Download A 1950s Housewife by Sheila Hardy PDF

By Sheila Hardy

A nostalgic, humorous examine what it was once rather prefer to be a Nineteen Fifties housewife during the tales of these who were

Being a housewife within the Fifties was once really a unique event from this present day. After the independence of the wartime years, ladies now needed to go away their jobs after they married and help their husband by way of making a spotless domestic, scrumptious foodstuff, and an inviting bed room. From creative cleansing assistance and ration-book recipes to domestic decor idea, the homemaking tools of the Nineteen Fifties which are gathered right here provide an exciting and poignant perception into the lives of Nineteen Fifties ladies. This e-book additionally bargains heartwarming own anecdotes from ladies who launched into married existence in this interesting postwar interval, offering a visit down reminiscence lane for any spouse or baby of the Fifties.

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As he drives, we talk, or we try to, a halting mix of English and French. I understand, but speaking is harder, I fumble my answers and point, my chest tight and fizzy with anticipation. The cinema is showing some daft recent action film, dubbed into French, with Arabic subtitles. It feels ineffably sophisticated to be doing something so ordinary in such a strange place and I observe the audience covertly, young and old, snacking on paper cones of pumpkin seeds and drinking cans of Coke. After the film ends, the sky is darker blue still and as we drive, a vast inky mass appears to my right: the sea.

I think back to my brief conversation with my predecessor, who told me he was held up in the car park of the nearby supermarket by one of his students, who stole a bottle of vodka from him. I had assumed he was joking, but now I am less sure. After I have finished my awful beverage, she drives me to my new home. We start to climb the hill to Canteleu – the wide, winding road fringed by meadows and wheatfields and poplars that Zola described barely recognizable – when Madame Martine’s decrepit Renault is suddenly overtaken by ten vans full of CRS (the French riot police), sirens blaring, pin pon pin pon pin pon.

I gobble up their thundering unsubtle prose, spending hours lost down the mines (Germinal), among the bonnets in a Parisian department store (Au Bonheur des Dames) or drunk, filthy and starving in the cupboard under the stairs (L’Assommoir). Proust is trickier, but in those quiet Elbeuf mornings I can slow my heartbeat and my reactions sufficiently to get caught up in his waterfalls of words, the textures and the wallpapers, the brocades and silks, the elegant evocation of longing. I love the shapes of Proust in my mouth: often I read passages aloud in the echoing, high-ceilinged bedroom for the sheer physical pleasure of it.

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