The Gentleman’s Trifecta

The Elegant Man's Accessories

The Gentleman’s Trifecta is my husband’s term for the things represented in this photograph that we took in 2007.

I will explain a little more in the following editorial, which I wrote and published on Elegant Survival in 2010:

Burberry Suit from Sphere Magazine, Christmas Number, 1936

The Elegantly-Dressed Man

In this stylish drawing of a man, you don’t see a skinny jacket that is bursting open to expose sad trousers that hang at the hip, a bulging shirt and too-long tie. What we see here is a man who wears his trousers at the right length, ones that don’t pile-up like discarded potato sacks on top of his shoes, and which come up to the actual human waist, thereby visually lengthening his legs. And we see the gentleman’s traditional accessories: hat, gloves and walking-stick, each of which serves a purpose, such as protection from the elements, enthusiastic pigeons, dirt, germs, roving animals, and whoever may dare to attack him or anyone else in his immediate vicinity; the gentleman is always well-prepared for a stroll down today’s mean streets. Alas, this picture is clipped from an advert by Burberrys that appears in one of my 1930s Sphere magazines. Today’s men, in general, look like short, dumpy cads in clothes that are designed to distort human proportions. (Add the slovenly yet popular three-day growth beard to complete a tragic modern image.) Never in history has so much sartorial splendour been readily accessible, and yet men have seldom looked worse. It doesn’t cost any more to dress correctly than it does to do it badly, especially since some of the ghastliest clothes are going for the highest prices. There are few contemporary examples of elegant dressing in trendy venues and magazines. Help yourself by not following fashion, but instead by looking toward the best elements of the past for useful examples of tasteful masculine dress.
 

©M-J de Mesterton 2010

Ballyshannon Cheese from Ireland

Elergant Irish Cheddar Cheese by Kerrygold
Ballyshannon by Kerrygold of Ireland is the best Cheddar-style cheese I have ever tasted. It is available at Sam's Club. Ballyshannon Cheddar Cheese from Ireland comes in an elegant wrapper.

Ironing Update: Starch and Steam

Crisp but Not Crunchy Clothes with Home-Made Starch
I have a long, old-fashioned cotton skirt with embroidery and a  cotton lining that hangs inside it. It seemed that both layers needed some more body. I iron all my husband’s shirts without starch, so I had none in the house. He calls this my “Romanov skirt” and those ladies certainly had theirs starched, back in the early 1900s. I asked him to look up a recipe for ironing starch on the internet, and he came up with a standard formula. One cup of very hot water and a tablespoon of cornstarch, stirred until dissolved and put into a reliable spray bottle was what he recommended, and it worked very well. I have also spray-starched a couple of blouses with the aforementioned mixture, and had great success.
The New Elegant Survival Iron
The Elegant Survival Iron, by Shark
One of the pictured spray bottles contains plain water and a little bit of orange flower water; the other spray bottle holds my starch and water formula. Both of these concoctions are useful for ironing clothes. The first spray gets the wrinkles out, and the second one puts body into natural fabrics.

The Shark Euro-Pro is the best iron I have ever used. Its extended steam feature and heavy construction ensure an efficient ironing experience. The iron is also very pretty, and has a high-quality look.
©M-J de Mesterton 2011

>Ironing Update: Starch and Steam

>

Crisp but Not Crunchy Clothes with Home-Made Starch
I have a long, old-fashioned cotton skirt with embroidery and a  cotton lining that hangs inside it. It seemed that both layers needed some more body. I iron all my husband’s shirts without starch, so I had none in the house. He calls this my “Romanov skirt” and those ladies certainly had theirs starched, back in the early 1900s. I asked him to look up a recipe for ironing starch on the internet, and he came up with a standard formula. One cup of very hot water and a tablespoon of cornstarch, stirred until dissolved and put into a reliable spray bottle was what he recommended, and it worked very well. I have also spray-starched a couple of blouses with the aforementioned mixture, and had great success.
The New Elegant Survival Iron
The Elegant Survival Iron, by Shark
One of the pictured spray bottles contains plain water and a little bit of orange flower water; the other spray bottle holds my starch and water formula. Both of these concoctions are useful for ironing clothes. The first spray gets the wrinkles out, and the second one puts body into natural fabrics.

The Shark Euro-Pro is the best iron I have ever used. Its extended steam feature and heavy construction ensure an efficient ironing experience. The iron is also very pretty, and has a high-quality look.
©M-J de Mesterton 2011

An Elegant, Health-Promoting Bath

Epsom Salt, the Elegant, Economical, Classic Bath Additive
The Well-Made Bath-Brush by Swissco
After your refreshing, health-promoting soak in the hot bath with Epsom salt (add a cup-full to running water), stand in the tub with the water off, and brush your lymph-node areas (see chart, courtesy of Natural Health School) in a circular motion with this sturdy, elegant brush by Swissco. Then, rinse. Vigorously using a white, crisp, line-dried towel on your clean skin is the ideal spa-like coda to this health-promoting process.

Gals are Growling: What Gives?

Gals are Growling: What Gives?

An Editorial by M-J de Mesterton
Posted on September 28, 2010 at 4:49 PM

Every time I am exposed to radio or television–and that isn’t often–I am puzzled by a new trend in women’s speech. If one has never ceased monitoring popular U.S. broadcasting outlets, entertainment and media advertising, it may not be apparent to them.  Being in the habit of avoiding American pop-culture–and only occasionally witnessing the stuff–like Rip van Winkle, I have suddenly awakened in a world that has changed drastically. Women, especially those under fifty, are chirping their sentences like Valley Girls, and culminating them in a very fatigued, strained-sounding growl. This guttural sound is not feminine, and I don’t know whence its inspiration, nor whom they are attempting to emulate. Listening to a paragraph spoken by one of these hapless victims of fashion is like travelling ten miles of bad gravel-road.
There is a better way to speak, which simply involves modulating one’s voice in a soft tone all the way to the end of each sentence, leaving that grating growl to the dogs and to your male counterparts. Men really don’t think it’s sexy. I’ve heard gents describe this new manner of female-speaking in the most unflattering of terms. For examples of attractive feminine speech, old movies are instructive. Even Lauren Bacall didn’t do the gritty, guttural growl. This new way of talking must have been in fashion for quite some time while I “slept,” because it takes a concerted effort to put into effect–in fact, some of us find it impossible to imitate. Maintaining a pleasant and natural tone, terminating your phrases with a definite stop instead of an audible question-mark, is a winning habit. I don’t like to preach–leave that to other writers. That said, I occasionally feel the need to make a suggestion. Mocking some pop-tart who is piled-out on coke, booze and cigarettes is a losing proposition in any facet of your life, so it would be good for you girls to get the gravel out of your gullets, and start sounding like real women again!

©M-J de Mesterton 2010

Gals are Growling: What Gives?

Gals are Growling: What Gives?

An Editorial by M-J de Mesterton
Posted on September 28, 2010 at 4:49 PM

Every time I am exposed to radio or television–and that isn’t often–I am puzzled by a new trend in women’s speech. If one has never ceased monitoring popular U.S. broadcasting outlets, entertainment and media advertising, it may not be apparent to them.  Being in the habit of avoiding American pop-culture–and only occasionally witnessing the stuff–like Rip van Winkle, I have suddenly awakened in a world that has changed drastically. Women, especially those under fifty, are chirping their sentences like Valley Girls, and culminating them in a very fatigued, strained-sounding growl. This guttural sound is not feminine, and I don’t know whence its inspiration, nor whom they are attempting to emulate. Listening to a paragraph spoken by one of these hapless victims of fashion is like travelling ten miles of bad gravel-road.
There is a better way to speak, which simply involves modulating one’s voice in a soft tone all the way to the end of each sentence, leaving that grating growl to the dogs and to your male counterparts. Men really don’t think it’s sexy. I’ve heard gents describe this new manner of female-speaking in the most unflattering of terms. For examples of attractive feminine speech, old movies are instructive. Even Lauren Bacall didn’t do the gritty, guttural growl. This new way of talking must have been in fashion for quite some time while I “slept,” because it takes a concerted effort to put into effect–in fact, some of us find it impossible to imitate. Maintaining a pleasant and natural tone, terminating your phrases with a definite stop instead of an audible question-mark, is a winning habit. I don’t like to preach–leave that to other writers. That said, I occasionally feel the need to make a suggestion. Mocking some pop-tart who is piled-out on coke, booze and cigarettes is a losing proposition in any facet of your life, so it would be good for you girls to get the gravel out of your gullets, and start sounding like real women again!

©M-J de Mesterton 2010

Using a Dishwasher the Cool Way in Summer

When the weather is hot, use your dishwasher in the late evening, and turn off the heated drying feature. The glasses and dishes will dry naturally overnight. Your place will not heat up as much, and because heat has a bad effect on polymers, rubber and plastics, the items made with those components will last much longer without it.

lave-vaisselle

Elegant Steamed Beetroot from the Home Garden

This home-garden-grown baby beetroot was washed, steamed for five minutes, then dressed with olive oil and a few drops of balsamic vinegar. The root, bulb and leaves were consumed by your faithful editor. Grown in soil with only kitchen compost as a fertiliser, and no pesticides, this exquisite, nutritious beet was part of a health-promoting luncheon. ©M-J de Mesterton

Live the Elegant “Pouch” Lifestyle…

…with beautiful pouches in various materials. Organize and protect your silver, jewels, brushes and watches; make sachets; present little party-favours in pretty little fabric bags. Go “green” with canvas or burlap pouches, or go for the glitz and glamour of organza. Use fabric pouches to store your lingerie for travel.

Elegant Canvas Pouches by PouchMart of CaliforniaThere are so many potential uses for pouches that I shall just give you the link to PouchMart in California, and you can dream up your own uses for them. The prices are fantastic for all the elegant drawstring pouches they offer, both plain and fancy. Buy them in multiples of ten or twelve, for about a dollar or less apiece. Have fun putting your stuff in pouches!

©M-J de Mesterton 2010

M-J’s Elegant Eggs Vienna: 3 Sources of Protein and Choline

M-J's Eggs Vienna First Recipe for Eggs Vienna on the Internet, by M-J de Mesterton 2006

M-J’s Original Eggs Vienna


M-J de Mesterton’s Eggs Vienna Recipe

This Dish Features Three Sources of Choline

An old friend of mine used to make this dish for me in the 1970s. I had published my recipe for the unusual breakfast offering on Elegant Survival in 2006; it was for a long time the only recipe for Eggs Vienna on the internet. I shall reconstruct it here at Elegant Cuisine:

Eggs Vienna for Two

Prepare four slices of streaky American-style bacon until they are crisp. Poach two eggs in two cups of boiling milk, until they are soft. Toast two slices of white bread or English muffins, then butter them. When all three components are ready, place one piece of  toast in each of  two soup-bowls. Place two slices of  bacon on top of each piece of toast, then top that with a poached egg. Pour the remaining hot milk, in which the eggs have been poached, into each bowl.

Eggs, Bacon and Milk are Good Sources of Choline, which, when Ingested by Pregnant Women,  Contributes to the Intelligence of Babies, and for Everyone Else, It Helps to Prevent Heart Disease

Choline on FoodistaCholine

The Christmas Present, by Freddy Bloom, 1949

The Christmas Present, by Freddy Bloom

The Christmas Present, by Freddy Bloom, 1949; Illustrations by the legendary artist and cartoonist Ronald Searle: Click Here to See Larger Version–Photo by M-J de Mesterton

Singapore, Christmas, 1943, I woke up and watched them drawing back the last of the blackout curtains from the outside. This meant that soon the glaring lights that had been on all night would soon go out. I tried to stretch my legs and kicked Reddy. He did not stir, and vaguely I wondered whether he was unconscious or just sleeping the deep sleep of exhaustion. It did not really matter; in either case it would do him good.

I turned my head and looked at the Sikh who was lying next to me. Poor Mahinder Singh. When they had brought him in he was tall and strong and magnificent. Now he was tall and skinny and just very young. His beard and long, coiled hair were no longer sleek and shiny. His smooth brown skin had a greenish hue. Perhaps dark skins always turned green when fair skins turned pale.

I looked at my own hands. They were quite beautiful. Slender, smooth, and white, with nails that I had carefully bitten into a good shape.

Just as well that I could not see the rest of me–except my feet. I had seen so much of them recently. They had made us all take off our shoes as we entered the cell. None of us had stockings or socks. Who would think of wearing such things after 22 months of internment? Anyway, most of the women in Singapore had gone about bare-legged even before the Japanese came.

I thought of the silly line of shoes outside the cell. Sixteen pairs, all shapes and sizes, but mostly trompahs, native wooden-soled, one-strapped sandals. My own were real shoes, white leather with crêpe soles and they would have to last me until the war was over. I certainly was not wearing them out at the moment. Perhaps they would not fit the next time I was called out for questioning. The last time there had been difficulty putting them on. I looked at my feet again. They were white and fat and dimpled, like a baby’s. That was beri-beri. The shoes would have to fit. Everybody always made a proper business of putting on shoes when called out. It gave you a chance to do something outside the daily routine, and a chance to collect your wits and fight the blue funk that filled every inch as you thought of the questioning to come.

“We Would Show Them–but What?”

This was Christmas Day. Perhaps nobody would be taken out for questioning. What a hope! The Nips would pile it on thick  just to show us.  This was Christmas day and we would show them. This was the Kempetai, the Japanese Gestapo, and we were their prisoners. Oh well, it was Christmas Day and I was going to wash my hair.

I looked across to the w.c. in the corner. Dr. Choo was washing. He was always washing. Washing had become an obsession with him. Other things had become an obsession with him, but it was hard to know what they were for he talked so little. Of course, the Nips did not allow us to talk, but he was the only one who did not disobey them. He was scared. So were we all, but it affected each in a different way. He seemed to sink more and more into himself. The other day, when Mac had accidentally bumped into him, he had almost shrieked, “Don’t touch me. Don’t touch me. I’m superstitious.” Mac had barked back, “I’m no devil, fool.”

Mac was a dour Scotsman. Imprisonment had made him more dour, more Scottish, and somehow, more of a man. Mac was hard. Dr. Choo was not hard. He was just a hard-working Chinese doctor who had suddenly been torn from his work, his wife, and his children. He swore he did not know why. I looked at the w.c. again. Dr. Choo was using it. I looked away.

Mahinder Singh woke up. He rolled his head on his stiff neck and started to massage his body. He turned to me and smiled. “May Christmas, Memsahib.” “Merry Christmas, Mahinder.”

“Today Kismas. Today good day. Today all go home. Catch big eating.” After 75 days of the Kempetai, Mahinder was still the complete optimist. He was my friend. We had played a great joke on the Japanese. This joke was our bond; it was our strength.

Mahinder and the Mouse

They had brought the young Sikh policeman in a few days after me and they had insisted that he sit next to me during the day and sleep next to me at night. This, they reckoned, would be most degrading to the proud Sikh and to me, a white woman, the only woman in a cell with fifteen men of different races. Degradation meant nothing to me, but at the start I was a bit frightened. I tried to stay as far away from him as possible, but that was not easy, with sixteen people in a cell 10 feet by 18.

The first night we lay next to each other I awoke because a mouse had slid up between the warped floorboards and slipped up my shirt. My femininity had never included a horror of mice, but to have one scuttling round my ribs under my shirt was another thing and I sat up with a start. We had to lie so close, that this woke Mahinder, who sat up too. Just then the mouse leaped out of my bosom and scurried away. The young Sikh put his hand on my shoulder, smiled a lovely paternal smile and whispered, “Thik hai, Memsahib. It is only a little mice.”

At that point the Nip sentry on night duty screeched at us and we both lay down quickly. From that moment we were friends. We never let the Japs know. When they were near, Mahinder and I would play at being enemies, and this was the best game we had. When they beat him up, I nursed him. When I was ill, he took off his shirt at night and put it over me.

Mahinder’s greatest gesture was when he lent me his comb. The Sikh religion forbids men cutting their hair, so they all have beards and silky tresses, which often reach below their waists. The hair is then combed up, twisted, and coiled into a knot on the crown of the head and held in place with an adroitly inserted small wooden comb. Ordinarily a turban is worn. They had taken away Mahinder’s turban in case he tried to hang himself with it (they had removed the elastic from my knickers for the same reason), but had left him his comb. After we had been together for some days, he watched me trying to comb my hair with my fingers, and then, to my utter astonishment, he handed me his comb. His gesture meant a great deal.

Thereafter he lent it to me every day, but he would never lend it to anyone else. Mahinder had proved himself, as mentioned, my friend and we were wishing each other a merry Christmas. Then we both looked towards the w.c. That w.c.! How our life revolved about it. It was no ordinary toilet. It had no wooden seat, and instead of the ordinary flush arrangement, it had a tap that could be turned on fast or slow. When the bowl was full, it automatically drained itself. This was a very practical arrangement, and for a time I thought of having a similar fixture in our home in London, until it occurred to me that in England we do not use toilets for such varied purposes. In the Smith Street lockup in Singapore the w.c. was used for washing, for drinking, as well as for our basic needs.

Initiation

When they first flung me into the cell with all these strange men, I had sat for some hours until it had become imperative to catch the attention of the sentry who marched up and down outside the bars that formed one wall of the cell. Since he spoke no English, I pointed to the w.c. and then to myself. He obviously understood, for he went out and spoke to the corporal on duty, and within a few minutes a Japanese voice bellowed, “If the woman wishes to wash, drink, or pass water, there is a toilet in the corner of the cell.”

The embarrassment of the men about me was so strong that it broke through my own. When I eventually got up, each man seemed to try to disappear within himself. Now, after so many weeks, we all took each other very much for granted.

Across the cell Walter was reading his Bible. Walter was, in some respects, a privileged prisoner. He was an Englishman who had lived for years in Nagasaki, spoke fluent Japanese, and understood Japanese customs and manners. He had been our camp interpreter and done a wonderful job until he had been arrested for running a strictly forbidden radio. Now he still acted as interpreter in our urgent demands for medicines, foods, and the barest essentials of life. Most of the time his efforts were in vain, but any vaguely human touches that were ever shown us by the Nips were almost always due to his efforts. He was a deeply religious man and had somehow obtained permission to bring his Bible into the cell. As I watched Walter, he looked up and smiled.

Though there seemed to be a rule that a sentry should be on constant guard, marching up and down, passing each cell about once a minute, this had slackened considerably during the past few weeks and was only in force when higher officers were expected at our lockup. Ironically enough, the headquarters of the Singapore Kempetai were housed in what had been the Y.M.C.A. This morning the guards were all busy with their own affairs and paid no attention to us.

The First Present

Walter got up and came to me. “Merry Christmas, and here is something the postman left for you.” With care he took a little picture out of the Bible and gave it to me. It was the type of highly coloured little holy card that is often given to children in Sunday schools. Perhaps one of Walter’s children had put that particular one in that particular Bible. Now he was giving it to me as a Christmas token. I held it carefully; it was very beautiful.

And then our first meal of the day arrived. Choy, the young Chinese conscript, clanked down the corridor with a high stack of tin dishes, the size of small cake tins, and a bucket of rice. He stopped outside our cell, counted the number of inmates, slung a dollop of rice into that many tins, unlocked the small door in the barred wall, and slid all the dishes on the floor. The men sat down in the places they had occupied all day. I got up and handed each man a tin. This had been my duty ever since the beginning, when there had been squabbles. There never was very much rice.

We all ate meals with our fingers; there were no utensils. When we had finished, we waited for Choy to come back with the tea bucket. Then we lined up at the door while he poured tea (no milk or sugar, of course) into the tins. This led to difficulties and contortions, for many of them were rusted and full of little holes, and we had to try to hold the tins so that the fingers plugged all the offending holes. Since the tea was often boiling hot, my fingers used to blister, and often one of the men would hold the tin for me while I drank.

Greetings to Cicely

One of my cell-mates was a Chinese Communist called Tang, who was the head of one of the up-country resistance movements. He was short and squat and, unlike most Chinese, grew a thick stubbly beard. He was the toughest man I ever knew. No matter what the Nips did to him, he never changed his expression and never made a sound. When anybody tried to nurse him, he just shook his head and said, “Tidapa,” Malay for “Never mind.” He spoke no English. Sometimes I thought that I would rather be a white woman in Japanese hands than a Japanese woman in Tang’s hands. He was tough…and he was always the first one up to hold my tin when the tea was hot and he would tilt it carefully like a mother feeding a child.

Remembering Christmas, 1943, there is a great deal of sentiment but no sentimentality. We were a group of extremely mixed people sharing a most unpleasant experience. Some showed up better than others. As I personally was concerned, there was not a man, European, Indian, Chinese, Eurasian, or Malay, who was not thoughtful and kind and they had a great deal more than my presence to think about.

That particular breakfast differed from the others in one respect. Three or four cells down was Cicely, another woman and a good friend. They had brought her in the day after me. We had seen each other on one or two occasions since then. As far as we knew, we were the only women who had been taken from Changi Camp. While Choy poured out my tea, I whispered, “Christmas greetings to the other lady.” He did not bat an eyelid. Later, when he collected the empty tins, he growled, “She say you too.”

I was just going to the w.c. to wash my hair when there were heavy footsteps in the outer office. Quickly, we all sat down in a straight row facing the bars, knees bent, feet tucked in, and waited. We spent at least 14 hours a day in that position. To straighten your legs was considered very bad form. And so we sat on Christmas Day as we had sat for weeks before silently, all in a neat row, looking through the bars into the corridor, and then through another set of bars into the cell opposite, where a similar row of miserable beings faced us. The thing to do was to wiggle into a position where the gap between one’s bars coincided with the gap of the person opposite and one had a clear, if not large, view for signalling.

Sign Conversations

Opposite me sat Perry. We had known each other before the war in Penang, where we had played games at the same club, danced at the same hotels, and been invited to the same cocktail parties. The next time we saw each other was through the gap in the bars. It did not take us long to work out an inconspicuous sign language and we spent the tedious hours having long conversations. We also passed on information about what had happened in various interrogations.

Christmas morning we wished each other all the best and while the sentries marched up and down we made rude remarks about them. Suddenly the noise in the outer office increased. Three of the Nip big-shots stamped down the corridor, followed by a drip of slouching, arrogant interpreters. They looked at us the way a person looks at a harmless beetle before stepping on it. They called out a few names in front of cells farther down, then turned round and stopped at our cell. We looked into space, our hearts pounded, there did not seem to be enough air to go round. They called Dr. Choo’s name and turned to the cell opposite, where they called for Perry and two Chinese. The rest of us relaxed.

Cell doors were opened and those who were due for questioning got out and put on their shoes. Perry held onto the bar in front of me while he put someone else’s  trompahs on his swollen feet. He wiggled his fingers at me and before he left he winked.

We continued to sit, looking straight ahead. Only those who had been badly beaten and tortured were allowed the luxury of lying down. When the Japs were working on a man, he never got much rest.

I wondered about Perry, about Dr. Choo. We had heard some cars leave. That meant some of the prisoners were being taken to the Y.M. for questioning. That was bad for they were very thorough. Others were being questioned here. The noises that went with questioning were too familiar by now. It is almost impossible to identify voices under such conditions, and yet one cannot stop trying.

We sat until the second meal, just like the first, was brought round. We put a tin of rice aside for Dr. Choo, and it was eyed greedily, for when a man has been questioned he has either been given food or he is in no condition to eat. In either case the cell may share his ration.

Perry Comes Back

After “lunch,” we sat down again. I wanted to wash my hair, but thought it better to do nothing until the big-shots had left. After all, it had not been washed for ten weeks; Boxing Day would really do as well as Christmas. We sat. A couple of people from cells farther down were brought back. They did not look too bad. We sat some more. A scuffle outside and two interpreters dragged an unconscious figure down the corridor. We could not be sure, but he seemed to be Chinese. We sat some more.

Hard to say what time it was when Perry came back. He seemed a bit stiff and his face was bruised, but not too bad. He did not look at me, but as he bent to take off his shoes, he held the bar nearest me. As he bent, his hand slowly came down the bar. When he eventually let go and turned to enter his cell, there was a tiny parcel on the floor in front of me.

It was not until a good deal later, when most of the prisoners, including Dr. Choo, had returned and the Japanese officers from headquarters had left, that I could examine the parcel. It was a single sheet of toilet paper, and inside was a sliver of real soap. They had allowed Perry to wash up after his interview, and he had stolen a Christmas  present for me. Before the third and last rice meal of the day, I took my precious gift and, with great ceremony, washed my hair, with soap in the the w.c., and a Eurasian lad lent me his shirt to dry it. And then, of course, there was Mahinder’s comb….

Many years have passed since then. Most of the people who were in that prison died. I was lucky. We are back in London and since then have had two wonderful babies. Looking back to Christmas, 1943, I remember that was the day I washed my hair and Walter gave me a holy picture.

By Freddy Bloom,
1949

Originally published in Leader Magazine of Great Britain, this story was discovered in the 31 December, 1949 issue given to us by our friends Peter and Michele King of England, and diligently transcribed here,  visible for the first time anywhere on the internet, by M-J de Mesterton for readers of Elegant Survival. Read Freddy Bloom’s obituary in Elegant Survivors, at http://www.elegantsurvival.net/elegantsurvivors.htm

This moving story contains pejorative language directed at the Japanese, who are today respected allies–please remember that it was wartime, and that the persons involved endured unimaginable suffering at the hands of their captors.

Leader Magazine, December 1949: Sixty Years Later, this Story Is Still Relevant



Elegant Party “Champagne”: Cristalino Brut from Spain


Cristalino Brut from Spain: Inexpensive Substitute for French Champagne

Available at Cost Plus World Market

Inexpensive Substitute for French Champagne

“Bright green-gold color and aromas of apple, spices, flowers and nuts. Crisp, bright and dry with medium-full body. Intense ginger and apple flavors with nutty and floral nuances. Clean, lemony finish that is quite dry. A pleasure with chicken salad, scampi, filet of sole, brie and fruit desserts. Serve as an aperitif, too.”

Elegant Western Dressing

Elegant Western Dressing

Tom Mix Publicity Photo

In the days when the American west was being settled, men and women wore tweeds from Scotland, British-inspired suits, long, luxurious skirts, long-sleeved blouses, shirts, and waistcoats made of durable, thick fabrics. Naked knees, elbows and plumbers’ cracks were rare sights. Combined with rugged yet elegant cowboy boots and hats, these tasteful clothes served two functions, affording both ladies and gentlemen dignified self-esteem out on the range, and protection from the elements.

~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2008

“The American Cowboy is the best-dressed man.” –Count Oleg Cassini, Clothing Designer

Bookster Tweed

O’Farrell Hats in Santa Fe

Western Emporium Clothing

Beautiful Evening Skirt at Western Emporium

Boot Barn: Inexpensive Cowboy Boots

Justin Redwood Mallorca Ladies’ Boots: They Look Like My Lucchese Cowgirl Boots, and are Very High Quality, but Cost Less. Made in Texas, U.S.A. Wear cowgirl boots with skirts or trousers.

Elegant Survival Food Safety, and Recycling Cake-Covers

Cake and Croissant Container Top from Sam's Club, Recycled as a Food-Safety Tool; This One is Four Years Old!
Cake and Croissant Container Top Made of Thin Plastic, Recycled as a Food-Safety Tool; This One is Four Years Old! Keep flies off your food, in the house or outdoors. These lightweight tops are stackable, washable by hand (not dishwasher-safe), and will protect your family and friends from the awful germs carried by flies and other pests.~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton, May 16th, 2009
M-J's Four-Year-Old Cake Cover, Recycled from Croissant Container (Painting and Photo by M-J de Mesterton)
M-J's Four-Year-Old Cake Cover, Recycled from Croissant Container (Painting and Photo by M-J de Mesterton, Copyright)

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