I happened to find an old Etiquette Handbook for all occasions to suit Australian Conditions amongst my papers, which may have belonged to my grandmother, but whose pages are now rather careworn and shabby I'm afraid.
I've been brushing up on good form...
Rules for the use of deckchairs are not to be broken.
When dressing for dinner, ladies should avoid wearing fragile evening frocks.
Flimsy envelopes are best avoided
It is sufficient to serve one white wine and one red wine during luncheon, which lasts about half-an-hour.
Do not stare about the room or make comments about the ornaments
Do not break any of the accepted rules
Pet dogs are never brought into the drawing room
Hands are very noticeable
Walking shoes, of course, are an essential item
wearing the colours of any club, etc., is definitely incorrect if there is no connection with the wearer and the club
Gentlemen do not speak to ladies with a pipe in their mouths
the legs of a pigeon are not eaten
There is no neccessity to be nervous
Doors were not made to be banged
"Gentlemen do not speak to ladies with a pipe in their mouths."
I am equally unambiguous in such circumstances. It is the height of bad manners to conversationally engage members of the fair sex whilst they partake of the soothing communal meerschaum.
Posted by Sedgwick at January 8, 2005 07:21 PM
"Hands are very noticeable"
Which means of course, that socks too are an essential item, providing discrete and practical camouflage.
Posted by saint at January 8, 2005 08:57 PM
I agree, Your Excellency.
You'd never hear a peep out of me to the contrary, even passively speaking.
Indeed saint, and the more discrete the better in my little book. Especially if things are oddly afoot.
(btw - 'Rules for Picnics' deserves its own post)
Posted by boynton at January 8, 2005 10:49 PM
"Do not break any of the accepted rules" prompts the question as to whether that is one of the accepted rules. If so, it becomes impossible to break one and only one of the rules. I like that.
Posted by phlip at January 8, 2005 11:10 PM
Alas, I can't quite get my dumb head around that, Philip, but I shall take your word for it.
In the presence of a scary display of Accepted Rules around the drawing room, I would try not to stare, or to comment.
(I do know: Rules are broken, never cut. Never crumble rules into the soup...)
Posted by boynton at January 8, 2005 11:32 PM
"Doors were not made to be banged"
See, that's a lie. Doorsmiths understand human nature and build their doors to bang.
Posted by Kent at January 9, 2005 12:45 AM
- and to be unhinged is also human, I guess.
Posted by boynton at January 9, 2005 01:37 PM
Posted by at January 9, 2005 08:27 PM
Hands are noticeable.(but) - There is no necessity to be nervous. Do not stare about the room or make comments about the ornaments
When it comes to the laws of etiquette I am an abject, miserable failure. Dad used to want to know what the 'right thing to do' was and sis' too indulged and delighted her paranoia in this pretentious load of cobblers! I always maintained that if one were human one would know how to behave. so there, *raspberry*
There are places that you can't take me, (obviously). But save your token, because these are also the places I refuse to go to.
Posted by Link at January 10, 2005 09:49 AM
No nostalgia then, anon?
It is usually unwise to blow raspberries in the presence of ornaments, not to mention pipes and fragile frocks.
No South Sea cruise circa 1933 for you then? ;)
Rules always make me nervous. But words like "overcoat", "Linesman" and even "entree fork" make me nostalgic.
Posted by boynton at January 10, 2005 11:43 AM
Nostalgic? Of course.l'm human ( l think )
Posted by at January 10, 2005 04:00 PM
Wedding present burnt orange fondue set. 3 in fact. ("You never know when the entire extended Emmenthaler family might drop in for a bite to fork.")
True nostalgic lachrymosity.
Posted by Sedgwick at January 10, 2005 04:26 PM
Lachrymosity of joy I hope.
Hope you held on to all 3!
Fondue is chic again - well 2 years ago there was a slight flurry of activity in the op-shops in response to the revival rumours.
I bought one myself - and have been promising the extended Benefactor family (who gifted me a recipe book) a Chmapagne Fondue.
They haven't dropped in yet.
Posted by boynton at January 10, 2005 04:36 PM
though chmapagne sounds possible too.
Posted by boynton at January 10, 2005 04:39 PM
When purchasing such creatures (zool: fondus arancione burnum-burnum) from Op shops you can be assured of this - "as good as new - used once only".
Lachrymosity of - how does that song go? - "Smoke gets in your eyes."
Back in those devil may care days of non mandatory smoke alarms. Them's what killed the fondue party.
Posted by Sedgwick at January 10, 2005 05:34 PM
Ahem...bin there, done that...
One of a few fondue posts of mine - as it turne out. Maybe would have needed its own Category.
btw some of those fondus arancione specimens are like the fabled Trading Post wedding dresses - Never worn?
Posted by boynton at January 10, 2005 05:43 PM
And speaking of etiquette - always be sure to pass the Dutchie (and port) on the left hand side.
Posted by Nabakov at January 10, 2005 10:47 PM
It is considered incorrect to refuse a gift except under exceptional circumstances.
(oh and here's one I really ought to have considered for inclusion.
"Knocking people, particularly with suitcases, calls for an apology..." )
Posted by boynton at January 10, 2005 11:58 PM
You could base an entire art movement on this..
what would you call it.. ettiquavism?
Posted by David Tiley at January 14, 2005 01:55 AM
And the notion of a previous generation of bon viveurs scarfing two glasses of wine in their half hour lunch, while not showing their hands, leaving the pigeon legs on their plates and concealing the socks in their sandals is too delicious and makes me want to hunt the Op-shops for an electroplated cake stand RIGHT NOW.
Posted by David Tiley at January 14, 2005 01:58 AM
...and the more discrete the better in my little book. Especially if things are oddly afoot.
Which is why one must not stare about the room or make comments about the ornaments, in case your gracious hostess notices some are missing.
Posted by at January 14, 2005 06:21 AM
I've heard of ornaments going missing under hats (true - a first hand account) but never within socks? (first or second foot)
Posted by boynton at January 14, 2005 01:05 PM