Sunday, November 04, 2007

"Don't Despise The Domestic Potato..."

Whatever you do: "DON'T despise the domestic potato"....but take it firmly in hand.
And don't arrange for the chimney sweep to come when your husband's at home.
And PLEASE don't talk to him of things of "worrying nature"til he ( husband not sweep) has finished his evening meal.
AND neither should your husband "sharpen lead pencils all over your drawingroom carpet;the carpet suffers as well as the maid's temper.. "
PLEASE "don't omit to learn how to put on a bandage. You'll be very lucky if you get through your married life without having to do it...".
"Don't let your husband wear a violet tie with grass green socks..if he's unhappily devoid of colour sense, he must be FORCIBLY restrained.... "
"Don't set him up on a pedestal"'ll cry when you discover ( after all ) he's merely an "ordinary man"...
And did you know, some women are like cows......SO: " don't vegetate as you grow older if you happen to live in the country...there's REALLY no need to stagnate.."
And Most Of All, Remember:
"Art", ladies, " is a hard mistress, and there is no art quite so hard as that of being a wife..."

All this cracking advice in one tiny little red book called "Don'ts for wives", written by Blanche Ebbutt in 1913, re-published this year.
It's available, of course, from
I discovered this sage advice (!) in a superb Ulverston bookshop; this shop's well worth a long sultry browse. It's the Tinner's Rabbit Bookshop and it's a warren of rooms ( all shapes/sizes) crammed with fact/fiction for children and adults in the most colourful of fashions...


Anonymous Clare said...

Sage advice indeed. Yes, I have to keep my husband restrained at all times - being colour-blind he can make quite dangerous choices if allowed to roam unrestrained in a menswear department.

Sounds like this could be a winner for Christmas.

2:51 pm  
Blogger Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Sounds like my kind of bookshop. Loved the sage advice! I echo what Clare said about colour challenged partners - they must be kept under control, the embarrassment if they're not is simply too acute! ;-)

11:58 am  
Blogger Marianne said...

I rather like the idea of a violet tie with grass green socks. Stylish or what? Sounds like a lovely shop. Any Kathleen Hale books in sight?

4:09 pm  
Blogger Lucy said...

I suppose the danger of setting him up on a pedestal is that you get an eyeful of his grass green socks...

5:21 pm  
Blogger chiefbiscuit said...

Ho Funny!!! What a scream. Thanks for sharing that gem.

8:07 pm  
Blogger Catherine said...

The book and the shop sound charming. I had to check my map for Ulverston - we turned in the other direction after Windermere. I need a fairy godmother to wave a wand so I can come back for another six months or so and see everything we missed.
You are in Chester, aren't you? It was on our list of possibles but we didn't fit it in, we gave the highest priority to the areas our ancestors came from (as long as they were pretty, of course - the towns, not the ancestors, that is!)
Chester sounds interesting and I'd love to visit one day.

8:01 am  
Blogger Jon M said...

And there's me in me violet tie and grass green socks sharpening me pencil all ove rthe living room carpet. I'll have to have a word!

12:56 pm  
Blogger Jan said...

"Roam unrestrained!"
Oh dear...
What pictures you paint!

Oh dear again!

Didn't see any KHale, but the I wasn't actually looking.
And yes, I LIKE putting all sorts of colours together.."the unexpected", clashy ones, similar ones...all good fun.

Ha, Lucy, you're on the ball as usual...with him on the pedestal, of course.
Thanks for calling.

and thanks for responding..

Yes, very much hope you do!

I THOUGHT I'd seen you when last in town...!

2:36 pm  

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