The Proper Pleasures…

By Alison June 7, 2005 1 Comment 4 Min Read


Somebody asked me today, what The Vintage HouseKeepers Circle was all about and readers, as I stumbled through a rather long winded explanation, it struck me that I couldn’t sum it up in more than, well about 3000 words: and then I remembered this article I wrote for The HouseKeepers Gazette and I realised that vintage housekeeping is simply about seeking the proper pleasures and that there is no lovelier occupation…

The Vintage HouseKeepers Gazette is our very own little world. A world where furniture doesn’t come flat-packed, cakes are home- made,  and the only thing that matters at the end of a long day is falling into a cinnamon scented bath and washing our cares away..

I want to show you the way to a house thats as fresh as a daisy, comfort in a drawer stuffed full of scrumptious treats, and the creation of teeny tiny rituals that will make your heart clatter with joy, nurture your soul and act as a springboard for your children.

But first lets get a few things straight…

The Vintage HouseKeepers Circle is not about working yourself into the ground. It isn’t about obsessive cleaning, dusting anything that sits still, or cleaning the loo at midnight. It isn’t about lacing our shoes up before we have even got out of the bedroom in the morning, when we would rather sneak down in our nighties, before everybody else is awake and conjure up a coffee before we face the onslaught of the day…

  • It is about creating routine but not letting routine rule our lives.
  • It is about doing things the old fashioned way and embracing technology.
  • It is about knowing when the mantlepiece needs polishing and when cuddling with your babba matters more.
  • It is about making life lovely: creating a blank canvas for a prettier life.

I don’t want housework to rule your life, but I want to show you how making a home, really making a home, with all the cooking, cleaning and organising that involves, will make a difference to your life. But if you are looking for a sure fire way to develop an OCD then you are in the wrong house..

So where to start? Well, I say with a new attitude.

Dear old Mrs Beeton, the worlds first Domestic Goddess, got it right when she said…

" As with the Commander of an Army, or the leader of any enterprise, so it is with the mistress of a house. Her spirit will be seen throughout the whole establishment…"

Now I am not suggesting you run your house like a military operation! Nor even that you think of your home as a business. You don’t work in your house: it isn’t a job, it is simply about making a nurturing space for your life. And nobody, not even Mrs Beeton, is suggesting that you have to become a slave to your mile long list of chores…

"..To be a good housewife does not necessarily imply an abandonment of proper pleasures or amusing recreation; and we think it the more necessary to express this, as the performance of the duties of a mistress may, to some minds perhaps seem to be incompatible with the enjoyment of life…"

I don’t know about you but I am not giving up the "proper pleasures" for anyone! I am a hedonistic housewife, I want to have fun, to make jobs that should be dull or ugly, bearable, so that I can get them over and done with and get on with the lovely business of puttering, the teeny pleasures that make my house a home .

You know this is a journey without a destination. Six months from now you might pull the sofa away from the wall and find a whole warren of dust bunnies. Or you might not. Perhaps my teeny tiny riuals will give your days order and your fuzzy mind peace or perhaps they will not. But this I know for sure, for every day you choose to make your world a little bit prettier, somewhere deep inside you will feel better: happiness is made of a thousand tiny pleasures that often pass unnoticed… 

But this won’t work if you are not willing to put yourself first: if you are not willing to carve out one hour of the day that is just for you…

So from today, think of yourself as Mistress of your house: seek order before beauty, and beauty before everything else. Seek proper pleasures…"

1 Comment

  1. Melanie says:

    How do I become a member of the vintage housekeepers circle.

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