Continuing the series from Deborah Mitford's memoir "Wait For Me!" which is chalk-full of Neels-ness. This one is about making do with not much:
"We all knew that if Muv had been in charge of our family finances everything might have been different. As it was, she had to juggle with what she was given and somehow remain solvent; intuition took her in the right direction and she never overspent. She was the one who put down roots and became part of the place where she lived, and it was she who bore the brunt of my father's extravagances and unlucky investments.
Muv told me that had she had to earn her living she would have been happy as the woman at the caisse in a Paris restaurant, usually a formidable female dressed in black who sat enclosed in a raised glass cage above the tables and collected the cash from the diners' bills. The nearest Muv go to her ambition was to be County Treasurer of the Oxfordshire Federation of Women's Institutes. When she was totting up at the end of the year, a few pence out caused her major anxiety and we knew to keep out of her way."