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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet Girls In Camp
PostPosted: 07 Mar 2017, 03:46 
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I met people in residence at university who didn't know how to do laundry, and that's with modern washers and driers (running colours dying all the whites pink, or shrinking clothing to small child size). Laundry at the time of camp would be much more involved - washboards and mangles and boiling and blueing and bleaching and hanging to dry and ironing and starching - and would not involve modern detergents or electric irons. So I wouldn't be surprised if a fourteen year old, who spent most of the year at boarding school, hadn't been involved in the full laundry process, and were guessing at what to do.

I'm not sure where the divide between people who did their own laundry, and people who paid someone else to do theirs, was, though. I would guess, though, that people who could afford foreign boarding schools could afford to have their laundry done.

I live in an area where clothes driers aren't standard, and I do notice that some items are quite stiff after being hung dry - cotton towels being the worst. I imagine that the girls weren't particularly good at thoroughly rinsing, particularly with improvised soap, which would make it worse.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet Girls In Camp
PostPosted: 07 Mar 2017, 04:44 
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alicat wrote:
the patronising way the girls behaved when visiting some places)


when do they do that? I only remember them visiting the farm and getting lots of milk to drink.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet Girls In Camp
PostPosted: 07 Mar 2017, 10:01 
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jennifer wrote:
I'm not sure where the divide between people who did their own laundry, and people who paid someone else to do theirs, was, though. I would guess, though, that people who could afford foreign boarding schools could afford to have their laundry done.
I'd have thought so too, especially as prices for laundering of basic cotton and linen items like underwear and bedding was generally cheap, so that makes it even less likely that the girls would know how to do the washing. They might wash delicate things like gloves for themselves (as Robin does in Exile), though.

I remember talking with a woman who would be about twelve at the time of this book, and she told me that in her childhood Friday night was ribbons night, when your clean undies came back from the laundry and you had to put all the ribbon trimmings back in them (mostly threading them through bands of slotted embroidery that were on the necks/ legs/ sleeves/ skirts).


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet Girls In Camp
PostPosted: 07 Mar 2017, 13:06 
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I've just finished it this morning. I had never done a reread but I like it a lot more second time around.
I don't understand the patronising behaviour either?


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet Girls In Camp
PostPosted: 07 Mar 2017, 14:41 
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Me neither? Unless there is any in the hardback?

In fact the peasants get a chance to patronise the Chaletians when they find the so-called body!

Noreen wrote:
I'd forgotten about camping stoves, despite having used one to cook during a folk festival weekend many years ago. I'd wondered whether she'd used some of those new-fangled* thermos flasks to keep hot some milk that had been heated up earlier.

*not that new (1910s) but it's hard for us now to really appreciate the difference they made to things like journeys, picnics and camping when they first became available


Grizel uses a thermos when she makes coffee for them to have on the lake while fishing - but she makes it the night before and apparently it's still hot in the morning! Would a thermos back then (or even now) be so effective?


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet Girls In Camp
PostPosted: 08 Mar 2017, 03:58 
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Loryat wrote:
Grizel uses a thermos when she makes coffee for them to have on the lake while fishing - but she makes it the night before and apparently it's still hot in the morning! Would a thermos back then (or even now) be so effective?


In a word, no. My mum makes stacks of soup during winter and puts some in a thermos for my brother. He gets it in the morning and it's semi warm by 3pm and needs to be reheated.

Unless Grizel made it earlier and then reheated it? But then, why bother? why not make it from scratch?

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Joyce

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet Girls In Camp
PostPosted: 08 Mar 2017, 09:52 
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Loryat wrote:
Grizel uses a thermos when she makes coffee for them to have on the lake while fishing - but she makes it the night before and apparently it's still hot in the morning! Would a thermos back then (or even now) be so effective?
I think it would have been at the time of the book, based on my own and SLOC's experiences over the years (though wide-mouthed flasks seem to lose heat faster than the ordinary ones) but there is a lot of anecdotal evidence around on the internet that thermos-type flasks are no longer as good as they used to be. Some of the problems are with the stoppers not fitting properly, though the general conclusion is that standards have slipped because the manufacturing is sourced more cheaply. Most people seemed to agree that it still helps to put hot water in them first (or iced water if you want to keep something cold) for a few minutes before pouring it away and filling the flask.

Joyce wrote:
But then, why bother? why not make it from scratch?
I suspect that in camp it was often a question of thinking ahead and using any resources to the max - if you were heating up milk for hot drinks in the evening it would make sense to do a flask of coffee for a fishing expedition that early (5 AM-ish) next morning, especially if you had some hot milk left over.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet Girls In Camp
PostPosted: 08 Mar 2017, 11:26 
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Noreen wrote:
jennifer wrote:
I'm not sure where the divide between people who did their own laundry, and people who paid someone else to do theirs, was, though. I would guess, though, that people who could afford foreign boarding schools could afford to have their laundry done.
I'd have thought so too, especially as prices for laundering of basic cotton and linen items like underwear and bedding was generally cheap, so that makes it even less likely that the girls would know how to do the washing. They might wash delicate things like gloves for themselves (as Robin does in Exile), though.


I think the divide came far lower down the social/financial scale than we can imagine now. My 99 year old neighbour's mother, widowed in 1917, took in washing. They lived in Bethnal Green, deep in the heart of the East End, with poverty all around them. But the people whose washing she did were her neighbours. They "sent out" not only bedding which is understandable, but also "smalls".

R has very clear memories of the hard work involved for her mother, and the horror of having wet bedding festooned around the kitchen all through the winter months. She, from about the age of seven, had to fetch and return the washing, loosely wrapped in brown paper, tied with string. Woe betide her if she dropped the clean washing on the way.

She still resents the fact that none of those she delivered to ever gave her a ha'penny for doing it....

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet Girls In Camp
PostPosted: 08 Mar 2017, 12:17 
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My grandparents' next door neighbour took in washing, in the post-war years. She had a sort of shed/outhouse attached to the house, where she did all the washing. My mum, as a little girl in the late 1940s, apparently found the process fascinating and used to insist on watching :lol:. A lot of the neighbours sent their washing to her, so these were people from the same socio-economic background.

In one of the Swiss books, someone suggests reviving the idea of tub races, which they had in (I think) Island, and one of the other girls points out that the school's now got washing machines so there wouldn't be any big laundry tubs to use. (Never occurred to me before, but the domestic staff must have had a nightmare trying to clean the laundry tubs after they'd been in the sea!)

When Joey gets grass stains on her skirt, in New House, Frieda says that she'll have to send it to "the good sisters" ... which always makes me think of Magdalene laundries, although I'm sure that that's not what EBD meant :roll:. So it sounds as if even the school sent some of its laundry out, although presumably only things that were really badly stained and needed special treatment.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet Girls In Camp
PostPosted: 08 Mar 2017, 12:24 
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I always imagined that the school would use laundries for the vast amount of bedding as well as other things. In Tyrol perhaps it might be to local 'washerwomen.' So should Jo considering the number in her family but she doesn't.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet Girls In Camp
PostPosted: 08 Mar 2017, 23:11 
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Even in the 50's my grandmother ( prison officers wife, so not upper class) marked her clothing and bedding etc with her initials for the laundry to come, collect and return.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet Girls In Camp
PostPosted: 09 Mar 2017, 06:10 
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Noreen wrote:
Seconding Jennie about the lack of ironing - rough drying was normally used for items of laundry that were intended not to be ironed absolutely straight away. If they were completely dry, they didn't develop rusty-looking stains that were known as 'iron mould'.

The discomfort would come from the fact that we're talking about natural fibres, mainly pure linen and cotton. They can be remarkable stiff if they're rough dried! If you were going to iron them straight away you'd do that while they were slightly damp.


Thank you both on the insight into rough drying. So, rough drying isn't really a kind of drying, but a lack of ironing.

I was confused, as we never made any distinction about types of drying (except flat to keep knitted things from going out of shape), although it is true that some things did dry rather stiff. If a material would soften and more or less unwrinkle in half an hour or so of wearing -- cotton flannel, for instance -- we didn't bother ironing. Cotton dress shirts, blouses etc. were lightly sprinkled with water and rolled up for an hour or so before ironing -- unless you were the proud possessor of a good steam iron. I doubt one of those would have been available by Camp, though we know that there was an electric iron in time for Anne's fire, and that ironing became part of the school curriculum shortly after Camp, bringing us Evvy's "well-toasted camisole" in Lintons.

I seriously doubt that Anna was in charge of all ironing for the Maynard household. More likely it would be one of those many chores too boring to write about unless drama ensues, that would be shared out among Anna, Joey, and especially the older girls. We do see Daisy ironing white frocks for herself & Primula during Gay, and Joey reminding people to do their washing and ironing so they can put off laundry for at least a week after getting to the Oberland in Joey Goes.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet Girls In Camp
PostPosted: 10 Mar 2017, 20:25 
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Yes, domestic washing-machines were very much a luxury - I didn't have a fully automatic one until the mid-80s, but had a twin tub; actually, it wasn't even that - it was a separate washing-machine and dryer, as there wasn't room for both in our tiny kitchen. In some ways it worked well, though, as one could just put delicate items in for a few minutes only, and then fish them out, without having to wait for a couple of hours while it went through the whole cycle!

Certainly at school, one's stuff went to the laundry (although most of us washed our own underwear in a brand of liquid detergent called "Stergene"; we rolled the resulting wet garments up in towels and enlisted the help of a friend to twist and pull - surely very bad for the towels, but I still do it occasionally with swimming things - to get the worst of the water out, and then they were put in the house airing-cupboard to dry).


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet Girls In Camp
PostPosted: 10 Mar 2017, 22:23 
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I still remember my mother dealing with the twins' diapers on a washboard in the bathtub, before we were old enough to be conscripted for laundry duty. They had already been presoaked with bleach, so it isn't quite as nasty as it sounds, but incredibly laborious -- and I'm pretty sure that was the breaking point that led my parents to prioritize a washer that very year. (They never did have a dryer.) Nor did anyone iron cotton diapers, which I still remember as comparatively soft, though sticking the safety pins into a bar of soap before pinning the things was advisable. Still, abrasive cloth could have been part of the reason so much talcum or lotion was used during the changing process.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet Girls In Camp
PostPosted: 11 Mar 2017, 17:34 
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Kathy_S wrote:
I still remember my mother dealing with the twins' diapers on a washboard in the bathtub, before we were old enough to be conscripted for laundry duty. They had already been presoaked with bleach, so it isn't quite as nasty as it sounds, but incredibly laborious -- and I'm pretty sure that was the breaking point that led my parents to prioritize a washer that very year. (They never did have a dryer.) Nor did anyone iron cotton diapers, which I still remember as comparatively soft, though sticking the safety pins into a bar of soap before pinning the things was advisable. Still, abrasive cloth could have been part of the reason so much talcum or lotion was used during the changing process.


I used cloth nappies with my children (although did have a washing machine) and ironing does make them a lot softer and nicer to use.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet Girls In Camp
PostPosted: 12 Mar 2017, 15:37 
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I used terry nappies for both my children, though we had a large parcel of Curity Diapers when Andrew was born, which lasted for Donald as well. But never, never, did I iron them, because ironing makes them less absorbent. And I could spend the time saved on ironing in reading.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet Girls In Camp
PostPosted: 13 Mar 2017, 07:53 
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I remember my Granny and Mum putting woolens under the carpet so that they would dry in shape The jumpers were put between layers of newspapers so that they would dry flat
No fitted carpets in the 50s and 60s so it was easily done and the carpets were moved every day for cleaning so maybe not too much dust


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet Girls In Camp
PostPosted: 25 Mar 2017, 14:44 
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I'm just re-reading this and confess feeling Joey was quite childish and disobient, especially as a cadet and head girl, when she decided to slide down the grassy slope of the mountain.Not only did she encourage others to do the same but there was the possibility of injury.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet Girls In Camp
PostPosted: 25 Mar 2017, 23:21 
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I liked this one when I was young because a school story set outside school was a novelty to me (Enid Blyton never did it). I never was a Guide and find some of the Guide stuff in later books a bit tedious -- but this book's an exception. It's all so fun, innocent and charming and EBD doesn't bog you down with Guide minutia.

The part that sticks out to me is when Jo is teasing Juliet about daydreaming about Donal so much she forgets the cocoa and Juliet coldly shuts her down and tells her not to be vulgar. It seems a harsh response by today's standards, but I can see why Juliet disapproved.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet Girls In Camp
PostPosted: 26 Mar 2017, 02:21 
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Terrygo wrote:
I'm just re-reading this and confess feeling Joey was quite childish and disobient, especially as a cadet and head girl, when she decided to slide down the grassy slope of the mountain.Not only did she encourage others to do the same but there was the possibility of injury.


And once again she doesn't get into trouble other than being mildly told off.

Nothing along the lines of 'you should set a better example to the young kiddies' and 'next time they disobey they will say the seniors do stuff like this so why shouldn't we', which is what in essence, years later, Bride says to Diana.

cheers,
Joyce

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