for writers and readers….

Mrs Finnegan’s Almanac – It’s Always Best to Keep in with the Right Kind of Saint

Mrs Finnegan’s Maxim for a HAPPY Life

Never pick an argument with someone who has a lot of time on their hands

The spring is SHY this year, always promising to come and sit awhile and then retreating back into the damp shadows. But the sun is shining today and, as I am determined that The Regency Town House WILL sparkle, we are making a start with the chandeliers.

When I say we, I mean the maids. Oh what a COMFORT it is to have a full complement of staff. Watching them work puts me in mind of the glorious chandelier at the Pavilion.

I have not seen it myself of course, but the painting depicts a true wonder. The glass drops ALONE cost 1 guinea per lb, I’m told. Mind you, I’m uneasy about some of the staff. Look at the right hand side. Do you think the third fellow furthest from the front is about to take a taste of something? Often a necessity, it has to be done in the kitchen or in the deckers’ room when the plates are nicely put together, never in front of guests (or sharp-eyed artists).

Back to the chandelier, it was never INTENDED for Brighton. By rights it should be in China. It was taken there in1816 by Lord Amherst as a present to his celestial majesty the Emperor.

The hope was to extend commercial relations, but negotiations broke off before they started because Lord A wouldn’t “kowtow” to the Emperor. That means lying FLAT on the ground which a lot of us couldn’t do even if we wanted to. The better newspapers reported it as “an indignity being offered at Pekin”.

Drama upon DRAMA, while making the return journey Lord Amherst was shipwrecked on the South China sea which manages to sound wonderfully romantic and hideously dangerous at the same time.

With great good luck, the chandelier was saved (along with Lord A) and found a home in the Pavilion until two years ago. It was taken down after a visit from King William and dear Queen Adelaide because Her Majesty had a dream that it would fall and do TERRIBLE damage to those underneath.

I don’t know where it is now, but I’m sure it will survive to shine another day

Saint of the Week

St Bono Feast Day April 21st

He was a Welsh monk living a blameless LIFE in the 7th century who is of no interest whatsoever except that he restored St Winifred’s head after she was beheaded. He must have been a good family man too, as he raised his niece and cousin from the dead.

The headless saints Felix, Regula and Exuperantius being guided to heaven. They didn’t have the GOOD LUCK to know St Bono.

Other Ways of Judging People

Last week I suggested that a man’s poker work was a sure measure of of his character and intellect. I am grateful to the readers who suggested OTHER methods. These include:

  • the way he uses a mop
  • how clean the water is when he mops
  • that he knows which end of the mop goes in the water
  • ability to stack clean, wet dishes WITHOUT argument
  • a talent for omelette making
  • polished shoes
  • ability to SCORE correctly when participating in competitive sports
  • and the way he takes his socks off

I also advise taking a HARD look at the door-plate before knocking at a house. It is The first object that meets a stranger’s eye and can reveal a lot about what goes on inside.

If it is highly polished, it might be safely concluded that the residents are also highly polished. If, however, it bears the bloom of neglect and is pock-marked with finger prints shall we not also assume that the owner has a similar slovenly attitude toward business, family and friends?

I make sure that my brass is rubbed regularly every morning.

How do you FORM an opinion about your neighbours? Do tell

I am thinking of including a recipe next week.

Which would you prefer – something you could cook or something to clean with?

I suspect that the answers may reveal a lot about the readership of my little almanac.

Mrs Finnegan, sometimes called the commanding intellect of her generation (of Brunswick Square housekeepers), now takes care of two households, The Regency Town House, and her own smaller abode that she shares with her rather new husband Master Peregrine Hildenbrace.
She doesn’t know how she does it. The Almanac is her light relief and wholesome pleasure.
Other women embroider neatly.
Mrs Finnegan educates mankind one week at a time.

Make sure you never miss a week by signing up HERE to her ENTIRELY FREE subscription service.
You can also find out what is happening at The Regency Town House in their delicious monthly newsletter. Subscribe HERE

16 comments on “Mrs Finnegan’s Almanac – It’s Always Best to Keep in with the Right Kind of Saint

  1. Sarah Waldock
    April 18, 2023

    I’d like to know what you use to clean the finger plates on doors. Most things clean up with either bicarb or vinegar but if you have a secret remedy I’m dying to know it.

  2. beth
    April 18, 2023

    I love the head-restoring saint, that’s my kind of saint!

    • Sarah Waldock
      April 18, 2023

      a bit like St Lawrence who frees souls from purgatory every Friday; I do like a man with nice, regular habits.

      • beth
        April 18, 2023

        there you go.

      • bridget whelan
        April 18, 2023

        I didn’t know about his readiness to forgive on a Friday. How nice. Remember being taught that when he was tied to a bed of hot coals (or whatever) in order to convince him to give up his religion he called out that he was done on that side & could they please turn him over. Facing martyrdom with a gentle quip…

    • bridget whelan
      April 18, 2023

      One worth knowing….

  3. seghopkin
    April 18, 2023

    If Mrs Finnegan (or should I say Hildenbrace?) knows a good way of getting candle-wax out of carpets I would be delighted if she would share it. My husband does not always hold the candlestick quite vertically.

    • Sarah Waldock
      April 18, 2023

      I know that one, if Mrs Finnegan has been lucky in the usages of candles in her household. So long as it’s not a nylon carpet, you can lift most of it into a wad of kitchen paper with a hot iron, as with clothing; or peel back the carpet lying the affected portion over a bowl, pour boiling water through. when having had a son who has cast lead figures using the lost wax process after carving out candles [and treading the carvings into the carpet as well] in his bedroom, you learn these things.

      • seghopkin
        April 18, 2023

        Thank you!

    • bridget whelan
      April 18, 2023

      No promises, but I shall put forward the request (BTW she’s Finnegan for professional purposes such as housekeeping & almanac writing & Hildenbrace for all other occasions, although there don’t seem to be many of those)

      • seghopkin
        April 18, 2023


  4. Debbie Millard
    April 18, 2023

    I would like a recipe for cleaning which gives an alternative use for alcohol

    • bridget whelan
      April 30, 2023

      I’m puzzled. Why would you want an alternative use for alcohol?

  5. Joan MacGregor
    April 19, 2023

    I should definitely prefer a recipe for something to cook and eat. Cleaning is something I’d rather leave until next week (which of course never comes). Please do not look closely at the door-plate, should you ever call, as you might find it horribly shocking.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


This entry was posted on April 18, 2023 by in Almanac and tagged , , , , .


%d bloggers like this: