Vintage books, adverts, recipes and historical mysteries Blog

A Burglary Comedy, 1933

Do people still have “spirit guides”? They used to be pretty popular among fraudulent Victorian mediums, stage psychics and Jim Morrison in that film about The Doors. They’re usually supposed to be helpful, I...

Allergies in the Past

Allergic reactions are on the increase in all parts of the developed world – asthma, hay-fever and food allergies are all more common than they used to be, although no-one has a definitive answer...

Barclay’s Lager, 1926

It’s been a strange kind of summer in a strange kind of year. The approach of September usually gives me a feeling of normality being restored – working for a university I still feel...

Oddities, 1841

I love picking a newspaper at random from the British Newspaper Archive and reading it all – or nearly all, tiny print in the older papers is tough on the eyes, even with some...

Perfect Cooking, 1959

I’ve got a new cookery book, and it promises me “Perfect Cooking”,¬†1959-style. I love so many things about old cookbooks, particularly the craziness of the Invalid Cookery sections, but one thing bugs me –...

Funny Bones, 1968

For my birthday treat a few weeks ago, me and my husband went on a very rare kid-free trip to Heston Blumenthal’s Hinds Head pub to try a special menu – truffled beef stew...

Pork Pie and porky pies.

It’s coming up for two weeks since the EU referendum and I’ve only just started to calm down. Not because there’s any more reason to calm down. If anything, things have escalated and it...

Your Face Needs Exercise, 1937

I think there’s something in facial exercises. I had a sheet of such exercises printed off from an Indian newspaper some years ago and, during the stretches that I remembered to actually do them...