Monday, September 10, 2012

For Clettering the Dishes

Fans of Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons's satire of the overly grim and sensual fiction of the early 20th century, will remember how the elderly farmer Adam Lambsbreath used a thorn twig to wash or "cletter" the dishes until his cousin Flora, our sensible, modern heroine, bought him a little mop with a handle. Adam became passionately attached to his new mop and refused to let it near the dirty dishes: "Tis prettier than apple bloom, my little mop..."

I saw these peculiar-looking mops at Shaw's today and realized they were probably the sort of thing that Flora gave to Adam, although his had a white wooden handle and a red string, not yellow.


These are supposed to be basting tools, but take a moment to consider just how unhygienic it would be to reuse this cotton mop on, say, your weekly roasted suckling piglet. Better to use a thorn twig. These little mops are definitely more suited to dish-clettering, as performed by a moony, melodramatic old farmer.

Life has been a bit grim lately for this Robert Post's Child, so I'm thinking that a reread of Cold Comfort Farm might be salutary after I finish my current book about Venice (a cheering topic, but evidently not cheering enough).


Better yet, I own, but have not yet read Christmas at Cold Comfort Farm, the sequel. I've been saving it for December, but what the heck? Last fall, I received a substantial Stella Gibbons paperback collection from a dear friend who brought it all back from London. And so I have plenty of entertainment ahead.

1 comment:

  1. I love getting your book recommendations - just requested Cold Comfort Farm from my library. The one copy in the whole system is checked out - quelle surprise. I like the look of that mop, but think I would use it as a cat toy instead. Hope your day gets better.

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