Philobiblon: Advice from the older generation

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Advice from the older generation

I couldn't find it on the web, but was reading in the Sunday Telegraph a review of the autobiography of the actress Liz Smith, Our Betty: Scenes from My Life. It records:

"Her grandmother [who had raised her] died while Liz was serving in the Fleet Air Arm. Her parting words as she set off for the Second World War were: 'Always make sure your vest is aired."

That reminded me irrestibly of our "home economics" teacher from high school, who was a very old-school "cookery" teacher who'd never quite made the leap. (She thought I was great because I was always finished first; little did she know that I achieved that by only really cooking the top layer of pikelets or whatever, and burying the half-cooked ones underneath. It didn't really matter, since nothing we cooked was actually edible anyway. The "boiled frozen vegetables in white sauce" still sticks in my memory as a particularl culinary highlight.)

She was very concerned about safety when the Indonesia class went on a field trip to that country, and had some essential advice:

Always carrying a clean pair of underpants in your hand luggage, in case you get kidnapped.


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