Enriching ShocksAnd Tonic
0N the subject of " homes for single women " I have already heard from a lady who is in a dilemma between ionelt.
ness if she stays in the house long shared with her mother, now dead, or loss of privacy if she lets the house, and seeks more sociable accommodation.
Sometimes an " outside " corn. ment which does not take account of the details. or the special mood of the person concerned, can be helpful.
I would say that she is lucky to have a house, and to be able to compromise by a trial period in hotel or hostel, which she says she can afford if she does let her home.
The positive gain of a complete change of background and atmosphere can mean, if she fulls accepts snags and blessings. that she is better able to build up a new life in her own house later. She may see a way of solving someone else's problem. by planning to she' e the house.
The widening of experience. the very " shock " of passing outside the shelter of her old home, could enrich life greeds. It is necessary to open one's mind and heart to the new conditions, rather than trying to hear it with rigid " fortitude." Pardon a platitude, but the first way is the real route to perpetual " youth " of the genuine variety.
It seems clear, too, that there are times of vaccilating depression when any decision — within our twofold Laws!—is better than none. Even a fly in a jam-pot gets tired of buzzing round.
Incidentally—since one might as welt aim high in low moments?— have you noticed how little the saints seemed to weigh up practical pros and cons of any kind? They all seemed so splendidly "mobile" and able to travel light.
Other letters from people living in, or letting, " rooms" are practical. I hope to show you some next week.
THE whole subject of "home" has particular importance in these short days of winter. More time is spent within walls. and plans are afoot for Christmas.
This is especially true for the single woman—or man for that matter — whose background is usually less settled than that of the wife and mother.
Then there is the " retired" mother who, as a widow, has dwelling problems to-day. Distance, size of house, or real—not necessarily hostile—clash of occu
only to be moved by the tragedy of Mr. Donald Wolfit's Father Provincial, vow-hound to destroy a work pursued in obedience to the same vow.
In attempting too much, Betti achieves little. Getting on with his job. Hochwalder carries us on beyond the limits of his own vision.
Whether Christ's kingdom is of this world is the question here. Catholics should see this play. pations sometimes rules out the possibility of her living with any grown-up children she may have.
The mothers whose children live in convents, presbyteries—.or foreign parts—also need " single" homes. People who declare that all the s oting neglect all the old today. might hear such situations in mind. And some mothers just want to live alone.
FIL M stars often have such excess of flowers and frocks —that one hardly notices any of them. A visit to Elizabeth Allan in her Brighton flat left me with a restful picture of one radiant bowl — and, incidentally, one pleasing painting. My hostess was really dressed in an apron, and really cooking the dinner too.
So now for the rest of our talk we will file problems awes and ruminate on flowers.
" I'm a great flower-lover," announced a portly lady to fellowguests nearby—and not so near— at a buffet party. The words rather suggested that she had attained great vision or skill too remote for the rest of us.
Is anybody not a flower-lover in this island so rich in flowers and in the knowledge of how to show and enjoy them ?
Public gardens and buildings have gladdened the view in more of our towns this year than ever before. Flowers in the home are expressive in a special way. The jam-pot of marigolds on the kitchen table could mean greater "flower love " than the lavish displays of exotic blooms in some elegant drawing-rooms.
Decoration has become a specialised occupation, and there is as much scope for snobbishness and excess as in any other form of furnishing.
The scheme must, to be truly artistic, fit the room, the occasion —and the flowers. Nobody understands this better than Constance Spry. who in her little book Party Flowers, shows forty-two pictures of arrangements she made for special occasions. As the occasions include some Royal ones—the Coronation luncheon for instance —the close-ups are of real interest, whether we aim to copy them or not.
-NI OR people who make do with what is handy, and like flowers of one species at a time (and they do seem to contribute their own " atmosphere " to a MOM more completeli than when mixed) more could be done with blooms in their latter days than usually is done. Even chrysanthemums often give a charming final appearance when trimmed short and spread out in a wide bowl. Any flowers can he cut
, o down and put in a nag howlr firmieti in dish howlr firmieti in dish
They can bring a happy note of surprise to the table for the evening meal—when nobody expected new lowers at '' this "'end of the week -or even, as a special little tonic, for the small table in a growing-up daughter's bedroom.
Ire a good feeling to come home from school or work and find that one's Mother has done that : a personal feeling, quite different from the good meals and well-kept home. This sort of thing can matter. especially at a time of stress over exams or anything else.
Excessive loads of flowers can embarrass a hospital patient— never mind the nurse—and even a sacristan. Possibly only in the theatre, where first-night tributes are more of a routine than significant message. and at a funeral where people just want to show what they feel in the only visible way they can for the moment—is quantity never out of place.
But in any home of any size and in almost any human situation I doubt if any of us is not a flowerlover.
Even now some families are gathering autumn twigs for the table. Some of these will get painted to last over till the Chrrstmas bulbs come up.