woensdag 15 april 2015

More on The Vintage Housewife

To continue with the topic previously discussed, here is an example of the weekly household activities:

Monday:
(cleaning of) hall, staircase, bathroom, in the afternoon sorting clothes for the laundering service and washing at home

Tuesday:
putting trashcan outside, washing

Wednesday:
putting kitchen trashcan outside, folding and checking the laundry, setting apart things which need to be repaired; in the afternoon children and/or mending stockings or cleaning

Thursday:
exercises for housewives, clothes' repair, in the afternoon ironing, household accounts

Friday:
putting trashcan outside, cleaning girl comes, together with her deep cleaning one of the rooms or a wardrobe, in any case hall, staircase, bathroom; in the afternoon shopping in town

Saturday:
putting kitchen trashcan outside, making some special food for Sunday; working at household accounts, planning for the next week, writing down what needs to be done, in the afternoon children and/or husband

SUNDAY:
the day of rest. Try to create nice atmosphere for husband and children, if it's a family custom, go to church, and try to relax as far as possible.

maandag 13 april 2015

An Announcement

Out of privacy considerations I archived the previous post. I want once again to thank everyone who reacted! Your comments were much appreciated and I saved them all. I'll try to resume normal posting as soon as possible.

vrijdag 10 april 2015

A Day In The Life Of A Vintage Housewife

My 1960s housekeeping book gives the following example of a homemaker's daily routine:

7:00 the alarm goes on, 15 minutes for getting awake, getting up, morning exercises, waking up husband

7:30 (taking care of the fireplace), airing the room, waking up children, check their dressing up, making breakfast, one more time prodding husband (if in good mood bringing him a cup of tea), reminding him to pick up the bed and open the bedroom window

8. ~ breakfast, preparing lunch for husband and children to take with them

8.30
9.~ washing up and cleaning after breakfast, cleaning rooms, taking care of plants, a special daily task

9:30

10.~
10:30 drinking a cup of coffee, preparing a shopping list, placing orders by telephone
11.~

12.~shopping, making lunch, children home for lunch
12:30

1.~
1:30 drinking coffee with children, cleaning the table, washing up
2.~

2:30 beauty sleep

etc etc

Well, what do you think?
 Next time I´ll publish the examples of weekly and monthly activities.

woensdag 8 april 2015

Familiarity Breeds Contempt

or the death of manners.

Some time ago I re-read Emma by Jane Austen and was again impressed by how formal their society used to be comparing to the modern one we inhabit. It was formal in the way people dressed and behaved and even husbands and wives spoke about their spouses as Mr or Mrs X, instead of calling them by their first names.

In fact, Frank Churchill was indignant that Mrs Elton, the novel's epitome of vulgarity dared to address Miss Fairfax as simply Jane, when he himself, being engaged to her always said "Miss".

Not only are these times gone, the MSM keep mocking our past, traditions and ancestors in portraying them as reserved prudes who spent their lives adhering to some rigid ritual, without ever experiencing real feelings. Yet, strange enough, period dramas about this supposedly oppressive Western Christian society are a very popular genre indeed.

It is as if people, especially women, can't get enough of viewing the images of the accursed Western patriarchy (I just wish that instead of comparing pears and oranges, i.e., the way the pre-modern, pre-welfare Western society with limited resources operated compared to ours, they'd compare it with similar non-Western societies of the time, but by some strange reason, they never do). I believe that they produce a new Jane Austen adaptation every 10 years, milking the market for all it's worth.

What is it that attracts the viewers so much? Why is it that so many women, dressed day in day out in jeans, t-shirts and sneakers buy the magazines about the life of royalty and discuss their dresses and hats? Is it because they miss beauty in their life? Someone (I believe it was Laura Woods) pointed out that the popularity of Downton Abbey is probably due to the fact that it showed a structured life and so many contemporary families totally miss any structure and order in their daily lives?

Those supposedly artificial rituals people used to follow, served some very practical purpose. They taught people purpose and self-discipline, something which is too often totally lacked nowadays. You were supposed to do certain things on certain times and to wear certain clothes on certain occasions. You were supposed to make an effort to look well and put together, whatever happened and keep your distance from others, which prevented many a quarel.

Our society is too familiar and too casual. It's supposed to be "more authentic" but I believe it is not authenticity but laziness and slovenliness which are behind the modern death of manners. It takes an effort to maintain a healthy weight. It takes time and effort to dress well. It's a lot of work to maintain a well-run household. It takes trouble to teach your children to be decent people. It's much easier to just let go.

The civilisation which becomes too casual risks ending up in the mud huts.

maandag 6 april 2015

Your Ideal Weight

Well, at least according to a 1960 homemaking book I have. I don't know how they calculated it, but here it comes:


(click on the picture to enlarge)
Well, what do you think?

 P.S. Obviously, it's about women since it was the book for housewives:)