Monday, June 30, 2014

Manner on Monday ~ Visiting Etiquette for the Guest

Note: This extract is posted true to text in the Ladies’ Book of Etiquette and Manners


As a first rule with regard to paying a visit, the best one is, never to accept a general invitation. Instances are very common where women (I cannot say ladies) have, upon a slight acquaintance, and a "When you are in C—— I should be very happy to have you visit me," actually gone to C—— from their own home, and, with bag and baggage, quartered themselves upon the hospitality of their newly made friend, for weeks at a time.

Even where there is a long standing friendship it is not well to visit uninvited. It is impossible for you, in another city, to know exactly when it will be convenient for your friend to have you visit her, unless she tells you, and that will, of course, be a special invitation.

If your friends are really desirous to have you pay them a visit, they will name a time when it will be convenient and agreeable to have you come, and you may accept the invitation with the certainty that you will not incommode them.

Self-proposed visits are still worse. You, in a manner, force an invitation from your friend when you tell her that you can come at a certain time, unless you have previously arranged to let her know when you can be her guest. In that case, your own time is understood to be the most agreeable for her.

If, whilst traveling, you pass through a town where you have friends whom you wish to visit, and who would be hurt if you omitted to do so, go first to a hotel, and either call or send word that you are there. Then, it is optional with them to extend their hospitality or not. Do not be offended if it is not done. The love for you may be undiminished, and the desire to entertain you very great, yet family reasons may render such an invitation as you expect, impossible. Your friend may have engagements or duties at the time, that would prevent her making the visit pleasant for you, and wish to postpone the invitation until she can entertain you as she wishes.

To drive, trunks and all, in such a case, to your friend's house, without a word of warning, is unkind, as well as ill-bred. You force her to invite you to stay, when it may be inconvenient, and, even if she is really glad to see you, and wishes you to make a prolonged visit, you may feel certain she would have preferred to know you were coming. If she really loves you, her natural desire would be to have everything ready to give you a comfortable reception, and not have to leave you, perhaps with your traveling costume on, for an hour or two, while she prepares a room for you. It is not enough to say, at such a time, "Don't mind me," or, "Treat me as one of the family." However much her politeness or love may conceal annoyance, be sure, in her secret heart she does mind you, and remember you are not one of her private family.

To take the liberty of going to the house of a mere acquaintance, for a night or two, while traveling, without invitation, is making a convenience of them, and wears the appearance of wishing to save the customary hotel-bill, so, while it is extremely ill-bred and impertinent, it is also excessively mean.

In case of relationship, or long intimate friendship, an unexpected visit may be pardoned and give pleasure, but it is better to avoid it, as the pleasure will surely be increased if your relative or friend has time to prepare for your reception as her love will prompt, and arrange her duties and engagements to really enjoy your company.

When you receive an invitation by letter to visit a friend, answer it immediately, thanking her for her proffered hospitality, and say decidedly then whether you can accept or decline.

If you accept the invitation, state in your letter by what train, and at what hour you will arrive, that she may meet you, and let nothing but positive necessity keep you from being punctually at the time and place appointed. To linger by the way, for mere pleasure, and make her come several times to meet you, is unkind, as well as ill-bred. If you are unavoidably detained, write to her, state the reason that will prevent your keeping the appointment, and name another time when you can come.

It is well in answering a letter of invitation, to state the limits of your visit, and then to keep them. If she is unwilling to let you go, and you are tempted to stay, that very fact promises well for the pleasure of a second visit. It is better to leave while all will regret you, than to linger on until you have worn out your welcome.

Inquire, as soon as possible after your arrival, what are the regular habits of the family; the hours for rising, for meals, and for retiring, and then be punctual in your attendance. Many ladies are very ceremonious about waiting for a guest, and by delay in your room, or inattention to the time, when you are out, you will keep the whole family waiting.

If you do not wake early enough for the usual breakfast hour, request the chambermaid to knock at your door in time for you to be ready to go down with the family. Before you leave your room in the morning, take the clothes off your bed, throw the upper bed over the foot-board, and then open all the windows (unless it storms), that room and bed may be thoroughly aired before you sit there again.
After breakfast, ask your hostess if you can be of any assistance to her in the household duties. If she declines your services, do not follow her from room to room whilst she is thus engaged, but take your work, books, or music to the sitting room or parlor, until your own room is ready for you. By thus proving that you can occupy yourself pleasantly, while she is away, you make it less annoying to her to feel the obligation to leave you.

As soon as you see that she is ready to sew and chat, leave your book, or, if in your own room, come to the sitting room, where she is, and work with her. It is polite and kind, if you see that she has a large supply of family sewing, to offer to assist her, but if she positively declines your aid, then have some work of your own on hand, that you may sew with her. Many pleasant mornings may be spent while visiting, by one lady reading aloud whilst the other sews, alternating the work.

It is a pretty compliment to repay the hospitality of your hostess, by working whilst with her upon some piece of fancy work, a chair cover, sofa cushion, or pair of ottomans, presenting them to her when finished, as a keepsake. They will be duly appreciated, and remind her constantly of the pleasures of your visit.

If you pass the morning out of the house, remember your time is hers, and have no engagement to interfere with the plans she has laid for entertaining you. Observe this rule during your whole visit, and do not act independent of her plans. By constantly forming engagements without her knowledge, going out without her, or staying in when she has made some excursion or party for your pleasure, you insult her, by intimating that her house is no more to you than a hotel, to sleep and eat in, while your pleasures lie elsewhere.

After dinner, retire for an hour to your own room, that your hostess may lie down if she is accustomed to do so. If the hours kept are later than you have been accustomed to, or if the gayety of the family keeps you out at party or opera, it is best to sleep after dinner, even if you do not always do it. To give signs of weariness in the evening will be excessively rude, implying want of enjoyment, and making your hostess feel hurt and annoyed.

If you have shopping to do, find out where the best stores are, and then go to them alone, unless your hostess will accompany you upon similar business of her own. Do not tax her good nature to go, merely for the sake of aiding you as guide. If one of the children in the family is familiar with the stores and streets, ask her to accompany you, and be careful to acknowledge the kindness by buying something especially for the child whilst she is out with you, if it is only some cakes or bonbons. Choose an hour when you are certain your hostess has made no other engagement for you, or while she is busy in her domestic duties, for these shopping excursions. Offer, when you are going, to attend to any shopping she may want, and ask if there is any commission you can execute for her while you are out.

While on a visit to one friend, do not accept too many invitations from others, and avoid spending too much time in paying calls where your hostess is not acquainted. You owe the greater portion of your time and society to the lady whose hospitality you are accepting, and it is best to decline invitations from other houses, unless they inclose one for your hostess also.

Avoid paying any visits in a family not upon good terms with your hostess. If such a family are very dear friends of your own, or you can claim an acquaintance, pleasant upon both sides, with them, write, and state candidly the reason why you cannot visit them, and they will appreciate your delicacy.
If, while on a visit to one friend, you receive an invitation to spend some time with another friend in the same place, accept it for the period which you have named as the termination of your first visit. You insult your hostess by shortening your visit to her to accept another invitation, and quite as much of an insult is it, to take the time from the first visit to go to pay another, and then return to your first hostess, unless such an arrangement has been made immediately upon your arrival.

Never invite any friend who may call upon you to stay to dinner or tea; you will be taking a most unwarrantable liberty in so doing. This is the right of your hostess, and if, by her silence, she tacitly declines extending this courtesy, you will be guilty of impertinence in usurping her privilege.

Never take any one who calls upon you into any room but the parlor, unless invited to do so by your hostess. You have, of course, the entrée of other rooms, but you have no right to extend this privilege to others.

If you have many gentlemen visiters, check too frequent calls, and make no appointments with them. If they show you any such attention as to offer to drive you to places of interest, or visit with you picture galleries or public places, always consult your hostess before accepting such civilities, and decline them if she has made other engagements for you. If you receive an invitation to visit any place of public amusement, decline it, unless one of the family with whom you are staying is also invited. In that case you may accept. If the gentleman who invites you is a stranger to the family, introduce him to your hostess, or mention her name in conversation. He will then, if he really desires you to accept his proffered attention, include her in the invitation.

When visiting in a family where the members are in mourning, decline all invitations to parties or places of public amusement. It is an insult to them to leave them to join in pleasure from which their recent affliction excludes them. Your visit at such a time will be prompted by sympathy in their trouble, and for the time it is thoughtful and delicate to make their sorrows yours.

If sudden sickness or family trouble come to your friend whilst you are with her, unless you can really be useful, shorten your visit. In time of trouble families generally like to be alone, all in all to each other; and a visitor is felt a constant restraint.

If death comes while you are with your friend, endeavor to take from her as much of the care as you can, a really sympathizing friend is an inexpressible comfort at such a time, as the trying details which must be taken in charge by some one, will be less trying to her than to a member of the family. Do the necessary shopping for your friend, and relieve her of as much family care as you can. Let her feel that you are really glad that you are near her in her affliction, and repay the hospitality she offered in her season of joy by showing her that her sorrow makes her still more dear, and that, while you can enjoy the gayety of her house, you will not flee from its mourning. When your presence can be of no further service, then leave her.

Put out your washing and ironing when on a visit. It is annoying and ill-bred to throw your soiled clothes into the family wash.

Take with you, from home, all the writing and sewing materials you may require while paying your visit. It is annoying to be constantly requested by a visitor to lend her scissors, pins, needles, or paper; no lady should be without her own portfolio and work-box.

Be very careful not to injure any article of furniture in your sleeping apartment, and if, unfortunately, anything suffers from your carelessness, have the accident repaired, or the article replaced, at your own expense.

When your visit is over, give a present to each of the servants, varying its value, according to the length of your visit or the services you may have required. You will add to the pleasure by presenting such gifts yourself, with a few pleasant words.

Never compare the house you may be visiting with your own, or any other you may visit. Avoid also speaking of any house where you may have been a guest in terms of overpraise, giving glowing pictures of its splendor. Your hostess may imagine you are drawing comparisons unfavorable to your present residence. Also avoid speaking unfavorably of any former visit, as your hostess will naturally conclude that her turn for censure will come as soon as your visit is over.

If any family secret comes to your knowledge while you are on a visit in that family, remember the hospitality extended to you binds you to the most inviolable secrecy. It is mean, contemptible, rude, and ill-bred to make your entertainers regret their hospitality by betraying any such confidence; for it is as sacred a confidence as if you were bound over to silence in the most solemn manner.
After paying a visit, you should write to your hostess as soon as you reach home again; thank her in this letter for her hospitality, speak warmly of the enjoyment you have had in your recent visit, and mention by name every member of the family, desiring to be remembered to all.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Author Talk ~ Elizabeth M Darcy

Today I have the pleasure of chatting with Elizabeth M Darcy.

Hi Elizabeth and welcome to my blog.

 EMD: Thanks for having me, Sandie.

1.      Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Born in London, England and now living in Australia, Elizabeth enjoys the thrill of writing YA romance and loves all things magical. She has a passion for history and draws her historical romance stories from the history of her heritage to bring readers the delightful imagery of life and love through time. From Norman Knights to Scottish Highlanders and English rakes, Elizabeth creates stories that will remain with the reader long after the final page.

2.      You have a new release out, what is it about?

      Yes,  Her Norman Conquest  has just been released by Totally Bound.

At the mercy of William the Conqueror, Lady Ann faces an uncertain future as Norman knights fight for her hand.

Left alone after the death of all the male members of her household at the Battle of Hastings, Lady Ann finds herself at the mercy of William the Conqueror. The King intends to marry his knights to Saxon gentry. Ann becomes a useful if not uncooperative ally by using her ability to speak French to liaise with the terrified Saxon women and their potential husbands. She falls in love with a devastatingly handsome Norman blacksmith only to discover King William has plans for her to marry one of his knights.

3.      How did you come up with the idea for your novel?

The story came from a notation my aunts found in a family bible found in France, handed down over generations during investigations about our family tree.  The translation went something like this:
  I thank God, I was saved from marrying a beast by a humble blacksmith.
 Well, when I read it and a story poured into my mind… romantic.

 4.      Do you plot your novels or fly by the seat of your pants type of girl?

     I write without a net. The story writes itself really, I just go along for the ride.

5.      How long does it normally take you to write your first draft?

 I write a chapter, then edit and layer before I write the next chapter. How long is different depending on the genre, historical takes longer because of the research and checking every word. In Historical stories I write, then highlight anything that needs checking as I go rather than slow down the thought process.

6.      Who are your favourite authors?

            I read about four books a month, I love audio books too because they are kinder to my       eyes. So, picking favourites is very difficult, Diana Gabaldon, Anna Campbell, Lindsey Sands, Sandra Brown for romance and I like a few action adventure books as well and some of the old masters. I’m reading Silas Marner  by George Eliot at the moment,   having just finished Written in My Own Heart’s Blood…..still crying over the deaths in that story.

7.      You have had an offer from Hollywood to turn your novel into a movie, who would you have play the lead roles? Why?

            My handsome knight would have to be Chris Hemsworth, big and blond. Yes,       couldn’t go wrong with him.
            Lady Ann? Hmm Lily Collins would be perfect. She was in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. English actress who is just delightful.

8.      Who would like to direct it?

         "Game of Thrones" director Alex Graves

9.      Can you give us a small extract from your novel?

Excerpt: Her Norman Conquest
London, 1072

         “All unwed landed ladies, widows or maidens of childbearing age are hereby summoned to Hertfordshire without delay.”

         Lady Ann of Parr balled her fists and glared up at the Norman knight, so mighty, reading his declaration from the back of a horse. Mayhap he believed she would plunge a dagger in his heart. “But, my lord, I have tenants to oversee, an estate to manage. Your king has slaughtered the men of my family and all of my father’s loyal men.” She lifted her chin. “I am the only one left to guide my people.”

        The knight stared down at her without compassion. “Gather your belongings. My patience grows thin.”
She pressed her lips together. Bad enough the new king’s army had brutally slain the proud Saxon men and had left them to rot on the battlefield, but since the invasion, their mourning wives and daughters had lived in constant terror of these foreign-speaking brutes. Indeed, few women had knowledge of the French language as she did. She had heard tales about Norman knights ransacking estates in search of documents or details regarding their wealth or lands. She closed her eyes and drew a deep breath. Dear God! Her turn had come to join the stream of highborn womenfolk the beasts had bundled into carts bound for London to meet their death, or worse, forced to marry a murdering Norman knight.

         Conceding defeat, she met his gaze. “Very well, when do we leave?”

         “Sir Paul de Groote will be accompanying you. He will arrive at daybreak.” His lip curled with contempt. 

         “Make sure you are ready to depart. Two of my men will remain here to ensure you comply with the king’s orders.” The stern knight swung his horse around and returned to his troops.

* * * *

         The sun had hardly peeked over the horizon to herald the arrival of Sir Paul de Groote and his troops at her country estate. He had impressed her with his courtesy, so unlike the brutish ways she had encountered from the Norman knights so far. The man was impressively tall and spoke in a gentle tone. He had appeared genuinely remorseful in his delivery of the missive from the newly crowned king. Mayhap not all the Normans had such bad manners.

         “You may take your maid and one trunk. We have little room to spare.” Sir Paul led her towards the cart. 

          “You will be taken to Berkhamsted Castle and King William will decide your future.” He gave her a tight smile. “I’m sure you will be impressed at what changes our king has made to England. He plans to build great castles. Have no fear, all the estates will be properly managed under Norman rule.”

          She bit back a retort—no need to make an enemy of a man who had at least offered her a modicum of civility. She climbed into the cart with Meg at her side and watched her beloved home vanish into the morning mist. Aye, she had heard tell of Berkhamsted Castle created by Robert of Mortain to protect the king and built with no less than two moats to ensure against any further Saxon uprising. It would seem the Normans had need for such things. Hours passed with no respite and the heavens had opened up, drenching her by the time the wooden structure came into view. Cold, hungry and with a failing spirit, she followed the guards through the courtyard.

         Inside the great hall, she gaped in wonder at the impressive opulence around her. The walls rose high on each side, one covered in magnificent tapestries. The other displayed a large variety of weaponry, and centred hung the battered shield depicting King Harold’s coat of arms. A shiver raced down her spine at the memory of the tales spoken in hushed voices about the gruesome death of King Harold. The great king had suffered an arrow to the eye and the Norman butchers had hacked him to pieces. He would turn in his grave if he could hear French spoken as the tongue of his beloved England.

        She smothered a sob. Her sharp intake of breath brought Meg to her side. She brushed aside the bunched cotton cloth offered by her maidservant, lifted her chin and stepped into the Great Hall. “Put it away, Meg, for I fear I have no more tears to shed.”

         She pushed down the fear, determined not to cower before the Normans. All about her, guards stood oppressively close. Musky male scent rose from their warm bodies, enhanced by the dampness from the incessant, freezing rain. She glanced at her ashen-faced maidservant and straightened her soaked head rail. Anger shivered down her spine. How dare they treat her in such a manner? 

10.                        Now the most important question. Where can we get a copy of your novel?

You can find me here:

Thank you Elizabeth for joining me today. All the best on your new release.

Thank you so much for having me on your blog today J



 From Mrs. Beetons Household Management

   Spring Soup.
   Boiled Salmon and Lobster Sauce.

   Veal Cutlets and Endive.
   Ragoût of Duck and Green Peas.

   Roast Loin of Veal.
   Boiled Leg of Lamb and White Sauce.
   Tongue, garnished.

   Strawberry Cream.
   Gooseberry Tartlets.
   Almond Pudding.
   Lobster Salad.


Saturday, June 28, 2014

Stitches on Saturday ~ Embroidery Stitches Part 3

From Mrs Beeton’s Book of Needlework

ILLUSTRATION 101 (Blossom in Satin Stitch).--The eyelet is worked in overcast stitch, then work the upper part of the blossom all in one piece as far as the beginning of the veining, thence the blossom is worked in two halves.

ILLUSTRATIONS 102 & 103 (Blossom in Satin Stitch).--The raised centre of this flower is formed by a bead, over which the embroidery is worked. When the leaves have been worked one after the other, place a bead in the centre, left free in such a manner that one hole lies on the material, and work over the bead by inserting the needle into its upper hole, then underneath the material, drawing it out above the material close to the bead, and so on (see 103).

ILLUSTRATION 104 (Star Pattern in Satin Stitch).--The centre, which forms a wheel, is worked first. Draw the threads across the circle marked by an outline; in the centre they are wound round, always taking one thread on the needle and leaving the next thread under the needle, as can be seen in 122 on the half-finished pattern. The material underneath the wheel is only cut away when the rest of the pattern has been embroidered.

ILLUSTRATIONS 105 & 106 (Patterns in Back, Satin, and Ladder Stitches).--The small star in the centre of No. 105 is worked in point de reprise.

ILLUSTRATION 107 (Flower in Satin Stitch).--The fine veinings are worked with fine black silk in point russe, which renders the effect of the flower very beautiful.

ILLUSTRATIONS 108 & 109 (Rose in Satin Stitch).--No. 109 shows one petal larger than full size. The outer circle only is prepared with chain stitches underneath, so as to appear raised; the inner circles are worked flat. The centre of the rose is embroidered in open work.

ILLUSTRATION 110 (Embroidered Heartsease).--For the knotted stitch see No. 75. for the point croisé see 71 and 72.

ILLUSTRATION 111 (Flower in Raised Satin Stitch).

ILLUSTRATION 112 (An Ear of Corn in Point de Minute).

ILLUSTRATIONS 113, 114, & 116 (Bluebell in Raised Satin Stitch).--This flower is worked partly in separate pieces, as has been described. Illustration 116 shows the raised part stretched out flat. When it is finished it is fastened down along the dotted line on No. 114, which shows the inner part of the flower.

ILLUSTRATION 115 (Flower in Point de Minute).--This stitch is here worked over a thick foundation of chain stitches. For raised patterns it looks very well.

ILLUSTRATIONS 116 & 117 (Flower worked in Appliqué).--To work in appliqué, two materials, either similar or different, are needed. You can work either in appliqué of muslin on muslin, or of muslin on net, or of net on net. Muslin on Brussels net is the prettiest way of working in appliqué; we will therefore describe it: the other materials are worked in the same manner. Trace the pattern on the muslin, fasten the latter on the net, and trace the outlines of the pattern with very small stitches work them in overcast stitch with very fine cotton, taking care not to pucker the material. The veinings are worked in overcast. When the pattern has been embroidered cut away the muslin round the outlines with sharp scissors, so that the net forms the grounding (see No. 117). The greatest care is required in cutting out the muslin to avoid touching the threads of the net.

ILLUSTRATIONS 118 & 119 (Narrow Borders).--It will be easy to work these borders from the above instructions. Observe only that on border 118 the outer row of scallops is worked first, then the button-hole stitch row, and the rest afterwards. The spots are edged all round in knotted stitch. The wheels in the centre of the eyelets of No. 119 are worked with very fine cotton in loose button-hole stitch; they are wound round with the cotton in a second row.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Things Worth Knowing ~ Occupations - Part 3

D List of Occupations

This is a list of some occupations of which many are archaic although surnames usually originated from someone's occupation.

◦DAGUERREOTYPE ARTIST - early name for a photographer (from the Daguerreotype method)

◦DAIRYMAN - worker or owner of a dairy farm or seller of dairy products

◦DAMSTER - builder of dams for logging purposes

◦DANTER - female overseer in the winding rooms of a silk mill

◦DATELER / DAY MAN / DAYTALEMAN - casual worker, usually employed by the day

◦DEATHSMAN - executioner

◦DECIMER / DOZENER - elected by the householders in a street to act as their representative at the borough's Court Leet

◦DECOYMAN - employed to decoy the wild fowl, animals etc into a trap or within shooting range

◦DECRETIST - knowledgeable in decrees, decretals

◦DEEMER / DEEMSTER / DEMSTER / DEMPSTER - judge, usually in the Channel Isles or Isle of Man

◦DELVER - dug ditches

◦DEPATER - precious metal refiner

◦DEPUTY - safety officer for the pit crew in the mining industry

◦DERRICKMAN - worked on an oil well handling the tubes and rods used in drilling

◦DEVIL - printer's errand boy

◦DEVILLER - operated the devil, a machine that tore rags used in the textile industry

◦DEXTER - dyer

◦DEY WIFE - female dairy worker

◦DEXTER - dyer

◦DIKEMAN / DYKEMAN - hedger or ditcher

◦DIPPER - who worked in the pottery trade and was responsible for the glazing of items

◦DISHER / DISH THROWER - who made bowls and dishes

◦DISH TURNER - who made wooden bowls or dishes

◦DISTILLER - maker of alcoholic beverages

◦DISTRIBUTOR - parish official attached to the workhouse / poorhouse who looked after the secular needs of the poor

◦DOCKER / DOCK WALLOPER - dock worker, longshoreman

◦DOCK MASTER - in charge of a dockyard

◦DOG LEECH - veterinarian

◦DOG-WHIPPER - one who drove dogs away in a village

◦DOMESMAN - judge

◦DOMESTIC - household servant

◦DONKEY BOY / DONKEY MAN - driver of a carriage for passengers

◦DOOR KEEPER - guard, janitor, or porter

◦DOUBLER - who operated a machine used to twist together strands of fibre (cotton, wool etc)

◦DOWSER / DIVINER - water finder

◦DRAGMAN - fisher man who fished by dragging a net along the bottom of the water

◦DRAGOMAN - who acted as interpreter or guide in Turkish or Arabic

◦DRAGSMAN - driver of a small stage coach or carriage used for public transport or private hire

◦DRAGOON - mounted infantryman

◦DRAINER - who made drains

◦DRAPER - dealer in fabrics and sewing needs

◦DRAWBOY - weavers assistant in the shawl making mills , they sat atop the looms and lifted the heavy warps.

◦DRAYMAN - cart driver

◦DREDGERMAN - one who in a boat to collect the bits and pieces that had fallen overboard from other vessels which then were sold (London occupation)

◦DRESSER - one who dresses another, surgeon's assistant and also one who operated a machine which prepared threads in the textile industry

◦DRESSING MACHINE MAKER - who made sewing machines

◦DRIFT MAKERA - who made drift nets, used in the fishing industry

◦DRIPPING MAN - dealer in dripping (the fat collected during the cooking of meats)

◦DRIVER - slave overseer

◦DROVER - sheep or cattle driver

◦DRUGGER - pharmacist

◦DRUMMER - traveling salesman

◦DRY SALTER - dealer in pickles, dried meats, and sauces or a dealer in dyes and colors used in the dying trade

◦DUBBERE - cloth dubber, i.e., one who raises the nap of cloth

◦DUFFER - peddler of cheap goods

◦DUSTMAN / DUSTBIN MAN - collected domestic refuse

◦DRY STONE WALLER (DRY STANE DYKER in Scottish) - built stone walls usually using the stones removed from the fields as building materials. The art was in not using any cement or mortar and generally not cutting the stone, but being able to see where variuos stones would fit together

◦DYER - employed in the textile mills to color fabric prior to weaving

◦DYKER - Scottish term for a stonemason

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Words on Wednesday ~ Victor Hugo - Moonlight on the Bosphorus

("La lune était sereine.")

{X., September, 1828.}

Bright shone the merry moonbeams dancing o'er the wave;
At the cool casement, to the evening breeze flung wide,
Leans the Sultana, and delights to watch the tide,
With surge of silvery sheen, yon sleeping islets lave.

From her hand, as it falls, vibrates the light guitar.
She listens—hark! that sound that echoes dull and low.
Is it the beat upon the Archipelago
Of some long galley's oar, from Scio bound afar?

Is it the cormorants, whose black wings, one by one,
Cut the blue wave that o'er them breaks in liquid pearls?
Is it some hovering sprite with whistling scream that hurls
Down to the deep from yon old tower a loosened stone?

Who thus disturbs the tide near the seraglio?
'Tis no dark cormorants that on the ripple float,
'Tis no dull plume of stone—no oars of Turkish boat,
With measured beat along the water creeping slow.

'Tis heavy sacks, borne each by voiceless dusky slaves;
And could you dare to sound the depths of yon dark tide,
Something like human form would stir within its side.
Bright shone the merry moonbeams dancing o'er the wave.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tasty Tuesday ~ White Pound Cake

From Mrs Wilson's Cook Book


Four ounces of butter,
One and one-half cups of sugar.
Cream until light and frothy, and then add
One cupful of milk,
Three and one-half cupfuls of flour,
Four teaspoonfuls of baking powder,
One teaspoonful of almond extract,
One-half teaspoonful of mace.

Beat for five minutes to blend and then cut and fold in the stiffly beaten whites of five eggs. Bake in prepared pans for one hour in a moderate oven. Use the pans prepared the same as for the fruit cake. Golden cake may be made from this recipe, using the yolks of seven eggs.

To use successfully you must use good shortening, pastry flour, granulated sugar and fresh eggs. Exact care in measuring with the proper methods of compounding and finally careful baking are necessary. Now for another point: do not stir the cake after its final beating.

In filling the cake pan put the mixture well into the corners and leave a slight depression in the centre. This will leave the cake perfectly smooth on top. Now, if the oven is too cool when the cakes go into it the cake will rise over the top of the pans and become coarse-grained. While, on the other hand, if it is too hot it will brown quickly on the top before the cake has had a chance to rise; then when the dough does attempt to rise it will break through and crack the crust. Too much flour will also cause this. Now to break the old hoodoos about cake-baking! You may look at the cake after it is in the oven ten minutes if you will open and shut the oven door gently, and if necessary to remove the cake wait until it has reached its full height and is beginning to brown. Then it may be removed carefully without danger of falling. Sometimes it may be necessary to remove the cakes so that they may brown evenly. Icing the cakes greatly improves their appearance. Should the cake for any reason scorch, don't trim it with a knife. This spoils its appearance; instead use a grater and remove the scorched part.