In fair weather a drop forms at the mouth…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s carefully selected adjectives are: Brobdingnagian, fruity, stodgy, phonological, genethliac, thrasonic, claggy and aquifoliaceous.

No! Stop it!… Come on now, let’s concentrate! So, what year is it?… No, no! Look!… We are pretending that we are ‘nice middle class people’ living in the United Kingdom in the 1930s! Please pay attention!…
Yes, it’s time to take that thick drab book down from the bookshelf, blow the dust off it, and once more flick through – yes, it’s my battered and bruised copy of the Daily Express Enquire Within for 1934. Nice globe emblem isn’t it?…
Hm, ‘globe emblem’… that does sound nice!

Everything you could possibly need to know to run your life is stored in these pages. There are several items per page and at the top of each page are also some words of wisdom, I will include these with today’s selection.

Page 273. (If you are in debt, somebody owns part of you.)
Lotions are usually applied to the parts required by means of a piece of sterile linen rag or piline, lint or wool, wetted with them, or by wetting the bandage itself. They are for outward application only.
Emollient. – Use decoction of marsh-mallow or linseed.
Sedative. – Dissolve one teaspoonful of henbane in twenty-four drachms of water.

Page 89. (Beauty is a good letter of introduction.)
To Preserve Eggs.
The most common and successful method of preserving eggs is by the use of waterglass, to be had at any chemist, with full directions for use on every tin.
Put the eggs into a dry jar, then pour over them the prepared waterglass. When removed from preservative the eggs should be rinsed in cold water before use.

Page 383. (The sea is the heaving bosom of the world.)
Precious Stones and their Language.
Among the ancients, precious stones were symbolical of certain qualities, and they were also sacred to certain months of the year.
The Garnet, signifying faithfulness, was sacred to January.
Amethyst, peace making, to February.
Bloodstone, courage and wisdom, to March.
Sapphire, repentance, to April.

Page 500. (Evil news rides post, while good news baits.)
Phial Barometer.
Cut off with a file the rim and part of the neck of an ordinary glass phial. Then fill it three parts full of water, pure or coloured as may be desired, place a finger over the mouth of the phial and turn it upside down; hang it up by a wire or string, and take your finger away. In fair weather a drop forms at the mouth and enlarges until it falls, to be followed by others.

Page 158. (Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.)
Terms and Counting Used in Bezique.
iii. Double Bezique – Bezique having been declared, two queens of spades and two knaves of diamonds. All four cards must be visible on the table together – 500 points.
iv. Sequence is ace, ten, king, queen and knave of trumps – 250 points.
v. Royal Marriage is the king and queen of trumps – 40 points.

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 In fair weather a drop forms at the mouth…

  1. Jheron Bash says:

    My word, that phial barometer sounds useful – and so easy to make! You’d have no idea it was fair weather without that falling drop, would you?

    • Dave Whatt says:

      Hm, you’d think you’d notice it was fair weather wouldn’t you?
      Perhaps it was just to engage young children in meteorology. (I expect you thought that I wouldn’t be able to spell that Jheron…)

  2. Dana Doran says:

    Okay, I know time is not linear…but, I can’t for the life of me figure out in what world an emollient made by boiling linseed oil would substitute for one made with marshmallow, oh wait, they do mean marshmallow like those puffy sweet things, right? The next time I’m out of linseed oil…..oh! Dave, I think I just found the key to increasing interest in my paintings….marshmallow emollient……the finished product attracts ants.

    • Dave Whatt says:

      Hm… I have always been puzzled by ‘marsh mallows’ – why ‘marsh’ and why ‘mallow’ for those soft sweet sticky round things?
      Of course it is, and was, and always has been, a herb – or an ‘erb’ as you say over there, or is it still ‘herb’ and you don’t pronounce the ‘h’?
      And then there’s ‘piline’ – what the hell is that!?…

  3. Now clearly the recent sunny weather has gone for me, because I really did think that the egg preserving waterglass, was actually an hour glass egg timer, and I couldn’t for the life of me think how you fit a whole egg inside. *Ahem* I did look it up, feeling quite foolish, and found the answer….”sodium silicate solution that supposedly sealed the pores in the egg shells to stop them going bad – not to be confused with isinglass which is made from fish swim bladders……..” So yes, I feel better now that has been cleared up. Do carry on. 😀

    • Dave Whatt says:

      I must confess dear Scribby that I didn’t look up waterglass, I sort of assumed that it was ‘isinglass’, something they were very fond of back then – fish swim bladders eh? I didn’t know that… Isinglass is mentioned in the song Surrey ‘With the Fringe On Top’ I recall… Another useless piece of information.

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