Friday, 11 September 2015

The Intriguing Anna of the Five Towns - and another Landmark

Captain Butterfly's stitches came out this afternoon.  I drove him to the doctor's surgery and even that 4 minutes was a bit much for him. I don't know how he will take the long drive to the hospital next week for the next removal.

I found a copy of Arnold Bennet's "Anna of the Five Towns" in our local second hand bookshop and have only just started it but have already come across a very interesting bit of info - a little window into the past:

"Anna was disturbed by the arrival of the milk-girl.  Alternately with her father, she stayed at home on Sunday evenings, partly to receive the evening milk and partly to guard the house.  The Persian cat with one ear preceded her to the door as soon as he heard the clatter of the can. The stout little milk-girl dispensed one pint of milk into Anna's jug and spilt an eleemosynary supply on the step for the cat."

The evening milk!  So presumably there were two milk deliveries a day?   Was that perhaps only in summer, given that nobody had fridges back then?     Plus milk being delivered on a Sunday?   This is a Methodist/Chapel sort of place, where I assumed a sabbath would be kept quite strictly.  Even though the Christian Greek Scriptures warn us that Sabbath keeping, being part of the Mosaic Law, is not binding on Christians. It is no longer a requirement.

Colossians 2:16, 17:   "Therefore, do not let anyone judge you about what you eat and drink or about the observance of a festival or of the new moon or of a sabbath.  Those things are a shadow of the things to come, but the reality belongs to the Christ."

Also I had to look up the word "eleemosynary" - a new one to me - and find it means a charitable donation. So it was the milk-girl's charitable donation to the cat.  Lovely.

Now I can remember milk being delivered that way.  In my granny's village just outside Manchester, in the 1950's, my sister and me used to go out on the milk cart with Farmer Vincent and we would take the large aluminium jugs and fill the small milk jugs the ladies left on the doorsteps, with little beaded cloths over, to keep the dust out.  And if you spilt even the tiniest drop on their step, they were not in the least charitable about it.

Got to the meeting last night, and all being well, I will be out with Jean on the work tomorrow. I have so many return visits to get to, but my mind feels a bit scattered at the moment.

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