Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Was Nancy Mitford wrong?

[Hold that pose, Pink Daughter!]
"And yet, when I consider my life, day by day, hour by hour, it seems to be composed of a series of pinpricks. Nannies, cooks, the endless drudgery of housekeeping, the nerve-wracking noise and boring repetive conversation of small children ... their absolute incapacity to amuse themselves, their sudden and terrifying illnesses, Alfred's not infrequent bouts of moodiness, his invariable complaints at meals about the pudding, the way he will always use my toothpaste and always squeeze the tube in the middle."

Thus says Fanny, the fictional narrator of 'The Pursuit of Love' by Nancy Mitford.  Can it really be the case that people lead such lives? It seems so different from my own experience here in Blogtopia, where my imaginary Nannies and Cooks are loyal treasures, toothpaste is packaged in unsqueezeable dispensers, and the children look up from their Improving Books only to ascertain whether their dearest Mamma would like them to recite a little poem.  Mais bien sûr, mes chéries, once I have photographed my artless pie. 

I've heard it said that Queen Elizabeth II of England has a gin and tonic at noon every day. How that must help.


  1. A little bit of well timed alcohol can help us all get through our perfect lives.

  2. I love how Pink Daughter coordinates so perfectly with the cushion. How I love Blogtopia! xx

  3. The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford is one of my favorite books, I've got it here on my shelf, for the very reason that it's so far removed from my own existence-- time, place, lifestyle, even the things that she notices compared to what I notice, which is trees and food and weather. I adore the Mitford sisters and their old-fashioned yet rebellious ways that were very modern for their time.

  4. Was she wrong? Dunno, lacking children of any color myself.

    Can you imagine if she were alive and blogging today?

    We would follow her with almost as much zeal as we do your every thought.

    Who's your BFF now?

    xo Jane

  5. The Mitford Sisters take us away to another world, time and place.

    Your little cutie is a doll!!

    PS I am having a glass of wine as we blog!


    Art by Karena

  6. there are definitely moments where a g & t wouldn't go amiss. although a 'death by pinpricks' might be overstating the case.

    love the mitford sisters, they didn't make excuses did they?

    miss pink is owning that couch.

  7. I agree with Ms Mitford insofar as that it is indeed a war of attrition. A gradual wearing down of ones resolve to reach domestic nirvana. Eternal vigilance ladies!! We must sleep with one eye open, always at the ready to cover unsightly table scars with Cath Kidston table runners and discourage illness in our children lest it interfere with our High Tea schedule.

    Nancy would have been a formidable blogger,

    Meredy xo

    p.s. G&T is always a good idea.

  8. Make mine a chilled pinot grigot...

  9. Nothing much has changed really apart from the cut glass accent .... love, divorce, family rifts, childbirth and death and lashings and lashings of G&T's inbetween. Just an average year in the life of a blogger in Blogtopia !! XXXX

  10. Hello my dear Mise
    A good and loaded question "Was Nancy Mitford wrong"? In love, she was wronged by the men in her life and seems like there were bigger issues than the toothpaste being squeezed incorrectly. Perhaps it all started as a result of the incorrect squeeze. If you do resort to Gin and Tonic have a squeeze of lime in it.

    Pink Daughter looks even more adorable than I remember
    Helen xxx

  11. I'm not sure how housekeeping can be considered drudgery when you have servants to do it for you. Mind you. if I had a cook messing about in my kitchen I'd definitely be reaching for the gin. Not that I don't already, but make it a damson gin.

  12. Well, you know how I feel about a well-timed G&T. {I'm relieved to see Pink Daughter reads pink books. The world is not upside-down after all.}

  13. Hello Mise:
    Having never had children, there lies another country about which we are unable to comment.

    However, on the topic of housekeepers and other domestic staff, we should say hang on to them for dear life as without them life is filled, at least in our view, with domestic drudgery which is not only dreary but incredibly time consuming and prevents one from doing what is fun, like reading and exploring the next coffee house!!

  14. Oh to have the pinprick of staff!

    Sadly I can't abide G&T, or the washing up, which reputedly the Queen enjoys!

  15. Nancy is hard to love, though easy to laugh with! I have always identified better with Fanny, whom she clearly despised, than with any of her more glorious characters. Have you read the sisters' letters? Oh boy...

  16. Any story can be presented in different ways - positive and not so positive :)

  17. Such a bidable lass Pink Daughter is!

    I don't drink g&t, but am convinced a lunchtime tipple would help. Maybe we should synchronise? Some of us on gin, some on wine, some on the hard stuff. Meet you back here at 12.30 ...

  18. I do like our new photo - in front of the very tidy dresser and so many 'Bonne Maman' jars - you are devoted, I wonder what flavor(s) you buy?

  19. Amee, mostly raspberry. Is that very unexciting?

    Speccy, you're on. We'll see which drink makes us most Blogtopian. Compare and contrast.

    Floss, yes, the letters are very entertaining. I think we are mostly Fannies here, although the Lindas are probably in another corner, laughing at us.

  20. Hi Mise
    Well I came home from my sojourn abroad to find the domestic staff just hadn't held their end up... what to do? I fired the lot and will have to import a better breed from the mother land..

    Hope you are well.. ciao xxx Julie

  21. I’ve been sorry. your pretty.

  22. Love the Gin at noon idea. Hope you are well Mise x x

  23. A gin and tonic in the middle of the day and I could be a keep-calm-and-carry-on Queen Mum!

  24. I was going to point out that Elizabeth is the Queen of Great Britain .... but then I saw that you had written Queen Elizabeth II ...... if you are being historically correct, then she is the second Queen Elizabeth of England, and the First of Scotland (we Scots are very prickly about such matters)
    But to much more important things - if you ever tire of having such a gorgeous pink daughter, please put her in a box and post her to me!! I'm in possession of a 6 feet tall son, who has recently grown a beard, so you can understand why I would like a little pink girl ....

  25. Pink daughter looks quite happy to be posing for you...and she is also delighfully fulfilling her pink moniker...the bright yellow sofa shows her off to perfection!
    I don't think Nancy's childhood ever allowed her to even consider that children were a joy, a treat, and a blessing...and that the daily drudgery of life could actually be enjoyed...wrongly squeezed toothpaste and all. I always feel a bit sad for her in that way.
    xo J~

  26. As they say, it's 5pm somewhere in the world!

  27. I bet pink and blue daughter have capacity to amuse themselves.


You're looking particularly well.

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