Don’ts for Wives….


I’ve found a little book called “Don’ts for Wives”  by Blanche Ebbutt.   It was published in 1913 by A & C Black,  (London) and is full of wonderful wisdom…..

Here is the Preface:

“Art is a hard mistress, and there is no art quite so hard as that of being a wife.

So many women exhaust their artistic power in getting married, which is, after all, a comparatively easy business.  It takes a perfect artist to remain married – married in the perfect sense of the term; but most of us have to be content to muddle through.

Imagine a girl called upon without a single lesson to produce a tune – a lot of tunes – in fact, one never-ending succession of harmonies – from the most difficult instrument in the world.  Note that the instrument not only gets grumpy in cold weather and skittish in spring – not only slacks or breaks its strings with every change of temperature – but becomes tempestuous over a tight shoe, broody over an out-of-date egg, and cross, sulky, or mirthful for reasons that no sane woman can understand.

That is what the average wife has to reckon with; and if she intends to play the game – humiliating as some may think it – HE will loom largely on the horizon all her life.

I hope she may find it worthwhile to take a few hints from an old hand”.




The manservant’s brother and 4 children ( 5 – 16years old;  3 boys-1 girl ) came to stay on the weekend.  On Saturday afternoon they were watching the football when the 14 year old boy  got up and wandered around the house.

He came back to me in the kitchen and asked in a tone that only a teenager can muster:  “how come you have a great computer and such a crappy TV?

LOL – well,  I think that shows the priorities of the manservant.

Our computer is a Mac with an impressive sized monitor.  The manservant writes  his codes on it and does scary science “stuff”.

Our television is an old cathode ray model which sits in a corner and almost requires binoculars to see the screen!

Without a wife the manservant would not have a television at all.





Yesterday, as I was riding through the park, I commented to the driver that it was nice to have a park in the middle of Washington DC and such a large one.

He replied:  Yeah it separates the rich from the poor.   Too tough to be draggin' stolen televisions through there.

It gave me a good laugh but it was a reminder that I live on the "wrong" side of town.


For 3 months the manservant has been there to help me into the house when I have got home from work, so during his 2 week absence my biggest fear was forgetting my keys and not being able to get into the house.  There were many mornings when I was glad to have put this reminder on my door!!

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I was chatting to a friend on Skype at the same time as I had a chat open to the manservant who was in Australia being the astro-dweeb.    I wrote to my friend "I hope I don't get confused and tell the manservant that I bought a new pair of shoes and talk dirty to you"…

Because, while the cat's away the mouse will shop…….  my fingers had skipped through the Zappos website and bought a new pair of shoes for my sad feet.    They are sensible & sturdy walking shoes  -  I will probably never wear sexy stilettos again!

The manservant missed all the excitement of last week – both the election and the final removal of a cast – but he is back on US soil tonight (Los Angeles) – laden down with Cadbury chocolate and Mudgee honey which I will start hoeing into tomorrow night.

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Aqua- therapy


I've been pretty good with actually doing my "aqua-therapy"  bath-tub style.  Sitting in the hot water eventually loosens up the foot enough so that it can move backwards and forwards.  

My brain sends it a "move now" message and that should be that.
My eyes tell me that my foot is barely moving.    LOL….   then my brain tells me to ignore my foot and enjoy the bubbles!! 

I took this photo somewhere around Alice Springs in NT,  Australia.

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Tuesday things….

My assistant rang me early this morning to say that there was nowhere closer than 2 miles from her polling place to park and that the line was 3 blocks long – and that was still nearly an hour before the poll opened.  At that rate she estimated she would not be at work until lunch time.   As I had PT (physio) first thing this morning I told her I would let her go at 2.30pm today so she could vote on the way home.  I do expect to see an "I voted" sticker tomorrow or I will assume she spent the afternoon in the movies!  

In my PT waiting room there is a very large sign asking people to Please Turn off Cell Phones.  My quiet reading time was interrupted when the phone of a guy sitting absolutely dead opposite this sign went off with some really hideous ring tone. 

He answered in a really loud voice and began giving advice to someone about online dating sites.  As his conversation progressed I started hoping that they would not call me in for my session until he had finished his conversation!   Apparently he joined eHarmony after discovering that whatever previous one he was a member of was full of conservative, Christian women!  (I nearly laughed out loud ).  He was unbelievably sexist.  He began discussing some friend of his who met a woman, named Lea,  he said "he told Lea that if she wanted to have a relationship with him then she had to obey his rules.  So far she has been very obedient". (now I've gone from wanting to laugh to wanting to slap him).  

He told his caller that his fiancee was having PT for "something stupid she has done".

When the poor woman came out at the end of her session I wanted to shout at her to run away.  This guy was no catch in the looks, manners or any other department that I could see.


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This was our first Halloween in the house so we were not sure whether to expect kids at the door or not.  We thought it better to be prepared though and so the manservant bought candy which he wished he had been given when he was a kid. 

It took about 20 knocks at the door for the candy to be all gone.  The eldest kids we got were about 10 and the youngest looked about 3 years old and managed to fall off our "stoop" into my azaleas.  Poor little guy – he did bounce back up pretty quickly when the candy came out though.

Quite early in the evening there was a group of 4 and one child hung back as the others reached forward for their treat.  The manservant asked him: "what about you?"

I laughed as the boy replied:  I'm full !!

I thought kids just took candy anyway!


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I went to the doctor on Friday to assess how my foot is going.  He started talking about aqua therapy and I stopped listening! 

I do not get into pools.  I do not own a swimsuit.  This aqua "thing" is just not going to happen.

Luckily the manservant was with me and had not lost his voice as he laughed and said "that is not gonna happen" .  The solution – a lot of water in my bath tub where the lack of a swimsuit is not an issue, and, I'm not likely to drown as I can touch the bottom. LOL

Then he put a brace on my ankle and expected me to squish it back into the boot.  It was like trying on a shoe 3 sizes too small!   He told me it was just a "sensitization" issue.   I told him the foot plus brace is too big for the boot!  I'm a woman -  I know when shoes are too small!

I hobbled out of his office with this now super uncomfortable boot but pleased that I had avoided a public pool humiliation.

Saturday morning after my early bathtub session of foot stretching, twisting and splashing exercises, I put the boot on without the brace. We had a day of fun things planned with the rental car and it didn't include doing them in discomfort.

Later in the afternoon I was relaxing on the couch when the phone rang ……  It was my doctor calling to check out how the brace was going!!!! 

He absolutely knew on Friday that I was not going to wear that brace willingly!   LOL.  Thank God I could truthfully answer his question about whether I had done the water exercises!

As soon as I hung up I sent the manservant to retrieve the brace from the corner I had thrown it into and I have worn it squashed inside the boot, like a good girl, ever since.  It borders on torturous but the good news is that I might only have to wear the boot for a further 2 weeks now instead of 3!

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