I just happened to stumble upon a programme called Wartime Farm Christmas the other night and it made really good viewing. Obviously in Britain during the war food and resources were in very short supply so the programme had them recreating the ways people coped. Rabbit - which the "posh" people had turned their noses up at previously - became a staple, combined with 1,001 uses for potatoes and carrots, because there wasn't much else available in the way of vegetables. They showed them making beer out of potatoes (smelly but good, apparently), using matchboxes to make furniture for a doll's house as a Christmas present and making Christmas decorations out of old newspapers.To show them eating their "Christmas dinner" they filmed inside Chiselhurst Caves near London, which provided sanctuary for around 15,000 people per night during the bombings. I found it so fascinating I might buy the book - but then again, since I have goodness knows how many books to read already maybe I should just put it on my wish list (edit to add, it's not a book it's a dvd)!
|Inside Chiselhurst Caves|
One of the books I'm reading at the moment (I usually have a couple on the go at once) is called Round Ireland With a Fridge, by Tony Hawks, and it's just as daft as it sounds. On a drunken night out with a mate in England Tony accepted a bet from his mate, Seamus, that he couldn't hitchhike around Ireland with a fridge. Drunk as he was, he accepted. I mean he must have been really drunk because the bet was for £100 and the fridge alone cost him £130!!!! I haven't gotten very far into it but it's well written and very silly. I don't know when it was written but there were obviously still "tensions" between north and south and at one point he needs to take the road to Donegal which, apparently:
"... dipped in and out of Northern Ireland, and I was anxious not to find myself hitching in that part of the world. Apart from the fact that I'd been told that drivers rarely stop for hitchers there, I was conscious of the interest a small white container might hold for the security forces. Of all the romantic and heroic ways to leave this world, being part of a controlled explosion with a large kitchen appliance rated very poorly." (taken from Tony Hawks' Around Ireland With A Fridge).
It's very daft, but I have to admit I'm enjoying it immensely.
I saw in the news the other day that for the first time ever UNICEF has donated money to the UK to help feed children. It's not a tremendous amount in the grand scheme of things (£25,000) but I guess it shows just how bad things are (for whatever reason) in certain parts of the UK. Whether or not you believe feeding poor children is the responsibility of the government (it is if the parents can't do so), either way that money was very welcome apparently. But then you get dickhead politician Jacob Rees Mogg making some snide comment about how UNICEF was using that donation to score political points and it wasn't appropriate. Yeah, this from an AH who is apparently worth over £100 million and likes to lie down when he's "working" in Parliament. And these are the people who are "running" the country? God give me strength!
|And yes, he is just as much of a dick as he looks!|
My new oven was delivered the other day but since my old oven was attached to the electrical wiring by a domino and my new oven came with a plug the delivery guys wouldn't touch it so they just put the oven on the floor of the kitchen and left! So that left me faffing around trying to get a plug onto the old wiring and then trying a small mixer to see if I'd got it working. I hadn't, and I was starting to panic a bit about how I was going to make Christmas dinner with an unplugged oven in the middle of the kitchen floor (ham sandwiches anyone)? So as Jordan is off for a few days he came over and soon figured out where I'd gone wrong and together we lifted it into its spot and voilà, I'm the proud owner of a brand new oven, which seems pretty easy to use, having tried it out for the first time tonight. So then I asked him if he could take a look at a couple of electrical sockets which were starting to pull out of the wall. I've an idea they were the original sockets from when we moved in and I guess over time they'd started to come loose. So in a couple of hours he went all over the house and tightened up and secured every single socket in the house. It was such a relief and I realize it's things like this that have been getting me down lately - the kinds of jobs I can't do myself and you can never get anyone to come and do for you. When I told Jordan I'd been thinking of trying to hire a DIY guy for the entire day he said he didn't think I'd get one even for a full eight hours because what they actually want to do is sell you the parts - that's where they make the money - not on the labour itself! Damn, I'm so glad I've got him to help me out. Now compare that to André. He's been complaining for a couple of days that there's a loose nail sticking up at the top of the stairs and he keeps catching his foot on it. So as he was going upstairs I handed him a hammer and told him to just hammer it back down. Bang, bang, bang and it was fixed. Then when I asked where he was going he said "to lie down because I'm exhausted"! Ha, I knew he was joking but I tell ya, sometimes I think he's neither use nor ornament that one!
Handy men are handy for small jobs, big jobs don't let them try and sell their services to other customers. And I'd seen a few months back where some in the UK were baking warbread, coarser but very tasty... at least that's what they said.ReplyDelete
Frankly a handyman willing to take on small jobs round here would earn a fortune. There are loads of single women like me who would willingly pay whatever they ask. I would rather pay Jordan, of course, but we're not all that lucky. We were going through how to start planning out the bathrooms and I was trying to break it down to smaller jobs (fewer hours) after Christmas as he's really exhausted at the moment, working 12-15 hour days.Delete
Mum stopped taking sugar in her tea during the war and she treasured eggs because they only got one a week, per person. I still hate wasting eggs because of her.ReplyDelete
I'm glad you have your oven in and working.
As for useful, well, maybe your son will figure it out. One day.
I remember seeing mom's ration book once when I was little and gosh I wish I still had that. But they were a generation who, of necessity, wasted nothing and I think we could learn a lot from them. As for "useful", I'm sure André has loads of other qualities, but "handy" will never be one of them, God bless 'im!Delete
Even though I am pretty handy, there were always things I needed someone to do for me! It was and is so frustrating. Thank goodness for Jordan.ReplyDelete
I will have a go at most things but like you say, there are some things you just can't do (physically) or that are better left to the professionals. I think when these jobs accumulate is when I get frustrated so I'm so happy that he got that done as those plugs have been bothering me for a LONG time!Delete
I broke down and hired a handyman today. He repaired things that have needed repairing since summer.ReplyDelete
Good for you. I had started making a list of all the jobs I wanted done but getting the plugs done was a biggie (well that and getting the oven off the kitchen floor)!Delete
I guess when you're a self-entitled asshat who wants for nothing you will always question the good deeds done by others.ReplyDelete
That said, the book sounds wonderful!
Arch Brexiteer Rees Mogg has, apparently, moved his business to Dublin just recently, so yeah, he is as much of a dickhead as he sounds!Delete
I hate to admit this but when faced with the simplest electric or plumbing problems all I can do is weep.ReplyDelete
Oh don't get me wrong, I would prefer to have a husband around who could easily do all that stuff (not that I ever did). I would be just as happy baking cakes while he did all that stuff but life being what it is, I've had to just get on with an awful lot if it. Thank goodness for youtube is all I can say!Delete
I would enjoy that book and progra very much. I am so appalled at how lay I have become. My waste not I was doing so well at has been not so keene, even though I try and tally what I throw and what I repurpose. I agree with your sentiment on a good handyman/women/person. My husband is no a handy man-he knows stuff, but he gets frustrated, things take 5X longer, and then we are all on pins and needles while he crabs about it. So not just single people, but couples that have skills and time management better used elsewhere should benefit form someone who can do these jobs.ReplyDelete
The programme was very interesting to me as I love to see how they managed during times of great scarcity, and it was well done. And I do agree that you can be married to someone who COULD do all this stuff but either never gets round to it or needs an appreciative audience of 10 just to get started!Delete
Finding a good handyman isn't easy. I sometimes get some help from my brother or my son but often have to figure things out on my own. Today it was changing the lightbulb in my oven but the cover won't come off for me so it waits until my son is up and about.ReplyDelete
Take care and stay well!
The difficulty seemingly is that even if you are happy to pay someone to do it, they are not easy to find. My son is a plumber but helped his friend renovate an old barn over a period of several years, so while plumbing is his speciality, he can do pretty much most things. THANK GOD!Delete
I loved all the series the team did. Edwardian, Victorian etc. There was also a spin off about bakeries. To see what went into a loaf of bread during the industrial revolution was an eye opener. Plaster of Paris was often added as it was cheaper than flour!ReplyDelete
I've caught a glimpse of a couple of the other series (Victorian at least, I think) but haven't sat and watched them as such. When I started to read your comment about bread I was expecting you to say how wholesome everything was - but PLASTER OF PARIS???? Geez!Delete
I thank goodness all the time that my husband is very handy. He's a handman and doesn't try to sell people the parts! He charges what he paid for them and charges an hourly rate for labour. He's very popular here with our elderly neighbours!ReplyDelete
I really don't like Ruth Goodman for some reason! I've seen her in a few things here and she just annoys me! I've no idea why!
I had to laugh at Andre. My youngest used to be that person until he moved to Australia and has his own place to keep intact. Not being able to call on his dad all the time has made a big difference, we're positively impressed now! lol. I'm sure once Andre has his own place you'll find he has more enthusiasm! Hopefully! x
You're so lucky to have a handyman for a husband. Like I said, I would be happy to pay someone but it's so difficult to get anyone here. Still, now I know I can call on Jordan it's great, although I try not to do that too often as he has a life of his own. And I hope you're right about André. I doubt it actually as his dad wasn't handy so I don't think he ever actually saw anyone being handy. We'll see I guess!Delete
Ooooh! I read the Tony Hawks book years ago. Hilarious!!ReplyDelete
Hey, good to hear from you. I've kept checking your blog to see how you were doing but I guess you had better things to do. I hope you're well. I'm still reading the Tony Hawks book but I am enjoying it as he's very "silly" isn't he!Delete