Syphilis and my Grandpa Bob

Syphilis and my Grandpa Bob

This past week, had he still been alive, my wonderful grandfather would have turned 93. He was a very good-looking chap – a lot like Jack Nicholson, I think – and had he lived in another country in another time, I quite fancy the idea of him as a film star. His good looks, however, were … Continue reading

Granny was a go-go dancer (almost)

Granny was a go-go dancer (almost)

I’m back! I have been a very bad blogger for the past three weeks. There are two reasons for this: 1) I have been living a pre-Industrial Revolution life. I bought myself a bustle dress and a proper, torturously beautiful corset and I spend my days assembling my wares. My arms are so tired by the end of … Continue reading

Queen Elizabeth I and Halitosis

Queen Elizabeth I and Halitosis

The Past was a very smelly place. I’m quite sure that we would all just about fall over should we have to return to a time of tanneries along rivers, open sewers, horse-powered transport, rushes as carpet into which you would throw your leftovers, and people not overly fond of taking a bath. Having said this, … Continue reading

The Shipwreck of The Grosvenor 4 August 1782

The Shipwreck of The Grosvenor 4 August 1782

The East India Company’s Grosvenor was a three-masted, square-rigged, frigate-built vessel. She was built by Wells of Deptford and set off on her maiden voyage to India in 1770. Twelve years later, on her fourth and last voyage from Madras to England, she plowed straight into the African continent in the early hours of a stormy, misty morning. She … Continue reading

Victorian Cosmetics 2 – More Recipes for Unguents

Victorian Cosmetics 2 – More Recipes for Unguents

I’m adding one more recipe for a Victorian unguent from the wonderful Ladies’ Book of Etiquette and Manual of Politeness written in 1875 by Florence Hartley. I’m not sure that this one will be a great money spinner for me in terms of my post-retrenchment recovery plan, but the stories that come with it are fascinating – … Continue reading

Retrenchee Reads a Book of Etiquette

Retrenchee Reads a Book of Etiquette

I was retrenched this week. It’s quite a thing to say that out aloud. I don’t like it; it sounds dirty – stench, retrench. I prefer to think of myself as a retrenchee. It sounds exciting and revolutionary. Retrenchee and Trotsky met Frida and Diego for tequila in the smokey room. Yes, better. But, alas, I am not … Continue reading