Perhaps I had ambitions to be an MP - or an undertaker!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

There are three signs of old age. The first is loss of memory - I can’t remember the other two. (Red Skelton)


I was interested to find this list which claims to show the top selling writers of all time. They’re in alphabetical order.

Barbara Cartland
Agatha Christie
Jackie Collins
Stephen King
Louis L’Amour
Harold Robbins
J.K. Rowling
William Shakepeare
Sidney Sheldon
Georges Simenon
Danielle Steel

Shakespeare would be delighted to find himself in such illustrious company!!!


The Harbour at North Shields by Joseph Crawhall 1861-1913,
one of the “Glasgow Boys” school of painters
[click to enlarge]

The Girls’ Empire was an annual published more than a hundred years ago. The edition of 1903 is available from Amazon. The contents include what to wear when exercising with a Sandow Grip Dumb-Bell and how to give your poodle a French clip. The aim of the book is "to inform and entertain girls - with short stories, career advice, Cosy Corner Chats, and much much more.”

The writer of the article on “Cycling for Girls” lays a lot of emphasis on being properly dressed.

“Anything trimmed, showy or conspicuous on a bicycle looks not only unladylike but also unworkmanlike.”

It’s suggested that you should get your skirt from a good tailor, but, if you’re unable to afford that, make one yourself. A good pattern is necessary and also someone to help you arrange it on the bicycle “which should be firmly fixed to the stand, with its back to a long mirror. You then mount it, and get your skirt, which is only tacked together, pulled down and arranged evenly on either side of the back wheel. If the folds fall straight and meet together while you are still, well and good, but that is by no means all! The great test comes when you commence to pedal, which you must manage to do, exercising great care in the management of your stationary mount. You should be able to move the knees forward without disturbing the set of back pleats.

If you are tall, don’t cut your riding skirt short, as that has a very awkward effect. But in either case, whether long or short, I should advise you to wear elastic straps on each side to fix it down to your legs. Even if you are quite young, and a very small girl, you don’t want to present the unseemly spectacle of wind-blown frock and uncovered legs that one often beholds in the streets. If your skirt is short, you had best fasten it to the knees; if long, round the foot under the instep . . . . Get wide, black elastic, or, if you wear tan shoes, brown elastic. Make a loop to fit over your instep, or round your leg, as preferred, which you sew on to the skirt about four inches above the bottom edge.”

I love that phrase “management of your stationary mount.”

And also this paragraph from an article about health -

“One of the most useful adjuncts to exercise is the use of the cold bath. It seems to put a life and vigour into our bodies, and we are enabled to go about our daily occupation feeling full of go and ready for what might happen.”


This is a slide show of photographs of Victorian children. What a contrast between the upper class children and the very poor ones shown towards the end!


Finally some interesting statistics about my blogs.

So far, during the month of March, the number of visits to each site has been

Pre-Raphaelite blog 573
Wise Men Say 405
John’s Gallery 230
Touch of Culture 192
80 Plus 183
Quiet Corner 154
Come Surf The Net 35 (This new blog began on Saturday)

In view of the increased interest shown in the Pre-Raphaelite site, I’m beginning a fourth series on Wednesday 6th April.


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