Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Dearest Eulalia--Discussion Thread

Miss Lally goes grocery shopping (Aderik comes along to carry the basket?). She buys meat at the butcher, vegetables at the greengrocers, skips the baker because she and Jane make their own bread...I'm already exhausted. I suppose if all these shops were a few doors down from my own I and knew everyone in the village then it wouldn't be too terrible but otherwise...Confession: When the four-year-old was doing the potty dance yesterday at the grocery store, I accepted (after careful vetting, a full name, the commandeering of his cart and a command decision) an offer from a complete stranger to take him to the bathroom. He was a man...a big one...named Carl. (He made the offer in such a 'Please, lady, I promise I'm not a creep' sort of way.) He walked off with my little one after introductions were made. When needs must the devil drives. Thank heavens I didn't have a trip to the butcher's and the baker's on top of that.

Aderik flies off to Albania for some medical reason with might be the first and only mention of Albania in the Neels canon. After scrupulous perusal of the wiki article I found that the most interesting chapter of that nation's history is that they had a King Zog (see right). Really. You're welcome, Bettys. That's why you pay me the big bucks... ;0)

There are TWO cross-over couples in this short book. Christina and Duert ter Brandt from Not Once But Twice (published in 1981 - we haven't reviewed it yet) AND Daisy and Jules der Huizma from Discovering Daisy.

At the hospital ball Miss Lally didn't lack for partners. She was a married woman by then and I confess to a little dancing-with-other-men squeamishness. While acknowledging the proud and storieed history of platonic dance, it is not nor has ever been the formal position of this Betty that dancing with men I am neither related to nor married to is taboo, per se, but when I've taken dance lessons with Mijnheer van Voorhees and the instructor wants us to switch, I am
A) Relieved that I won't be yelling at my husband. (He is no great shakes as a dancer and I'd just as soon he trod on someone else's toes.)
B) Holding my new partner at the ends of my hands.


  1. King Zog???? I love it.

    I'm with you about the dancing...I'd rather just dance with my husband. I met Dr. van der Stevejinck in a ballroom dance class nearly 31 years ago and I've hardly danced with anyone else since.

  2. Betty Barbara here--
    Wishing the Founding Bettys and their families a very Happy Thanksgiving.

  3. Ah thanks, Betty Barbara! Right back at'cha!

  4. Oh yes... King Zog, an interesting man. Had four sisters, known to one and all as the Zoglets. Well, someone has to know something about them. I, being in the way of a Royal Historian actually have a friend who has written books about King Zog. Spent his exile in England, married a lovely Hungarian/British Countess much younger than himself and had a son named Leka. Leka was VERY tall. He married an Austrialian lady, known after the marriage as Queen Susan, I kid you not, and they had a son who I think is also called Leka. Sounds like something my dog does after he eats.... Sorry and Happy Thanksgiving.

  5. You, Betty Ilana, are a handy Betty to know...

  6. I've just logged on after missing several days (drat those kids and T-day chores!) and what do my thirsty eyes feast upon--Steve McQueen, Bill Holden, and King Zog--A Trifeca!

    Now back to my floors....(Where's a Maisie when you need one?)

  7. Oops, A Trifecta! Maybe I should put "Learn to Type" on my bucket list.

  8. I lived for a few months in St. John's Wood, just off the Abbey Road of Beatles fame. I was 15, and had been sent to London to care for my elderly & epileptic aunt.

    One of my chores was to do the grocery shopping, and yes -- it's just like in the books. One shop is the butchers, one's the cheese shop, another the greengrocer's, the chemist's, etc. But they're all clustered together, so it's not a lot more walking than in a major modern supermarket, and it's a lot more convivial.

    Of course, what all the shopkeepers thought in 1971 of this pudgy American girl...we'll never know.

    (Ooh, a side note. My great aunt was a widow. She'd been married to Gervase Middleton -- now there's a name neatly halfway between "Nick, the no-good houseman" and the English version of an RDD -- a retired admiral of the Royal Navy. According to my great-aunt, Gervase didn't get knighted the way most admirals did.

    I'm not sure how disappointed she was not to have been Lady Middleton. On the one hand, her best friends were Lady Clausen (her dead husband being a semi-famous artist) and Sir Julian & Lady Huxley (Aldous Huxley's brother and sister-in-law; Julian had established the London Zoo), so it would have been a nice to have had a matched set of "ladies." On the other hand, as she herself pointed out, the shopkeepers would have charged "Lady Middleton" a lot more on the assumption that if she was posh, then she was rich.)

  9. 'Gervase Middleton....halfway between Nick, the no-good houseman and the English equivalent of an RDD'. I love it.

  10. ...any relation to William's intended. (Just kidding!!).

    Oh, thanks for saying I'm a handy Betty. What higher praise could there possibly be?

    Any royal questions, just send them my way. I am always interested in the explanations La Neel's book about the Adel -- how she says that it's too complicated to explain. Considering how less than brainy most of those people are, I feel that their understanding of the permutations of the aristocracy must be genetic.

  11. Speaking of Adel, anybody going to post on the Netherlands' new monarch? Hint, hint. :)

    1. While you're waiting for Betty van den Betsy to do some magnificent, color-coded, meticulously researched post, enjoy the Fuggirls' posts. Yes, it's mostly about the costumes, but it's also about the people.

      This one is the dinner the night before.

      This one is the abdication/inauguration.

    2. Thanks for the links, Betty Magdalen. I was greatly diverted. Some of those dresses give you insights... Colours and styles were discussed with my mom... Hats, Bettys, hats! The little princesses in their matching dresses. Cute.

    3. Those links were awesome. I needed a Royalty fix. Thank you, Lady Magdalen. :D