Browsing the news on-line brought up this little gem in the comments on an article about a newborn baby...' My husband didn't want me to lose my figure, so our three children were all born by surrogates'
I was left speechless.
But mostly today, while labelling every file and box in my shed...I was thinking backwards again. Do you remember those Horlicks Jugs...they were tall and white and came with a sort of whisk thing to beat the lumps out of the powder before you added the hot milk...for those who are unfamiliar with Horlicks...it's a bedtime drink and an acquired taste.
And proper tea strainers in the days when t-bags were in their infancy and most people still used loose leaf tea...metal tea strainers with a small dish to rest it in after you'd used it. Father always put the accumulation of spent tea leaves on the compost heap.
Soup spoons have vanished...they were round rather than oval and the correct way to eat your soup was to sip it from one side of the spoon...not shove the centre lot into your mouth, while it dribbled down your chin...and 'eat' isn't a typo either...for reasons unknown, one referred to 'eating' soup.
And the bread rolls which you ate while eating your bowl of soup...they were always broken apart with your fingers...never cut with a knife...
Salt and pepper and mustard...condiments in other words...they were a bit of a minefield as well. Salt was put on the table in a little dish with a tiny spoon and you put some on the side of your plate...never just sprinkled it gaily about and that had nothing to do with health. Pepper had its own pot but I think you could shake it over your food...it was always white pepper of course because freshly ground black pepper was thought 'foreign'...it was long said that Colman's mustard factory in Norwich made its money from the mustard people left on the side of their plate...because it was heaped tidily beside the salt and most people took more than they used...and it was a very bright yellow...none of your brownish organic mustard liberally laced with tiny peppercorns...
The carving knife was always sharpened at the table with a special steel...and there was a fork in the set which had long prongs for holding the joint of meat still and that had a sort of finger guard which locked into place...
Pudding was simply pudding...never in a month of Sundays would it have been described as dessert because that is what you were offered in a restaurant.
And I'd forgotten table napkins...neatly rolled up and placed on the left hand side of the place setting, it was social death to roll yours back up again if you were eating in someone's else's house...you scrunched it up and left it beside your place.
Needing to use the bathroom when you were visiting was also fraught with social niceties...you asked if you could 'go and spend a penny'...not look vaguely around and ask 'where's the bog then?'...
My English Granny had an outside loo in a little shed and squares of newspaper on a nail in lieu of loo paper...Mother simply never visited because she wouldn't have been caught dead peeing in a shed where the door didn't close over properly...Mother bought Izal toilet paper, which was hard and shiny, though it made for a good substitute for tracing paper if I ran out...soft loo paper was available I think, but it was expensive when it was first displayed in shops.
Instant coffee was regarded as deeply suspect...probably because it was so utterly foul...called Camp, it came in a glass bottle and was mostly Chicory...especially disgusting when served with a liberal dash of sterilised milk which lasted for feckin' weeks before going sour and was the staple in most households...we did have proper milk straight from the cow which was a blessing now I think about it.
But most people bought coffee beans...either ground for you in the shop or in a little grinder at home...then it perked for ages before dribbling out and the resulting liquid was often stone cold.
Gibbs tooth powder...it came in a dinky little tin and you dipped your toothbrush in water and then scrubbed the surface of the powder to get enough on the brush to clean your teeth...just thought...we didn't have a tin each...ugh. No wonder all my teeth fell out.
Feel a bit queasy now.