Dulltown, UK: Today’s avocado is the one sitting on the window sill wondering if he is too hard or too soft.
Me, I like books that smell fusty. Fusty – according to Mr Google: stuffy, musty, stale, stagnant, airless, unventilated, oppressive. Oppressive eh?
Well, when I open up my copy of The Daily Express Enquire Within from 1934 those terms do seem pretty accurate in describing the odour – yes, even ‘oppressive’ – especially with that cocky upstart Mr Hitler plotting away in the distance across the North Sea. Come on dear reader, let’s have a good sniff at this crumbling old volume… Here’s a picture of the title page – note its optimistic emblem featuring the light of knowledge held up on a stick and those olive branches of peace curling around our globe – nice!…
This is a treasury of useful information essential for living a nice comfortable middle class life in 1930s Britain; it covers many essential and interesting topics. I wonder if back then the Daily Express was the same horrible right-wing rag that it is today? I expect it was even worse then; it probably had plenty of features on how dynamic and popular that Mr Hitler was.
There are several items on each page, including across the top a line of pithy wisdom or an uplifting proverb – I will include some of these with today’s selection:
Page 349. (He doeth better who doeth bless the stranger in his wretchedness.)
Addresses of Persons of Rank and Distinction.
Princes of the Blood Royal.- i.
The sons and daughters, and issue of the sons of the Sovereign.
“To His (Her) Royal Highness the Prince of Wales (Princess of Wales).”
Comm. – “Sir” (“Madam.“)
Con. – “I remain with the greatest respect, your Royal Highness’s most dutiful and most obedient servant.”
Page 439. (Diligence alone is a good patrimony.)
Honey Water. – Rectified spirit, eight ounces: oil of cloves, oil of bergamot, oil of lavender, of each half a drachm; musk, three grains; yellow sanders shavings, four drachms. Let it stand for eight days then add two ounces each of orange-flower water and rose water.
Page 507. (Hope deferred maketh the heart sick.)
144 square inches = 1 square foot.
9 square feet = 1 square yard.
30-and-a-quarter square yards = 1 square pole, rod, or perch.
40 square poles = 1 rood.
4 roods = 1 acre.
640 acres = 1 square mile.
Page 56. (The hasty angler loses the fish.)
Mock Turtle Soup. – Take three pounds of knuckle of veal, one cow heel, a large onion stuck with cloves, some sweet herbs, two blades of mace, six peppercorns, eighteen forcemeat balls, a little lemon juice, and a glass of sherry. Put everything except the forcemeat balls and the lemon juice, into an earthen jar and stew for six hours; when cold skim off the fat and strain the liquor. Add the forcemeat balls and lemon juice, cut up the meat into small squares and warm up the soup.
Page 139. (A good suggestion is often invaluable.)
A man* of ordinary aptitude and “gumption” should acquire the art of driving in a week. Self-confidence and presence of mind are the necessary qualities of temperament. On the road he must always be on the alert, avoid scorching, and have scrupulous regard for pedestrians and traffic. He should give timely warnings to those following him, as well as to those in front, slow down at crossings, and take corners slowly.
*Obviously back in 1934 women just didn’t have the necessary “gumption” for driving.