Dulltown, UK/Europe: Today’s wrinkled old black and white snapshot is the one of me and Hedy Lamarr in a Hollywood bar – you can see she’s becoming angry trying to get me to understand frequency hopping. (HL)
This is another of my musty old junk shop books. Yes, it is definitely musty – I just opened it up and sniffed into the pages for you dear reader, to make sure that I wasn’t about to inadvertently lead you up the garden path. It may be musty, but it is also pithy – musty and pithy, is what this volume is. (Do you like today’s old-fashioned prose style?)
The tatty broken-spined book in question is the Daily Express Enquire Within from 1934, it hails from Daily Express Publications, London. Would you like to see a photograph showing the title page before we proceed?
This book has everything in it!
Well, everything that a nice middle class family living in the UK in the 1930s should have readily to hand; from dealing with troublesome servants, to the avoidance of carriage accidents, to preparing a nice gigot of mutton for dinner.
Across the head of each page are some words of wisdom or a proverb – I will include some of these with today’s selection:
Page 10. (A wise physician, skilled our wounds to heal, is more than armies to the commonweal.)
Mackerel must be perfectly fresh, or it is a very indifferent fish; it will neither bear carriage, nor being kept many hours out of the water. The firmness of the flesh, the clearness of the eyes, and the general brightness of its appearance, must be the criteria of fresh mackerel. If the gills are not red the fish is stale.
Page 443. (Play not with edged tools.)
Vaseline for the Household. – it is an excellent anti-corrosive, being an efficient protection against rust, when smeared over guns, bicycles, arms, knives, tools and steel goods of any kind. A high quality boot and shoe paste is prepared from it, which renders boots and shoes absolutely waterproof, and over which ordinary blacking may be used to produce a polish.
Page 14. (If you want a thing done, do it yourself.)
Lamb.– is cut into fore quarter and hind quarter; saddle; loin; neck; breast; leg; and shoulder. Grass lamb is in season from Easter to Michaelmas; house lamb from Christmas to Lady-day.
Page 280. (Let truth be our guide.)
Faintness.– Effusion of cold water on the face, stimulants to the nostrils, pure air, and the recumbent position; afterwards, avoidance of the exciting cause. Avoid excitement.
Page 439. (At night, nature is in mourning for the loss of the sun.)
Honey Soap. – Cut thin two pounds of yellow soap into a double saucepan, occasionally stirring until it is melted, which will be in a few minutes if the water is kept boiling around it, then add a quarter of a pound of palm oil, a quarter of a pound of honey, threepennyworth of true oil of cinnamon; let it all boil together another six or eight minutes; pour out and let it stand till next day. It is then fit for immediate use.