Bu MOLLY MOLLY WALSH
MISS JON1.S called last night.
. I must introduce her to you. She is 55, a typical Cockney, very generous, lives in one room for which she pays 16s, a week.
Because she has nearly always worked in places where there is a tremendous amount of noise she always talks at the top of her voice. She started work when she was 12: at the age of 20 she was left with an infant brother tel bring up. She has always earned her living in jobs where great physical strength and endurance were necessary.
Now her brother is married and preoccupied with his family and her body has begun to protest at the treatment that has been meted out to it.
"Alaays as strong as a 'mix I was. Made jolly sure our Arthur did not suffer like we did when we was nippers. Me Dad liked 'is drop. and in them days nuthin' was nuthin'. Worked 'ard I 'ave. but it was worth it. 'E's done splendid our Arthur 'as. Didn't leave school at, fourteen 'e didn't. 'E's in the Civil Service and gets paid monthly 'E
Although I have heard the story many times I make suitable exclamations of awe to show that I appreciate Arthur's achievements.
1 have stopped enquiring whether he has been to see her recently. It rather embarrasses her to have to explain that he is so busy that he really does not have time to take the quarter of an hour's walk to her room.
Besides, his wife is a bit jealous. " You know 'ow it is." They have forgotten it seems that she gave up her flat to give them a start in life.
MISS JONES generally comes either to tell me that she has started work again and that she really thinks she has got a job that I is not too hard for her blood pressure. her groggy heart and her ulcer, or that after all she broke down and has had to " go on the panel again." This may all sound a bit lugubrious. but Miss Jones is anything hut that. As she departs she says. " Well I must say. seeing you all here comfortable together has cheered me up. proper cheerful I feel now." and I feel very ashamed of the slightly sinking feeling 1 had wheo 1 heard her heavy steps on the stairs, and that I have not kept my resolution to visit her.
She promises to look in again next week, but it will probably be five or six weeks.
She goes out into the night. shouting cheerful farewell messages, just one of London's lonely ageing women.
AYOUNG friend of mine came to see me recently glowing with the news that they have at last found and secured a mortgage on the house of their dreams. " Rut I
am not suite sin she confided, "whether my troubles are over or only just beginning.
" It is wonderful to be going into a house with a garden" (they have been living in two rooms). " Rut it is going to mean a very
tight budget for a while. I think I shall have about £4 10s. a week to feed five of us.
" If we really are pushed to it one of' us will have to take an evening job. But I would rather manage if sse can. I am wide open to any ideas for budgeting for food."
Any ideas readers ? Can it be done and how ? 'the children are five years. three and 18 months.
"IN Scotland porridge used to be eaten standing. This old custom 1 have been told has mystical significance but many sears ago when I was visiting Birnam I was told that the reason lor standing or walking about when supping porridge was that 'A staunin' sack fills the ftlest; Porridge in Scotland is usually spoken of in the plural."
" Ladle porridge into porringers, soup cups. or soup plates. Serve in the Scottish fashion with individual bowls of cream. milk or buttermilk. The correct way to sup them is to take a spoonful of porridge and dunk them in cream. milk or buttermilk before swallowing them." " The Sassenach. .s ho look Oft porridge with dis,fay our may not have tasted them at their best. made with freshly giound oatmeal and served with thick cream. You can serve. them with sugar or
rup. honey or treacle. or stewed prunes if sou like. but some Scots prefer to drink beer or stout with them."
This information comes from The Scottish Cookery Book by Elizabeth Craig (Andre Deutsch Ltd.. 18s.). The book contains a wealth of good old Scottish recipes, spiced with some items of folklore, sayings. toasts, etc.
ANOTHER unusual cookery book which has come my way recently is " Cooking with Yogurt." by Irian Orga (Andre Deutsch Ltd., 9s, 6d.). Yogurtis made by introducing a special bacillus into milk. and once you have one lot you can go on making it indefinitely front this.
According to the author. Yogurt
has remarkable therapeutical qualities and it is eaten by 23 million Turks daily and can 2.1 million Turks be wrong ?
Whilst on the subject of cookery books. my sincere thanks to the anonymous reader who sent the books asked for by the Sister of Charity in Japan: They have been duly despatched,