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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Entertaining With Elegance - ABC

I received this interesting book for Christmas from friends who know how I love to entertain.
It is published in 1966 (a significant year for me) and is set out alphabetically like a giant index of entertaining.
It was written at a time when people felt making the effort to entertain worthwhile, unlike now days when friends say "let's catch up" and they are talking about meeting in a restaurant or cafe.
It was written at a time before 24hr multi channel TV. So many times I hear people be-moaning how busy they are and their lives are soooo hectic but upon enquiry, basically 6 nights out of 7 sees them flopped in front of the TV from dinner till bed time. I think for most people now "busy" is a state of mind.
It is interesting to note though how many things really have changed from this time and I would like to share a couple; for Ashtrays! And there are many sub headings in this category; dining table, coffee table, on the terrace, the bridge table....and so on. I don't think I can recall a single friend who allows smoking in their homes anymore, even amongst the smokers themselves.

B....includes "Beds" and this is a crack up and I quote:
"Twin beds are the rule for guest-rooms, whenever this is possible, because it can be very difficult for a married couple used to separate beds to become accustomed to a double one. Besides, statistics show that after a certain number of years of marriage, most couples prefer twin beds." for "Childrens' Parties" with many helpful instructions one of which is "Always give lots of prizes on the slightest pretext". So charming.


  1. In 1966, married women often didn't work outside the home, so dinner parties were a good way to mingle. Maybe with couples both working now, the need isn't there, or the energy. Just a thought.

  2. While that is true, I think it is also fair to say that "modern conveniences" have made pretty trivial work of the day to day slog.

    "We both work" was a pretty common phrase when I was trying to garner support for the school's Parents and Friends group. I was a sole parent doing the role of two people AND I worked full time AND I had no car because I chose to pay off my own house.

    I'm pretty intolerant of the "we both work" attitude. Like I said, (no applogies here) "busy" is more a state of mind these days.

  3. In my days with the P&C association of my children's school the saying always was, 'If somethings needs doing, best to ask a busy person'...the inference being that such a person could be relied on to get the job done. Lots of people will use all sorts of excuses including 'we both work'.

  4. Neat book. Funny how thought processes have changed since the 60's. Thank you for your thoughts about Bella.

  5. What a crack up !
    I agree love the dinner party - rarely go out to eat - tend to find so often a food disappointment anyway - so many good cooks amoungst our friends who needs to dine out !
    Support you on the "we both work" front - I mean there is no-one left at home to mess up the house - loads of free non-cleaning time !


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