DWJ sans frontiers

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Fri Jun 10 05:02:12 EDT 2005

>Minnow said...
>> But they weren't a comfortably-off family at all: they were stony broke
>> all
>> the time, and wore hand-me-down dresses and skrimped and saved and took in
>> lodgers to meet the household expenses, and in the end they had to sell
>> the
>> house because there was no money left at all.

and Dorian wrote:

>No, sorry, bad phrasing on my part.  What I meant was, in many other books,
>a shilling a week pocket money was a nice amount.  For the Fossils it was
>riches and could only happen when the girls were earning very well, because
>there were so many other things like food and clothes that their earnings
>had to go on.

Ah, right, sorry: misunderstanding.

>> When I had to have four teeth removed by the dentist
>> when I was nine because there were somehow far too many to fit into my
>> mouth, the Tooth Fairy left me 5/- per tooth because for once I had been
>> Brave about dentistry,
>>From what my mother's told me about her childhood experiences with dentistry
>(and I suspect you are of an age with her), that must have been far more
>bravery than I have ever had to display at the dentist's.  You earned your
>five shillings per tooth!

Well, there *was* anaesthetic, though it tasted absolutely vile and wore
off very fast and the needle used to insert it was huge and painful.  I
reckoned I had been deserving, but the reward was unexpected.  Usually it
was 6d per tooth, and at that I was a lot better off than Pete in *The Big
Six* who got thruppence a tooth.

>> and I was staggered by the enormous wealth I
>> suddenly possessed.  I remember that I bought a really good penknife for
>> 4/6d and then spent about a month wondering what to get with the rest: it
>> was too much to spend on sweets, and I didn't have any really important
>> yearnings for anything but a good penknife.  (I've still got it.)
>What *did* you finally spend the last sixpence on?  Or can you remember?

15/6, not a mere 6d, and I saved it and my pocket-money until I had a
guinea and then bought yet another of the basic Lego set that cost that
much.  Nothing but a grey base-plate and red bricks and white bricks and
three windows and a door, that basic set, none of your fancy stuff and
technic, but when I'd got enough of them I could build houses with stairs,
and once I built a tower that reached all the way to the ceiling, just.  I
always spent the pound my godmother sent at Christmas and birthdays on

Still got that, too, in spite of everyone's best endeavours to lose it in
the lawn according to Pratchett's Theory of Lawn Composition.

>I'm trying to think what I would have spent a Whole Ten Pounds on (which is
>what my equivalent at that age would have been) when I was 9 or 10.
>Probably books. :-)

Ah, books were provided by the Management, thousands of them and no holds
barred (though I think my mother hid the Rabelais at one point because
she'd seen me watching my father laughing over it -- I certainly couldn't
find it when I went and looked; it was probably in the original French so
I'm not sure why she would have bothered, though) and the local library had
lots too.  I didn't really need to own books, because once I'd read them a
couple of times I had them anyway.


To unsubscribe, email dwj-request at suberic.net with the body "unsubscribe".
Visit the archives at http://suberic.net/dwj/list/

More information about the Dwj mailing list