Tuesday 24 June 2008

Hey guys, something to think about

before you take up that hobby

This is a continuing series of posts about a book called Don't for Husbands which was written by Blanche Ebbut in 1913.

Blanche gives a multitude of advice to newly married men about women and marriage.

Reading this just makes me smile. Life was so different, or was it?

This is what Blanche has to say about Hobbies.

  • Don't spend all your money on the garden because that is your hobby, and leave none for the house if that happens to be your wife's hobby.

  • Don't omit to have a hobby of some kind. It will take you out of your wife's way when she is busy or you are cross - you will feel a different man in half an hour.

  • Don't separate your pursuits from your wife's more than is necessary. Do your gardening together, work, talk and plan together, and you will become truer comrades every year.

  • Don't say a married woman doesn't need to go back to school because your wife wishes to attend language classes or lectures, or to take lessons in singing and dancing. Let her do any or all of these things, and be thankful she finds so much to interest her. She will be a much brighter companion then the stick-at-home wife.

  • Don't give up cricket or football or tennis or rowing or whatever outdoor sport you have been accustomed to just because you are married. Athletics will keep you from becoming flabby.

  • Don't expect to have a hobby in which you get the enjoyment while your wife does the hard work. If you profess to like gardening, don't tie up a rose here and there while your wife does all the hard weeding, if poultry keeping is your hobby, don't expect her to do all the feeding and the letting in and out of the birds; if photography, don't confine your work to the taking of snapshots, leaving her to do the developing and printing while you take the credit.

  • Don't 'put your foot down' if your wife wants to join some society or which you do not approve. Produce your arguments; then, if she fails to find them convincing, let her be an "ist" or an "anti" to her heart's content. She really has as much right to her own opinions as you have, and there is no cause for quarrel.

  • Don't let any hobby so overmaster you that you spend every minute on it when you are at home, especially if it be something in which your wife can take no part. Leave some time to devote to her.

  • Don't, if music be your hobby, practise the violin, cello, flute, trombone or whatever musical instrument you happen to fancy, in the drawing room for many hours a day. Your wife may also be fond of music, and it is not fair to victimise her to this extent. She won't be able to concentrate on a book while her ear is tortured by false notes. Do your real practising elsewhere.

  • Don't forget to use a reasonable amount of caution should your hobby be one that may be dangerous. Your wife doesn't want you to be unhappy but she has a right to expect you not to take undue risks in you motor car, bicycle or flying machine.

  • Blanche's advice is still relevant today - for both males and females. And personally, I happen to love a man who has a flying machine and is not afraid to use it!

    See previous posts about Blanche's advice on personal relations and men's general habits.


    1. Hi Lilly,
      I got ‘Arte y Picoed’ and I’m handing the torch to you. It’s silly and fun. (At least it doesn't say we'll have 20 years of bad luck.)


    2. I also wanted to say that George was a life long friend of a producer I worked with for about 20 years. All that I ever heard about George was he the total opposite of the brass comedy he was known for. He was very kind and incredibly generous with family and friends.

    3. Vikki - thanks for passing the torch - it is fun. That is what I have read about George. I think most comics are the same. At least the ones I know are. An interesting breed I think. He was one of a kind - just very, very clever - if you really listen to what he is saying and see through the outward crassness. I bet you have loads of interesting stories about 'the industry' you were in for so long. I have seen enough of it I have to say. I am going to do a post on brushes with fame - you will be able to have a field day!


    Thanks for your comments.