Mars

Hi, The point (if there is a point) of this blog is to post liner notes and playlists of mix CDs originating from moi and hopefully fanning out into a chain of mix CDs. If you get a CD from me, make me and a friend one, and email me some liner notes and I'll post them. Then your friend should make you and someone else a mix CD etc etc. Maybe it will work PS If you want to be on my knit list, let me know what you want and I'll see what I can do!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

301 Things A Bright Girl Can Do

My mum recently mailed me Three Hundred and One Things A Bright Girl Can Do. It's one of my favorite childhood artifacts, along with The Little White Horse and The Moomintroll books. And yes, I was kind of a prissy little girl.

The reason why I love THOTABGCC (published in 1911, at the tail end of the Edwardian era), is that there is a kind of sense of impending modernity about it, but it's still pretty quaint, and is kind of illuminating in terms of the knowledge a well-brought up young lady could reasonably be expected to have.

It has chapters on different sports (hockey, tennis etc), and a whole entire chapter on May Pole Dancing, which is less exciting than you might imagine. If you were a bright girl, you could also learn how to: make tents, grow flowers, sketch, paint in oils, do pyrography, study architecture, raise silkworms, tell fortunes, make a hammock, knit, crochet, sew, create the illusion of someone being cremated alive, do sign language, cut a bottle in two, play a series of very boring but elaborate parlor games, make toffee and fudge, decorate a church, and put on a theatrical production.

I guess all this only applies if you were a bright girl who was lucky enough not to have other commitments,

Another reason I love this book is the blatant snobbish editorializing; in the aforementioned May Pole chapter: 'it is a pity that the vulgar rubbish of the Cockney music-halls should prevail when excellent music is available'. In the hockey chapter: 'Girls who club together for the exercise alone and with no desire to show off will be able to keep expenses down'. In the Introduction: 'How gracefully and well does a woman ride a bicycle usually; how humpbacked and ungainly do most men appear on the same machine!'

Anyway, I guess I'm the third generation to own this book; there are no bright girls in the fourth generation, more's the pity, but I hold out hope for the fifth.

16 Comments:

At 11:11 AM, Blogger minty said...

I think I am a Bright Girl, so I would like to learn how to create the illusion of someone being cremated alive, because that is something I have never, ever learned how to do, and it's left a big hole in my otherwise fairly well-rounded life.

Who could I illusorily cremate? Maybe Mykull???

 
At 11:57 AM, Blogger Marianne said...

I would love to learn with you! A handy skill for any Bright Girl to have in her arsenal. I fear the book might proscribe generous doses of laudanum provided to the audience before the demonstration, in order to put them in a state of extreme suggestibility.

 
At 9:28 PM, Anonymous Jerry said...

Moomins! I read a few of those books as a lad. When I wasn't studying pyrography or raising silkworms.

 
At 9:30 PM, Blogger Jerry said...

Okay, so why isn't Blogger linking to my page when I choose the "other" identity? What, is Blogger afraid to link directly without making you go through my stupid "Blogger profile page"?

I'm sorry, Marianne. I'm upset with Blogger, not you.

 
At 9:38 PM, Blogger Jerry said...

Okay, so now why is it saying that my Blogger profile cannot be displayed? I clicked "share my profile" and everything!

You know what, Blogger? Fuck you.

Again, Marianne, sorry you had to see that. But it had to be said.

 
At 9:38 PM, Blogger Jerry said...

Okay, now it looks like it's working. Thanks, Blogger! You're the best! :-)

 
At 11:51 PM, Anonymous Blogger said...

No, Fuck You Jerry.

 
At 7:35 AM, Blogger Marianne said...

Jerry, you'll be happy to know Blogger has been severely spanked and sent to bed with no supper.

And I've decided that the cremated alive illusion should be performed on Blogger. He cried a bit when I told him that.

My verification word is babyks - really!

 
At 5:05 PM, Blogger pinky pinkerson said...

yeah, if you were a maid or a prostitute, you probably wouldn't have the leisure time to cut bottles in half (how?), study architecture, or even raise a few silkworms.

(fewbub)

 
At 8:57 PM, Blogger Marianne said...

BTW Jerry, were the Moomintroll books not the trippiest books ever? The sandlion and Snufkin and The Snork?

Did you have hippy parents or something?

 
At 9:48 PM, Anonymous minty said...

Those Moomintroll books sound like they might have been the inspiration for H. R. Pufnstuf. Now thatp was some trippy-ass shit.

 
At 9:49 PM, Anonymous minty said...

Excuse the "p" after my italicized word. Fuck you Blogger! I am not drunk!!

 
At 11:28 PM, Blogger Michael said...

why is minty such a poor speller?

p.s. wouldn't it be cool to re-publish 301 things a bright girl can do. let''s start a vintage publishing house.

 
At 7:52 AM, Blogger Marianne said...

I just think Minty doesn't give a flying fuck about that stuff. Virgo my ass.

I kind of want to do a 'Julia and Julia' thing with 301 Things and do everything in the book and blog about it.

 
At 1:50 PM, Blogger Michael said...

OMG, that's a brilliant idea! seriously! you should do it!

 
At 7:23 PM, Blogger minty said...

One a day, with Sundays off, will give you blog fodder for the whole year!

 

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