for writers and readers….
Mrs Finnegan, housekeeper at The Regency Town House, is able to offer advice in her ownFREE TIME when darning, sweeping, stewing, boiling, polishing and ALL her other DUTIES are completed.
I AM A PLAIN WOMAN, educated for no useful work, all alone in the world.
What am I to do?
I am not looking for false compliments or pity. I will not starve. I have £200 a year so I will have a roof over my head, food on the table and enough to dress respectably. I can afford a maid.
But the future looks so terribly, terribly grey.
Ada Ambitious of Arundel
You wrote in a despondent mood, and I am determined to SHAKE you out of it.
You are not an ugly woman, nor do you bear vicious scars. I would say that you are perhaps a little above the ordinary which is to say much like the rest of us.
What you have is TROUBLESOME hair. I know the type, I have it myself. You have worked hard to tame it. If it were left to its own devices it would be a ball of tight curls that tighten when there is rain in the air. So, well done. (Perhaps a little more goose fat applied at night and washed out in the morning.)
And YOU have £200 per year!
Your education may have focussed on neat embroidery rather than the CLASSICS but even so you have emerged into womanhood as a person of intellect and reason.
And you have £200 per year!
You may lack the guidance of parents or a husband, but you have independence. You can turn the future into any colour you please.
Because you have £200 per year.
You may educate yourself with travel or books or study, involve yourself in good causes, start painting, writing or singing. You can MAKE yourself useful and you have NO ONE to answer to except yourself.
And marriage is not altogether out of the question.
While a suitor may THINK of your £200 a year before he thinks of your BLUE eyes, you can still make a strong union, especially if he has £200 a year himself.
For my ESTEEMED readers including, of course, my Mistress – Mrs Hankey – who takes SUCH an interest in everything I do, welcome to another chronicle devoted to household drudgery.
But first I want to address regular readers concerned that I am more circumspect than usual. Worry not, I am under no restraint, or fear of censor AND have no need of codes or SECRET signals…
On an entirely unconnected matter, I am complimented on my STYLISH use of words in CAPITAL letters and thought today I would experiment with a casual and in no-way planned sprinkling of individual capital LETTERS. See what YOU make of it.
How to LikE PickLe Onions
Make your own.
Buy half a Peck of the smallest onions you can find. Shop around! MISerable servanTs and housekeepeRs buy at the first markEt Stall they come acroSs thinking It will Save time and trouble. It won’t.
Any senioR sErvant worthy of the nAme should pinch, proD and snIff her way through a market or greeNGrocers in sEarch of the VERY freshest produce at the best price. The loWly Onion, white or ReD, is no expection.
(I’m giving up with the capital letter business. It’s given me a headache and is playing havoc with the nib of my quill)
Back to onions. AVOID costermongers unless there is no alternative. They will give short measure if they can get away with it.
In other words, ALWAYS count your onions
Once home peel them and put them into fair water.
Add salt and let then stand all night. Pickling CANNOT be rushed.
Boil them the next day in fresh water. Skim well.
Make the pickle as for cucumbers. You can’t have forgotten already! Well, you can remind yourself HERE. There, you have it – perfect pickles.
MRS FINNEGAN is a regular feature created and written by Bridget Whelan and a host of volunteers at The Regency Town House, readers and subscribers. This week a big thank you to PAUL COUCHMAN
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If you can visit Brunswick Square on Saturday August 20th we may ALSO meet and take the air together. I shall be enjoying The Brunswick Festival so do come along and introduce yourself.*
You can also visit the housekeeper’s room which is a VERY special treat and view the rest of The Regency Town House as well. Book a free mini tour HERE
*If you can recognise me from this drawing I shall be VERY surprised (and a little disappointed)