Sunday, July 29

There was an old woman

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe,
She had so many children she didn't know what to do!
So she gave them some broth without any bread,
And she whipped them all soundly and sent them to bed!

There are two theories of the history of this rhyme - both in English History.

The first references Queen Caroline as the 'old woman'. Caroline was the wife of King George II who had eight children.

The second theory places King George as the 'old woman'. King George was the one to begin the men's fashion of wearing white powdered wigs, thus making him the old woman. The 'children' in this theory are the members of parliament and the bed was the Houses of Parliament. The term 'whip' is still used in the English Parliament to describe a member of Parliament who is assigned to making sure that all members 'toe the party line'.

Saturday, July 28

Plaque: to the Future

The plaques that I fashioned (before breakfast) have now been installed.

Friday, July 27

No rest for the wicked

Another busy, busy day.

As my suitcase is still missing, it seems that I am very busy sewing new clothes.

Lord Smythe-Kurkin sent some material for me to use. Quite exotic but beggars can't be choosers. Included in the package was a lovely Cameo Brooch that was designed especially for me and features my very own face no less. (Silhouette in Jet from Whitby, North of England)
He apologises profusely for leaving me behind and hopes I am keeping well. He will be back over Caledon way as soon as his business allows him.

Since reading the Needlework volumes, I managed to make myself this new outfit using the free dresses as a pattern that is available in Caledon Victorian City Square.

The Needlework volumes are now in place in the Library so I can have a read whenever I need to.

Mr Drinkwater had another project for me this time required at the 11th Hour. A request for copper plated plaques no less. Metalwork not being one of my strongest skills, I fashioned 17 of them before breakfast.

All in aid of a good cause. The Relay for Life.

I lost my Mother to this dreadful disease, and nursed her through her final days. She had suffered many years but always had a smile and a twinkle in her eye.

I miss her terribly.

Early Bird catches a turn

A wonderful time was had by all
At the Early Birds Social Club Party - nay Ball!
So many faces, so many names,
Food and fine port, so many came
Miss Abigail Raymaker was the perfect host
Twas her birthday too, we offered a toast
To good health and happiness, good friends galore
(pity the lag become such a bore)
I danced with a fox, a right proper gent
He twirled me around; how quickly I went
The ladies looked lovely in their dresses so fine
(I had to nip off and redesign mine)
Then back to the party and it was still there
I felt ever so special with a red rose in my hair

Thursday, July 26

History : Domestic Servants

To be ‘in service’ involved hard work, very little time off and was not well paid, but generally it was a secure job, and live-in servants could be sure of a roof over their heads and food to eat.

Domestic servants were divided into upper and lower classes

Upper Servants
Butler, Footman, Governess, Skilled Cook, Housekeeper, Senior parlour-maid, Head house-maid and Lady's maid,

Lower Servants
Scullery-maid, Kitchen-maid, Laundress, Nursemaid, Housemaid, Stable-boy

Only wealthy persons employed male domestics since there was a servant tax on them.

History: Registry Office

In 1851 domestic service was the second largest occupational group in Britain with over one million servants.

Registry Offices were places where servants would place their particulars in the hope of being employed by a suitable household.

They were divided into three classes.

1. Those which take fees from both servant and mistress.
2. Free registries, where the mistress pays the fee and the servant pays nothing.
3. Registries for foreign servants. Lodgings are provided until they obtain situations. Sleep five or six in a room, two or three in a bed, for sixpence a night.

Some of the registries were respectable and safeguarded servants. However some were only interested in the fee and bundled girls off into situations without inquiries as to where they were going or who is to be their mistress.

Girls were warned against advertisements of situations with high wages and little work.

Scams were rife where a gentleman would keep a dozen good looking girls on the premises to see mistresses. An engagement was made and the fee was paid but the girl did not enter the situation. When the mistress complained and tried to reclaim the fee, the gentleman refused and made excuses saying it wasn't his fault that the girl did not keep to the engagement.

The greatest number of frauds take place in foreign registries.

Advertising English situations with glowing colours, agents would bring girls in from the continent promising high wages and passage money. The girls would sign an agreement and their boxes sent arriving before the girls themselves.

These boxes contain all their worldly goods. On arrival, they are requested to pay for their passage and consequently have to sell their clothes and such to pay for the journey. After a bill is run up for board and lodging, the girls have little choice but to become prostitutes to settle their debts.

Wednesday, July 25

Maid in no time

A request was sent for several Needlework volumes for Miss Ofeq and Miss Watkin which Mr Drinkwater kindly posted to me yesterday evening.

Staying up most of the night, with hardly a wink of sleep, I duly completed them at dawn this morning.

I did overhear my employer once say that a good maid should sleep like a needle.. "with one eye open" and be at the ready to do any task that is asked of them.

I'd like to think of myself as a good maid.

Tuesday, July 24

Gastronomy Delights

My collection of cookery books were delivered to Mr Drinkwater this evening.

Monday, July 23

Fair enough

This afternoon, I had a wander around a very empty fairground.
It was in aid of Second Life Relay for Life and after donating $L50, I hooked a duck and got a Caledon Spork as a prize.. hmmm..

Me and my hooked duck

I then treated myself to some "Cotton Candy" or as I like to call it Candyfloss.

Other exciting things was a trip to the top of a giant beanstalk and eating pecan pie.

I do feel quite sickly now so I'm off for a lie down

Books, books, everywhere and all for me to read

I managed to come across a copy of Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management and have spent most of my time reading it.

I also came across more cookery books. As a member of "Downstairs", it's important to know of the latest procedures, I do need to peruse but there are quite a lot of them.

"We could live without poets,
we could live without books,
But how in the world
could we live without cooks."

Saturday, July 21

Wayward Librarian

I have been most busy these past few days searching for my suitcase.

I met with Mr Drinkwater with regards to helping out at the Library and he was most agreeable. I have my duster at the ready!

As I am currently without a permanent abode, he said he would have a talk with Miss Scanderoon Beck, an Officer of the Caledon Library, who has a spare room at the Home for Wayward Librarians in Port Caledon. And I quote "There are a few small conditions that come with the use of the room, which I will make plain to you if you and Miss Beck come to terms."

I graciously declined but am now having second thoughts myself. It can get a bit chilly under the stars and one can only eat berries and nuts for a small amount of time. I am a vegetarian so the thought of snaring my own hare and cooking it on an open fire chills me to the bone... but then again I fear that I can be no chillier that I am right now.

I do enjoy cooking and have been recommended to read a Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management and also Mrs EE Kellogg's "Science in the Kitchen" which I shall search Caledon Library for.

I recently found out that Mr JH Kellogg, who was Ella's husband, was a vegetarian too. He was the inventor of Corn Flakes and other "healthful" foods such as peanut butter and granola.

"In 1876, on a summer visit to an aunt in Battle Creek, Michigan, her sister (who made the trip with her) was stricken with typhoid fever and taken to the near-by Battle Creek Sanitarium, , a reform medical institution established by Seventh-day Adventists. It was there, while caring for her sister, that Ella Eaton met Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (1852 - 1943), the new superintendent of the sanitarium."

Thursday, July 19


The Globe Theatre

On my travels, I came across not one but two Shakespeare's Globe Theatres. The first was located at sLiterary's Cookie Island!, Cookie (44, 84, 25). Such a wonderful building.

I note that they are planning to show "Hamlet" in February 2008. Now that will be such a thing to see. I've never seen a Shakespeare play so I must go and watch.

And the second one is on Renaissance Island (204, 45, 27) again, beautiful architecture.

Further research shows that the original Globe Theatre was built in 1599, but was destroyed by fire in 1613, rebuilt in 1614 and finally closed down in 1642. A few years before my time.
A modern reconstruction of the original Globe, named "Shakespeare's Globe Theatre" or the "New Globe Theatre," opened in 1997.
Act V, Scene 2
Of carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts,
Of accidental judgments, casual slaughters,
Of deaths put on by cunning and forced cause

Of course, lock up your daughters.

... The rest is silence. (Hamlet's last words)

Wednesday, July 18

Caledon Library

I have been having a look around Caledon - Victorian City and have been reading in the library. Well, I didn't get much chance to better myself whilst I was in service.

Seeing as I am between employment at this present time, I sent a note to Mr JJ Drinkwater to see he needed any help around the place.

I await his reply.

Tuesday, July 17

"The Rules"

I am so happy to be free of "The Rules". Each and every day whilst in service, these have been the rules by which I have had to live by:

1 - When being spoken to, stand still, keeping your hands quiet, and always look at the person speaking.

2 - Never let your voice be heard by the ladies and gentlemen of the household, unless they have spoken directly to you a question or statement which requires a response, at which time, speak as little as possible.

3 - In the presence of your mistress, never speak to another servant or person of your own rank, or to a child, unless only for necessity, and then as little as possible and as quietly as possible.

4 - Never begin to talk to the ladies or gentlemen, unless to deliver a message or to ask a necessary question, and then, do it in as few words as possible.

5 - Whenever possible, items that have been dropped, such as spectacles or handkerchiefs, and other small items, should be returned to their owners on a salver.

6 - Always respond when you have received an order, and always use the proper address: “Sir”, “Ma’am”, “Miss” or “Mrs,” as the case may be.

7 - Never offer your opinion to your employer.

8 - Always “give room”: that is, if you encounter one of your betters in the house or on the stairs, you are to make yourself as invisible as possible, turning yourself toward the wall and averting your eyes.

9 - Except in reply to a salutation offered, never say “good morning” or “good night” to your employer.

10 - If you are required to walk with a lady or gentleman in order to carry packages, or for any other reason, always keep a few paces back.

11 - You are expected to be punctual to your place at mealtime

12 - You shall not receive any Relative, Visitor or Friend into the house, nor shall you introduce any person into the Servant’s Hall, without the consent of the Butler or Housekeeper.

13 - Followers are strictly forbidden. Any member of the female staff who is found to be fraternizing shall be immediately dismissed.

14 - Expect that any breakages or damages in the house shall be deducted from your wages.


It's so good to be free!

All remote

Oh dear. I seem have been left behind by my employers. I do intend to charter my adventure whilst they are up, up and away in the beautiful steampunk balloon.

Updates to follow
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