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This 171 year-old book, which is going into our safety deposit box this morning, is a family heirloom on my husband’s side. If you can’t read the inscription, it reads:
Mary Ann Went, Colchester, 1848, June 30
Opposite, the inscription reads:
The Domestic Dictionary and Housekeeper’s Manual: Comprising everything pertaining to cookery, diet, economy and medicine. By Gibbons Merle. The medical portion of the work by John Reitch, M.D., London, William Strange, 21, Paternoster Row. 1842
I must say that the book is a marvellous reference for everything from the identification of birds (a Wheat-Ear, for instance) to a recipe for curried frogs (which, apparently, was served at the table of one of the foreign ambassadors at Paris) to remedies ‘resorted to by good housewives’ to rid the household of the common flea, to a recipe for pearl gooseberry wine. The latter, I must say, sounds like a rather refreshing tonic for hot summer days.
I must spend some time carefully turning the pages in this gem to see what other recommendations and information I can learn from this fragile book.
*Paternoster Row – at least in the 1800s – I have read, was the heart of the publishing and book trade business in London.
While we were on holiday two weeks ago, I picked up the U.K. edition of Good Housekeeping. In its “Real Lives” section, titled, “Click or Stick,” various ‘celebrities’ were interviewed as to whether or not they prefer to send/receive Christmas cards, forego the tradition, or do the electronic thing.
Now, I don’t really care one way or another how people choose to deal with this tradition, it’s totally a personal choice, but I suppose it was Burley’s ungrateful comments that annoyed me.
If you can’t read what Burley says in the graphic I’ve attached, I’ll quote it here:
I haven’t sent Christmas cards for years. We are all so busy, buying food, wine and panic gifts that there’s hardly any time to open another stack of cards as they drop through the letterbox. They become an irritation rather than a pleasure as you worry whether you’ve sent a card to the person you’ve just received one from. If we want to tell someone how much they mean to us, pick up the phone, send a text, or add a longer message to a gift tag on Christmas morning. We shouldn’t be clinging on to the tradition of cards. And as for round-robin family updates – give me strength.
Well, when I read her ungrateful comments, I couldn’t help but think of all the people who don’t receive any acknowledgement at Christmas and would love to receive a Christmas card from someone.
I also couldn’t help but think of all the people who took the time and effort to send Burley a card, only to have their efforts met by ‘irritation’ that she’d have to take the five seconds, which surely must have felt like eternity to our Kay, to open the card and then take the time to actually read their sentiments.
What a chore that must have been for this Sky News presenter.
Hey Kay, if you’re annoyed because people are sending you cards this year, I expect next year you’ll be receiving a lot less after Good Housekeeping published your thoughts on this tradition.
Bet your friends will be a bit more restrained next Christmas.
If, after reading the following National Post article written by Conrad Black, you feel exhausted, you’re not alone.
The over-inflated, blusterer, it appears, must bypass the skills of a good editor, surely?
Come on, who speaks like that? Who writes like that? Well, maybe 19th century scribes…
Do you think he sits across from Barbara Amiel, his dutiful, melodramatic wife these past years, and converses this way? Or do they speak like the rest of us?
“Pass the marmalade, Barb, please. And pour me another cup o’ joe, okay?”
Does he even have it in him to speak like the rest of us?
I really don’t know.
The National Post’s Kelly McParland’s brilliant column regarding Dalton McGuinty’s delusional outlook post-Drummond Report.
Enjoy this very cool piece of music written and performed by my friend’s husband, Mick Jade, of Wallstone Publishing…
And to think Michael Bryant and Penguin Canada are publishing a book about the death of cyclist Darcy Sheppard. It’s all about profit$ and money-making.
I can’t believe Sheppard is lying on the road as Bryant drives around him after ramming him and dragging him along the street first..
And the man got off scot-free. There’s justice for you. In his book, 28 Seconds, Bryant will attempt to explain the justice system to us. As he sees it.
Well, it took such a short amount of time. Former Ontario A-G, Michael Bryant, crusader against pit bulls and all dogs resembling them, is now penning a book about HIS “descent into a kind of hell.”
This man makes my blood boil. He really does.
Anything to make a buck, even if it’s at the expense of dragging the family of the late Mr. Sheppard through Bryant’s filthy muck again. And you have to love the publisher’s (Diane Turbide of Penguin Canada) spin on things. You’ll have to read the nauseating remarks yourself at the National Post’s site, or any of the main Ontario sites that are carrying this story.
You see, “…everything changed for the Harvard-educated lawyer, politician, and CEO that night when his car dragged Darcy Sheppard, resulting in Mr. Sheppard’s death.”
So through 28 Seconds (the name of the book) Bryant will explain the justice system to us, as he says so eloquently, perhaps hoping that some of us may feel some pittance of sympathy for him.
It’s important to pass along lessons learned regarding our justice system. I’m ready to speak to these very personal issues.
I find it unbelievably ironic now, as I did at the time, that our former A-G was the one who brought about legislation against pit bulls in this province – and any dogs resembling pit bulls – because – are you ready for this? They were dangerous! He brought about legislation, despite being unable to identify the very breed of dog he was banning.
Diane Turbide and Penguin Canada ought to be ashamed to be associated with a book that will profit from the death of Mr. Sheppard. To offset profits, however, a “portion” of the profits will go towards the Pine River Foundation. What “portion” is not revealed. If it were to be a hefty portion, I’m sure they’d make that known immediately.
Michael Bryant, quite simply, disgusts me.
When you read the article, as I did on my iPhone as I waited at my doctor’s office this morning, try not to scoff or laugh too loud at the self-described, humblest of humble, Conrad Black.
I had to read the following paragraph three or four times to make sure I was understanding it correctly, and that was only the beginning.
I quickly developed alliances with the Mafia people, then the Cubans. I was friendly with the ‘good ol’ boys’ and the African-Americans. They all understood I had fought the system, and I do believe I earned their respect for that.
He’s developed alliances with Mafia people, ‘the’ Cubans, the ‘good ol’ boys, and the African-Americans, and gained their respect, folks!
Hey Conrad, if they’re in the slammer, there’s a reason: When you’ve had your day in court, been found guilty, you’re a crook. And they’re just like you!
Why would anyone in their right mind be gratified that they have the respect of other crooks?
It’s the sort of article that makes you shake your head – yet again. It is, however, comforting to know that Connie thinks – well, he’s pretty sure anyway – that he can live on a mere $80 million a year.
And the last gag-able food for thought… There’s Barbara by her man, leaning her head upon his shoulder, and the big guy, the innocent one who’s gained the respect of other crooks, who apparently is looking ‘sheepishly’ at the camera, according to the simpletons who wrote this crap.
Better still, who the hell falls for this hogwash?
To gag some more, click: http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2011/08/31/conrad-black-vanity-fair.html
I am pleased to announce that my (currently in print) novel, “Harbinger of Secrets” is now available at Amazon as a Kindle eReader download for $8.99
I have just signed the contracts for it to be sold as an eBook on Apple’s iBookstore and also on Indigo Books’ Kobo eReader. When it is up and ready on these two sites, I shall post again. The price on these two sites will also be $8.99.
The eBook version of “Harbinger of Secrets” is also available in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, France, Germany, and Australia.
How I love digital publishing!
And again, I’ll give kudos to David Chung of eBook-Pub.com for his superior service in converting the book into digital formats. He and his company come highly recommended!
I’ve had a lot of problems of late getting Safari and WordPress to be cordial to each other. I’m not even sure this is going to appear correctly and if not, it’ll have to be transported over to Opera where I’ve had more success with the two. Even Firefox is pretty sappy when it comes to playing nice with WordPress. For the most part, so far, all seems okay here in this post, but what the heck it’ll look like when it’s published, who knows?
When not here in cyberspace, real life has been rather busy of late. I’ll try to bring you up to date.
As some of you might know, Apple has announced between the lines that iWeb will be going the way of the PC Junior within the next year – or that’s how I see it – and I was there when the PC Junior took a turn south, so I see the similarities. For those of us who use iWeb, we’ve been advised in as kind a way as corporate-speak can say that we need to look elsewhere. Of course, we can continue to use iWeb, it’s just that it won’t be hosted on MobileMe. What’s left, you ask? Well, what’s left is that we FTP stuff up to the ‘Net or sever the umbilical cord completely and go with some other site.
That ‘other’ site is going to be Weebly for me. It was a toss-up, after much debating between the left and right sides of my brain that Weebly would make more sense – Mac-wise – over Wix. The creative side of the brain implored me to choose Wix, but price and the Flash-hatin’ iPad and iPhone put the kibosh on that. I really wanted to play up the creative side of Wix, but sensibility won out in the end. Weebly is proving okay, but I’m not over the moon about it.
On the upside, my novel, Harbinger of Secrets, is now available in e-Book format on Amazon’s Kindle. If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download the Kindle app for the iPad and read it there. It will soon be available in Apple’s iBookstore, but Apple’s having a bit of a catch-up with my US IRS number, the number taking a bit to appear in its main database. Apparently, it takes a while to show up. I must note at this point that the IRS was incredibly decent to deal with over the phone. I was fully prepared to go through hoops, so to speak, with the person on the other end, but I managed to get through immediately and as luck would have it, also managed to speak with the most polite and efficient customer service woman in a long time – inasmuch as people at the other end of the line go.
I should add here, too, that I employed a company in New Jersey for the e-book conversion. Not only were they extremely competitive price-wise, but kept in contact with me and had my epub and mobi formats back to me within about three days. I highly recommend them. Here’s the link: eBook-Pub.com
In June I took part in an evening event at the Pelham Library in Fonthill and met a number of rather interesting authors whose books ran the gamut of topics. For a small community library, this one packs a lot of punch.
At the same library just a couple of weeks ago, I attended an evening event about the JFK assassination. The speaker was Randy Owen, and if you think you know a lot about the assassination of John F. Kennedy, I can assure you that Randy Owen most likely knows a ton more. I did not expect the lecture/slideshow to be as extensive, and was mesmerized by the wealth of knowledge this man has. You can see his website at: http://www.jfkassassination.ca/
Well, that’s a few of the things that have been taking up time. More to come in the next post.
(Link to the Times Colonist article at the end of this post)
Another west coast article (under the veil of a new work, “Origami Dove”) about poet Susan Musgrave and her troubled, tumbleweed marriage to convict, Stephen Reid.
Victoria Times Colonist writer, Adrian Chamberlain, rightly notes the depressing, ongoing saga of Musgrave’s life in verse. For the last twenty-something years we have read – tolerated – more than our fair share of Reid and his involvement in the 1999 robbery in Cook Street Village, not to mention the TV documentary on the criminal and his sometimes twistedly revered membership in the Stopwatch Gang.
Frankly, I’m all for saying enough is enough when it comes to Reid’s notoriety, regurgitated again and again and spawning more dismal spin-offs from Musgrave. I say that in response to Chamberlain’s passage from his article…
This is stern stuff. But the (sic) again, Musgrave is certainly entitled, having endured more than her fair share of heartbreak.
Hey Adrian, there are others who have suffered their fair share of heartbreak, but they tend to keep a stiff upper lip and forge ahead. Musgrave’s heartbreak has worn pretty thin over the years.
Chamberlain gives Musgrave’s bed and breakfast business a plug, but for God’s sake, does he and Musgrave think us so dimwitted that we are to be impressed by a guest list that once included Trudeau, Atwood and Clarkson? Believe me, those are three names I’d really, really like to forget.
As for the mention of Hitler, Stalin, Attila-the-Hun, Jack-the-Ripper, and Bush… Give me a break! Georgie Boy is old news and Bush-bashing is so 2008. The world has moved on.
Let’s hope Musgrave stops living in the past and produces something as interesting, quirky and less depressing as her book, “You’re in Canada Now…”. Fair play, the woman knows how to write great stories from her life (have you read “You’re in Canada Now”?) if only she could break the umbilical cord with the worn-thin, bad-boy fetish of her youth.
After a bit of an absence I am now back online, folks.
I wanted to mention that I’ve had the chance the past week to re-read old magazines from the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and even more recent ones from the ’90s. I’ve read them all so many times I’ve lost count, but every year we like to flip through them and revisit Canada, the U.K., and the U.S.A. through the ages.
I had to laugh as I looked through a 1958 Ladies Home Journal. Advertised were plenty of products, some still around, some long gone. The common denominator, however, was the way the products were marketed.
On page one was a full page ad for Max Factor lipstick – a kind of sickly orange red, not quite coral, more like coral-on-acid or, at least that’s what it seemed like to me. Those lips could have rivaled NASA for literally blasting off the page, some line to the effect of “If you have your eye on a man…” as the caption.
Yes, those coral-on-acid lips were pretty much guaranteed to get you your man. Not such a good thing if you ask me, since amongst all the other ads was a daily calendar of all the chores a good housewife ought to get done in a day. No wonder these women were slim, they had enough exercise pushing around a Hoover or driving in that cruise-ship length Chevrolet without the aid of power steering.
Washing day was to be a happy occasion, the same coral-on-acid lipstick painted onto a perfectly coiffed Grace Kelly lookalike hanging clothes out to dry on a wind-blown line on the side of a cliff, a stunning vista of blue sea behind the housewife. I figure that’s what I must be missing – hanging clothes on a line on a cliff when I do my laundry. Could that be the secret to a happy washing day? That crazy woman exuded happiness, with not one blonder than blonde hair out of place and that’s because she sprayed it with some hair lacquer that held it in place even if a hurricane was to threaten that sun drenched, sea-blue vista.
Beside her was her little daughter, ankle white socks, sensible Mary Jane shoes, and a frock that could have been any one of mine from the early ’60s. Everyone was happy doing the laundry on the cliff.
I’m now thinking I might ditch my new Maytag washer and dryer for a clothes line.
Apart from laundry day, the Grace Kelly lookalike – after a day from hell doing housework – was to make sure she looked presentable for her man, yes that wise-ass who was at work all day with a secretary who brought him coffee, fixed his drinks, typed her fingers off and held his calls. Not only did he have a pseudo wife at the office, but after his commute to the ‘burbs would return to the doting housewife who slapped on more coral-on-acid lipstick, straightened her house dress, sprayed more lacquer on her permed hair, and held a cocktail glass toward him as she greeted him at the front door. There was little Susie and Billy standing like Cindy Brady and Beaver Cleaver jumping for joy at the prospect of that sonofabi… sorry, Daddy, being home after a hard day at the office. No wonder, Cindy and Beave had been home all day with the Stepford wife, standing on a freakin’ cliff watching the breeze blow their clothes dry.
Odd how there’s never underwear hanging on that line.
Other companies, of course, who peddled such crude wares as toilet bowl cleaner, Brillo scrubbing pads, toilet roll and feminine hygiene products had a tough go of it. So what’d they do? They dressed up the Grace Kelly lookalike in a Gone With the Wind flowing ball gown, white elbow length gloves, and had her perch in an unnatural pose holding a roll of sea-foam green toilet tissue in front of her like a crystal ball.
So it was with the feminine hygiene products, unlike the ones today that have wings, special linings, shapes and adhesive strips. There she was again, the blonde Grace Kelly lookalike, with a different ball gown and elbow length gloves staring from that 52 year old page into imaginary space. Once a month – every month for years since she turned eleven – she had to dress up in that long gown, do her hair, paint her lips coral-on-acid, and pretend to be ecstatic when all she wanted to do was scream, bitch and complain and convince everyone in sight that men were idiots.
Can anyone say PMS?
I didn’t realize until today that Walt Whitman was a self-published author.
First appearing in 1855 when he was thirty-six years of age, Leaves of Grass was Whitman’s self-published collection of twelve poems that he would revise and add to many times during his life. Though at first it stirred little interest in the literary world, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote of it as “the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom that America has yet produced”.