Readers’ Letters

This page is dedicated to questions, comments or problems you may have, that perhaps have no connection with any articles I have written so far.  A perfect example would be Myrtle’s question about fixing dye in a favourite frock.  It would also be the ideal place to flag up any subjects you would like the Wartime Housewife to cover in the future.

Do keep your comments coming  – I do so love to hear from you all!

41 responses to “Readers’ Letters

  1. Augusta Lever-Arche

    Just wanted to say “What a super blog thingy this is”. There…now I’ve said it. Look forward to more sensible suggestions and stalwart advice. Thanks awfully.

  2. Dear Wartime Housewife

    I have just found a super book that I am sure will be of interest to you and your readers.

    It’s called “101 Things To Do In War Time”, published by the very excellent Batsford Books. It’s crammed with interesting and useful things to make and do at home, with or without the little ones.

    I do hope this snippet will be useful to your excellent online publication.

    Yours sincerely

    Freelance Unbound

    • wartimehousewife

      Thank you Freelance, I don’t have this book and will definitely seek it out, but I do have ‘101 Things for the Housewife To Do – 1949’. Only yesterday I discovered a page telling me ‘How to Make a Hat Wardrobe’ and tomorrow I’m going to stare very hard at the page on Physical Culture by Prunella Douglas-Hamilton and Mrs Bagot Stack. Then I shall have some cake.

  3. Bridget

    Dear Wartime Housewife
    In spite of being the wrong side of thirty, I had never read Daphne du Maurier’s famous book ‘Rebecca’. A reading circle I attend chose ‘Rebecca’ alongside ‘Daphne’ by Justine Picardie, over the summer holidays. We are due to meet up in the next few weeks to discuss the two books. I must say I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Rebecca’ although I felt the urge to give the nameless second Mrs. de Winter a damn good shaking and a course in assertiveness.

    We also read ‘Lady Audley’s Secret’ earlier on in the year and have found the thread of gothic heroines interesting to compare. Any suggestions of glorious books to read would be super.
    We do read other periods and genres too…!

    • wartimehousewife

      I completely agree with your sentiments about the second Mrs de Winter, Bridget – she very nearly spoiled the book for me. I would like to give the matter of recommendation some thought if I may.

      I’m a voracious reader myself. Last year, my sister gave me the wonderful gift of a special book in which to write down all the books that I read. I do this with great enthusiasm, as it not only reminds me what I’ve actually read, but also keeps in check any tendency to a surfeit of the unsuitable. At the back, I make a note of any books that have been recommended to me for when I run out of reading matter. Perhaps I should publish my list on this site, or maybe let everyone know when I start a new book, like a sort of unofficial book club. What does everyone think? I’ll come back to you with some recommendations in the meantime.

  4. Yes please! I think a Book Club element to Wartime Housewife is an excellent idea – publish away!

    On a literary note – it seems John Lewis is publishing an updated version of the classic wartime Make Do And Mend book. Perhaps you could also include some book reviews of suitable tomes?

    • wartimehousewife

      Thank you Freelance, I will start The Reading Circle from September. I will start by recommending a book for us all to read and also include a book review, and we’ll go from there.

      PS. I absolutely loved your animated film, by the way. Everyone have a look on:-

  5. Augusta Lever-Arche

    Just watched freelance unfettered’s cinefilms and think he is very talented and clever. Super. Re the book club, I heartily concur.

  6. Andy blogbert

    Love what you’re doing with 40’s and 50’s cooking. I hope the home veggie patch and herb garden is as good as mine. My herbs are the best !!

  7. Ali

    What a fab site – I’m learning some great stuff, thanks.

  8. Jeanette Oki

    Hello from the United States. I happened upon your site and it is both informative and amusing. Your writing is witty and fun. I look forward to visiting often. Yours, fan in Los Angeles.

    • wartimehousewife

      Welcome Jeanette and thanks you so much for your kind comments. I’m always particularly delighted to hear from people outside England. Pass it on!

  9. BigDave


    There………..I have said it………….

    I am surprised that nobody has yet raised the subject of this glorious confection being removed from our shops shelves many years ago.
    I loved the taste. SOOOOOO much better than all the other pickles that you normally see around.
    There has even been a radio campaign to try to get the stuff back on sale.
    But it seems all to no avail…..


    If you are like me a literally CRAVE the taste of Pan Yan Pickle, then fret no more……………….

    BAXTERS have a new pickle for sale and its called “Albert’s Victorian Chutney” and as far as my taste buds are concerned, its a dead ringer for Pan Yan and in a blind test, I doubt whether many could discern any difference.

    I just thought there might be a few out there who might be grateful for this snippet of information.
    Try it yourself and see, and strike me down in flames if you don’t agree with me.

    • Peter Walduck

      Pan Yan pickle…well until you mentioned it I never thought about it, but now, yes why was it taken off the shelves, another old name gone !
      Whilst you are there, another brand name which is getting increasingley difficult to get is Fray Bentos corned beef, very difficult to obtain now, the last tin I managed to buy was from an Asian shop, but none of the big supermarkets sell it now.

      Also who remembers OMO washing powder ? Not available generally now in supermarkets, but I managed to get some this week, from a South African retailer in Barking after doing a search on the “net”.
      Now all I want is a Mangle,anyone got one they dont want ?

      • wartimehousewife

        Peter Walduck: You come up as a new commenter, but I’m sure you’ve commented on my site before? If not then Welcome!, if you have, then welcome back.
        I do remember OMO and it must have still been going in the 80s as in the film ‘My Beautiful Launderette’ everyone calls the lead character, Omar, ‘Omo’ because he runs a launderette. When I was a child, I had a toy mangle that was a perfect replica of a real one, that I used to dry my dolls clothes. If I’m honest, I would have preferred an Action Man. Still would come to think of it….
        I seem to remember us having one that was actually attached to the washing machine. Good luck with your search.

  10. Hey, wait a moment! This is exactly the same thing as Master Stanley said back in February! What are the odds! 😉

    • wartimehousewife

      Welcome Dragonfly and thanks so much for pointing that out. As I read it I thought, I’m sure I’ve read this before and I thought Master Stanley was a friend of mine. They were both clearly spam. Thank you – I must be more vigilant.

  11. Affer

    Advance notice (just). My talented friend, the poet Julia Deakin, will have one of her poems read by Annette Badland, on ‘Poetry Please’, Radio 4, Sunday 18th at 16.30.

    Please listen (it’s after the MotoGP has finished) ….and buy her books!

  12. Super site. I was hoping you might help with a recipe for suet pudding, syrup or treacle, like I used to enjoy with custard in my works canteen many moons past. Or should that be passed?

    • wartimehousewife

      Welcome Mr Parrot. I will dig out a recipe for you. I absolutely adore suet pudding and would relish the incentive to make one. I’ll do it as a post so keep your eyes peeled.

      PS. Am completely bowled over by the header on your site. Quite marvellous and worth logging on just for that.

      • Thank you kindly Ma’am,
        The Photoshopping is mine, but the special effects are courtesy of I look forward to the recipe.

  13. Here’s a little something I made for you:

    O.S.M. B:52

    • wartimehousewife

      Wow – would that my house was that clean and tidy! What an amazing place, I was drooling over some of his stuff. Such a shame that he’s clearly a fan of Judy Garland or I would have been forced to propose.

  14. Hello WH,

    If you could find a recipe for cornflake slice that would be great. Also I’d love my new blog, to make it in to one of your link sections. Please drop by and comment if you have time.



  15. firsttimehousewife


    I’ve just found your site and I am enjoying it very much, excellent store cupboard recipes.

    Thanks, FTH

    • wartimehousewife

      Welcome FTH and I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog. There’s plenty more where this comes from so keep reading!

  16. myrtle

    My lovely friend has a birthday on Monday and another friend and I are having tea with her. I said that I would bring a little birthday cake for her. Have now remembered that she can’t eat wheat – what can I do? Actually, I think I’ve just answered my own question – I could put fresh fruit in a meringue nest or something. Would still be grateful for any other suggestions though – maybe something I could bake that doesn’t involve sausages, offal or testicles!

  17. As a Traditional Decorator with over 35 yrs experience may I offer an “insider top tip” suggestion in readiness for your house move – Sugar Soap. Perfect for tackling any grime from previous kitchen experiments on painted surfaces, woodwork and walls. Woman’s Hour and a cup of tea should make it even more of a rewarding time.

    • wartimehousewife

      Welcome Gail – I agree sugar soap is a wonderful thing and I heartily concur that everything looks better with Woman’s Hour and a cup of tea! Hope you keep reading.

  18. tiilii

    Dear Wartime Housewife,

    Firstly thank you again for your comment on my blog!
    I had just replied to your comment when I received a phone-call offering me a job! I had an interview just this afternoon and will start to work already next Monday!

    I have a question for you though… I am still waiting for result for part-time MA course I have applied for. The jobs I have been offered is 8-16 and 5 days a week. This doesn’t really leave time for attending lectures. Do I need to let company know already, or can I wait until I get my results?

    Best regards,

    P.S. Haven’t had enough time to browse through your blog yet, but the idea is brilliant and what I have seen so far seems great! Thank you!

    • wartimehousewife

      Hi Tiilii

      Congratulations on being offered a job – that’s really great. I coudln’t quite work out the hours though – 8-16? Do you mean 8am until 4pm?

      If you get on the part-time MA, are the lectures strictly and frequently timetabled? If so, you must find a job that works around those hours. If however, there is, say, one lecture a week, then I would wait to find out whether you have been accepted onto the course, establish the hours and then tell your employer. This is not desperately ethical but the worst they can do is fire you and then you can sort out a different job which fits your timetable. Is the job in any way connected to the subject of your MA? If so, they might be sympathetic and may even take an interest in what you’re doing as a potential employee later. I assume that you’re working to pay fees, living expenses etc? If you don’t get accepted onto the course, have you worked out an alternative plan? It may be worth trying to find work that is relevant to your MA so that you’re working towards something really solid. Again, let us know how you get on.

  19. Anna C

    I’ve just stumbled across your site and I love it! What a great mixture;poetry, recipes, DIY, advice… and of course, humour. Your entry about Crossing Continents had me laughing out loud, at 4am of one of those can’t get back to sleep nights. I’ve become a follower (very evangelical, that sounds) and look forward to future posts!

    • wartimehousewife

      Welcome Anna C and thank you for your kind comments; that is exactly what I’m try to do on this blog, to produce a sort of ‘magazine’ of things that keep us going. Thanks so much for subscribing and I look forward to hearing from you again.

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