Etiquette as Great Grandmother knew it

Blackour book cover 001Found in The Black-Out Book (1939) are these rules copied out in her diary by the editor’s great-grandmother.

 

Good manners are made up of petty sacrifices

 

When calling, do not enter into grave discussion. Trifling subjects are better.

 

It is rude to turn a chair so that your back will presented to anyone.

 

In company do not converse with another in a language that is not understood by the rest.

 

If it becomes necessary to break a marriage engagement, it is best to do so by letter. The reasons for your course can be given much more clearly than in a personal interview. All presents, letters, etc., received should accompany the letter announcing the termination of the engagement.

 

During a walk in the country, when ascending a hill or walking on the bank of a stream, and the lady is fatigued, and sits upon the ground, a gentleman will not seat himself by her, but remain standing until she is rested sufficiently to proceed.

 

A dispute about religion is foolish. When it is known that there are fifteen hundred millions of people on the face of the earth, speaking 3034 languages, and possessing one thousand different religious beliefs, it will be easily seen that it is a hopeless task to harmonize them all. Continue reading

The Army of the Planes

51v-xtwfTSL._SX369_BO1,204,203,200_Found in  The Poetry of Flight, an Anthology (edited by Stella Wolfe Murray, published by Heath Cranton, London 1925) this stirring poem by the American poet Minna Irving (1857 – 1940) Her real name was Minnie Odell Michiner and she was from Tarrytown, New York. She published a poetry collection, “Songs of a Haunted Heart” in 1888, and published poems in turn-of-the-century periodicals such as Munsey’sThe Smart Set, and The Gray Goose. She also wrote a science fiction story  “The Moon Woman” which appeared in the November 1929 issue of Amazing Stories (right.) She has no Wikipedia entry.  The anthology, which has pieces by Homer, Swinburne, Duncan Campbell Scott and W.H. Davies is dedicated ‘..to the memory of all have given their lives for aeronautical progress.’ Her poem could have been written by an Italian Futurist and has all  the excitement of the early days of aviation.

The Army of the Planes
They are coming with the drumming of a million pinions humming
And the purr of mighty motors that are all in time and tune
Proudly soaring with the roaring of the thousand northers pouring
Through the vast and hollow spaces sacred to the sun and moon
They are racing into places filled with radiant star faces

Following the meteor’s speedways and the comet’s ancient lanes,
And the universe is shaking, and the waking earth is quaking
At the terror and the marvel of the army of the planes
Wings of wonder as they thunder sweep the rolling clouds asunder
Sailing great uncharted oceans of the empyrean blue;
Struts are singing, wires are ringing, swift propeller blades are flinging
Spray of diamond dust and silver when they cut a star in two.
Hail the aerial squadrons forming through the fields of azure storming, Battle birds the crimson war god to celestial combat trains,
Swooping down from viewless regions to the aid of earthly legions—
Hail the glorious, victorious, valiant army of the planes!

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Air Raid Precautions. Hints for Housewives..

A wealth of practical information from a Mrs Creswick Atkinson. This 1941 booklet was aimed at housewives in World War II. In the case of an air raid or the possibility of such you either went to to your own air raid shelter (often an Anderson shelter), a public shelter or 'a table indoor shelter' or refuge room. If sheltering under a table you had to be sure it was the bottom floor or basement. The booklet is good on children and pets (although a child is often referred to as 'it') and says several times that they should be sent to the country, something not always possible. There is advice on gas attacks, incendiary bombs and even what to do if being machine gunned by an enemy plane:

Do not run away from the plane. Throw yourself down on your face at once. If you have to run, run towards the plane, not from it. 

In case your house is bombed:

1. Pack a suitcase of spare clothing and keep it at a friend's house in another part of town.
2. Arrange with a friend at the opposite end of your street or in another part of the town to give you hospitality for a short time in case of need.
3. Arrange with a relative to take you in until you can return to your house or find other quarters.

There is the usual advice about not spreading rumours and to 'keep cheerful yourself, and keep others cheerful too. A long face does not help anyone, but a cheerful face always makes the day seem brighter.' In fact 'Keep Calm and Carry on!'

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