Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Emma's Wedding--Discussion Thread

The Dawson family home in Richmond is described as having all the 'mod cons' (modern conveniences). Besides hot and cold running water, flush toilets and electricity, what mod cons do you suppose this entailed?

When applying for a fairly menial part time job in the library, Emma discloses that she has 4 A-Levels. English Literature, Modern Art, French and Maths (yes, maths). Mind you, the girl is 27 years old - so we can assume these A-Levels are about 9 years oldish. What really tips the balance as far as her getting the job isn't the good grades, it's the fact that she lives in town, and thus has a local address to call her own.

Dr. van Dyke invites Emma out for dinner after she gets canned from the library and the medical centre. His pick-up line is "lobster is something one should never eat alone". Really? Is that sort of like the old axiom "never drink alone"?

As Dr. van Dyke is picking up Emma to take her to Holland (after her own mother has pretty much kicked her out of the house), Mrs. Dawson lays down a guilt trip on her daughter. "Don't forget your poor old mother," says Mrs. D. in a wispier voice than usual. Emma feels like a heel...but the dear doctor has seen right through to the creamy selfish center. He reassures Emma that her mother will be just fine with her old school chum/new roommate. "You may love each other dearly, but you are as unlike as chalk from cheese." Chalk and cheese...hmmm, sounds yummy! Actually, every time I see that phrase (which is a Neels standard), it makes my mouth dry up, and triggers a desire for a long tall drink of water.

Roele's real secretary in Holland may be getting on a bit in years, but she is not old-fashioned when it comes to technology. Nope. Mevrouw Smit (Roele calls her "Smitty"), has a computer that does e-mails! PLUS she has a fax machine. Very progressive of you, Betty. This is possibly the only mention of 'e-mail' in Neeldom.


  1. Dear Betty Debbie,
    I totally know I should have used a fax or email to send in my discussion thread. I don't even have the excuse of being Betty-compliant by ignoring these options as it is clear she mentions them at least this once. You are hereby excused from doing my discussion thread.
    Your Beach Blanket Betty,
    Betty Keira

  2. Dear Betty Keira,
    You owe me big.
    Love and Lardy Cakes,
    Betty Debbie

  3. I loved the visits to the bakery in this one... could smell those rolls....Good though that the mother was gotten out of the way, but cleaning tourist cabins...?

  4. The house is Richmond was worth a packet, but I think the idea is that it's been renovated. All the mod cons, in this context, would mean a fairly fancy kitchen, a laundry room with a tumble dryer (not at all standard in the UK; even in a flat, you'd hang up your wash in an airing cupboard to dry), maybe even (my personal fave) a built-in vacuum system. My mother had one installed when the renovated the beach house to retire to: every room has its own outlet and when you plug in the hose, the vacuum starts. The dust, etc., is collected out in a large canister in the garage.

  5. I kept waiting for a bonus in the form of the computer company suddenly taking off, and, Mummy's dead, and hey, presto, Emma's got dough!

    Just a thought.