söndag 8 mars 2009


My computer didn't approve of my writing yesterday — I had written a post about my Gutenberg finds — but it all disappeared. So I turned to my old printed books instead, they are so much simpler to handle. Both my external hard disc and a memory stick has joined the computer in this plot against me, and they refuse to share anything I've stored on them. At times like this I'm ready to never use the computer again — but it doesn't take long until I'm back checking mail, blogs and whatever information I can reach.

0 Shanklin Old Village

There were not very many "new" titles at Gutenberg yesterday, that interested me — and the notes I took are safe, very safe, on my external hard disc. I'm too tired and too lazy to start the book checking over again — but I did go back to download "Pictures in Colour of the Isle of Wight — with descriptive notes — containing fifty beautiful coloured pictures of The Isle of Wight." It doesn't say when it was printed, but to judge from how people are dressed, I think it must be from the early nineteen hundreds and I'm quite sure the photos are colored.
I've never been to Isle of Wight but would love to visit the island some day. I think my interest in Isle of Wight stems from some books by Phyllis Matthew-man I read as a child. She wrote mainly books about girls at boarding schools, and most of the times I were able to find the towns and places she mentioned, on a map. She also managed to squeeze in some information about those mentioned places. Now I'm ready to reread her books about Peter, Sara and the other girls at St Catherines school with the pictures from the island at hand.

From "Woodward's Country Homes"
by George E. Woodward
I don't know who Elizabeth Rebecca Ward (AKA Fay Inchfawn) was, and I don't know when her book "The Verse-Book Of A Homely Woman" was written. It might not be the kind of poetry that will end up in anthologies. But if you stumble upon it, the verses will put a smile of reminiscent on your face.

Within my House
First, there's the entrance, narrow,
0000 and so small,
The hat-stand seems to fill the tiny hall;
That staircase, too, has such an awkward
0000 bend,
The carpet rucks, and rises up on end!
Then, all the rooms are cramped and close
0000 together;
And there's a musty smell in rainy weather.
Yes, and it makes the daily work go hard
To have the only tap across a yard.
These creaking doors, these draughts, this
0000 battered paint,
Would try, I think, the temper of a saint,
How often had I railed against these
0000 things,
With envies, and with bitter murmurings
For spacious rooms, and sunny garden
0000 plots!
Until one day,
Washing the breakfast dishes, so I think,
I paused a moment in my work to pray;
And then and there
All life seemed suddenly made new and
0000 fair;
For, like the Psalmist's dove among the
0000 pots
(Those endless pots, that filled the tiny
0000 sink!),
My spirit found her wings.
"Lord" (thus I prayed), "it matters not
0000 at all
That my poor home is ill-arranged and
0000 small:
I, not the house, am straitened; Lord,
0000 'tis I!
Enlarge my foolish heart, that by-and-by
I may look up with such a radiant face
Thou shalt have glory even in this place.
And when I trip, or stumble unawares
In carrying water up these awkward stairs,
Then keep me sweet, and teach me day
0000 by day
To tread with patience Thy appointed
0000 way.
As for the house . . . . Lord, let it be
0000 my part
To walk within it with a perfect heart."
I soon turned to picture books and other books with illustrations and found a book I doubt that Elizabeth Rebecca Ward had read — and I'm not sure she would have been interested in it. Perhaps do I jump on the conclution because I wasn't too impressed by "The Art of Interior Decoration", 1917 by Grace Wood and Emily Burbank. It's a book that tells you what "Good Taste" is and how do decorate your home — and how not to decorate it.
Dining-room in Country House, Showing Modern Painted Furniture. Style Directoire.
I rather dine in our kitchen than this dining — room.

If you happen to have sevants I hope you remember to keep their rooms simple!
Whether you expect to arrange for one servant or a dozen, keep in mind the fact that efficiency is dependent upon the conditions under which your manor maid-servant rests as well as works, and that it is as important that the bedroom be attractive as that it be comfortable.
For servants' rooms it is advised that the matter of furnishing and decorating be a scheme which includes comfort, daintiness and effectiveness on the simplest, least expensive basis, no matter how elaborate the house. There is a moral principle involved here. In the case of more than one servant the colour scheme alone needs to be varied, for similar furniture will prevent jealousy among the servants, while at the same time the task of inventing is reduced to the mere multiplying of one room; even the wall paper and chintz being alike in pattern, if different in colour.
The simplest iron beds, or wooden furniture can be painted white or any colour which may be considered more durable.
In maids' rooms for summer use, a vase provided for flowers is sometimes an incentive to personally contribute a touch of beauty. That sense of beauty once awakened in a maid does far more than any words on the subject of order and daintiness in her own room or in those of her employer.

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