From Upstairs to Downstairs, in this charming 1930s memoir
The thoroughly entertaining true story of life as a cook and general servant in the 1930s
'Life was a wordless battle of wits between us, with her keeping a sharp look-out for signs of neglect, and me trying to disguise my slovenliness by subterfuge. I became an adept at sweeping dust under the bed, and always used the same few pieces of silver'
Unimpressed by the world of debutante balls, Monica Dickens shocked her family by getting a job. With no experience whatsoever, she gained employment as a cook-general.
Monica's cooking and cleaning skills left much to be desired, and her first few positions were short lived, but soon she started to hold her own. Monica discovered the pleasure of daily banter with the milkman and grocer's boy and the joy of doing an honest day's work, all the while keeping a wry eye on the childish pique of her employers.
One Pair of Hands is a fascinating and thoroughly entertaining insight into worlds both upstairs and down in the early 1930s.