Monday, March 21, 2011

The Right Kind of Girl - Discussion Thread

Several times in Neels books she refers to 'a soft Devon voice'  (Didn't Betty live in Devon?)...can we get some help here from anyone who knows? Is there an actor/actress with a soft Devon voice? Examples, people, examples!

I'm willing to bet ready money that this lady doesn't
have a baby under that blanket.
Doreen Hervey is too sensitive to breastfeed. I'm certainly not going to throw stones here. I'm not sure if her 'sensitivity' is physical or mental, either one can be a legitimate concern - I'm fully on the side of choice when it comes to breastfeeding. When I was a kid, breastfeeding was not popular amongst the women of my mother's generation...I only knew one woman who nursed her kids...and she would do it right in the middle of church.  She was very modest about it, but back then it was just weird. Nowadays it's much more common to see women nursing in public, which is great, but that wouldn't have been me, except in a dire emergency (frankly, none of my babies could stand being covered up by a blanket...and being...umm...'pleasing plump'(read generously endowed) myself it was always tough to juggle baby AND blanket with any assurance of adequate coverage).

Later on in the book, Doreen Hervey tells Emma about Nanny: 'This one's an old dear, and she's taught me a lot--you know, how to hold Bart properly and what to do when he yells.  I'm not afraid of him anymore.'
She was quite serious; Emma murmured sympathetically, reflecting that it was fortunate that the Herveys could afford a nanny. Doreen would have been an ideal RDD's younger sister. A nice person - yet totally self-absorbed and selfish.

The travellers are staying on 'common land'. Here's a bit of what wiki says about Common Lands:
Historically most rights of common were appurtenant to particular plots of land, and the commoner would be the person who, for the time being, was the occupier of a particular plot of land (or in the case of turbary, even a particular heath). Some rights of common were said to be in gross, that is, they were unconnected with ownership or tenure of land. This was more usual in regions where commons are more extensive, such as in Northern England or the Fens, but also included many village greens across England and Wales. Most land with appurtenant commons rights is adjacent to the common or even surrounded by it, but in a few cases it may be some considerable distance away.

Example rights of common are:
Pasture. Right to pasture cattle, horses, sheep or other animals on the common land. The most widespread right.
Piscary. Right to fish.
Turbary. Right to take sods of turf for fuel.
Common of marl. Right to take sand and gravel.
Mast or pannage. Right to turn out pigs for a period in autumn to eat mast (beech mast, acorns and other nuts).
Estovers. Right to take sufficient wood for the commoner's house or holding; usually limited to smaller trees, bushes (such as gorse) and fallen branches.
Hmm. I don't see 'right to camp', but it must be written somewhere, right?

Maisie's topics of conversation: 'It was refreshing, after all that sweetness, to listen to Maisie's down-to-earth talk, which covered everything under the sun--the royal family, the government, the price of fish and chips and the goings-on of the young couple who had rented rooms beneath hers--and all the while she talked she attended to the babies, raising her voice above their small cries.' I love how she always has something to gossip about.  I find it amusing that she talks over the babies...just like she was cleaning floors or washing dishes.

Boston Cream Pie...yum.
Emma hears him say he's going to Boston and replies, 'Boston, USA?' Here in the States the question would be,' Boston, Massachusetts?' No, no, never mind...when talking about a place we would just say, 'Boston?' The only other Bostons I'm familiar with are 'Boston Cream Pie' and the 70's/80's rock band 'Boston'.


  1. Betty Barbara here--
    A quick flick through Google Maps reveals: Boston, Mass--the largest and most famous and then at least 5 more: NY, Indiana, Virginia and Georgia.
    I, personally, am quite familiar with New Boston, Texas. There are also New Bostons in Michigan, New Hampshire, Ohio and Illinois. No need to waste a good town name, I guess.

  2. But hardly anyone mistakes one for the other as the massiveness of Boston, Mass. outstrips all other Bostons. Try living in Portland, Oregon when the entire world wants to put you in Portland, Maine... :0) (P.S. Being a sad-sack about our metropolis is a feature, not a bug, of living in Portland...OR.)

  3. But have you stopped to think from whence all these Bostons hailed? Boston, Lincolnshire, UK. Think Pilgrim Fathers before Leiden.

  4. Betty Keira-
    LOL! But I grew up with a west coast orientation, so Portland is in Oregon for me. I have to remind myself that there is another Portland(the one in Maine).
    Betty Barbara

  5. Go to Youtube and type in "British accent - Devonshire accents sound like pirates!". Probably not what Betty was thinking of, but gives you the idea!

    I got sidetracked by "Peters Sellers doing British accents".

  6. Betty Caitlin! That was so hilarious! And, curiously, it IS sort of a soft accent...

  7. I used to live in Portland, Maine -- and had to cope with everyone thinking I meant Portland, Oregon.

    Okay, Betty Keira: time to wax definitive! :-)

    What is the ONLY acceptable pronunciation of OREGON? (With proper Mainers, you can get two syllables out of MAINE, but don't try that at home.)

  8. As a former Oregonian, I can answer that one: It should be pronounced ORE-a-gun.
    If you're still not sure, you can listen here.

  9. I used to love to watch Peter Jennings give us an 'Or-uh-gone' (almost like Oragami...) but there are T-shirts around here that spell the pronunciation 'Ore-GUN...Idiot!'

    Portland is having a little Renaissance (as we are the best place in America for 20-ish hipsters to retire to) and you might enjoy some clips of 'Portlandia' (Which is about the 'definitive' Portland...)

  10. We've watched Portlandia! Eps 1-3, but that was enough. (Betty Ross loves Aimee Mann, the indie singer -- and sister-in-law to Sean Penn, former Mr. Madonna -- and she had a guest bit in Ep. 3.)

    It didn't make me want to move to ORE-a-gun, though. They just seemed too weird. Sorry. :-(

  11. Portlandia is a mild portrayal of Portland.

  12. The outer suburbs are a little different (my own is characterized by high-tech companies and an abundance of Indian immigrants--which miffs the downtown crowd, I think, as they tend to want to embrace diversity even while they are all so tediously pasty (and skinny and pierced, etc...)). But, we're only 20 minutes from the city center and it is pretty much shades of Portlandia all over the place. My husband worked downtown for eight years and hardly went a day without seeing a protest of some sort--very Life of Brian (The Palestinian Resistance People's League banging drums on the very spot previously occupied by the People's Resistance for the Oppression of Palestine...)