper: “Ok, what kind of pasta will you be making?”
    Me: “Oh its not for pasta, its for printing with”
    Shopkeeper: “……………..?”

  2. Jheron Bash says:

    The past is indeed another country. Mind you, “Never walk one way and look another” is even more relevant advice today. Then again, I do also often find myself looking askance at sausages!

  3. ktz2 says:

    My favorite regular feature !
    Tragacanth. There’s a word you don’t hear every day. And what’s this ‘claith cleads’ ??….very ancient-looking, like something one would see on a hand-lettered illuminated page of a rare old book.

    • Dave Whatt says:

      Well, I’m pretty sure “claith cleads” is Scottish, but I haven’t a clue what it means, and “tragacanth” [according to Google] is a ‘natural gum’ from the East, so at least that makes some sense!…
      Thank you Kate!

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