Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Last Night on Board

It's a beautiful night on the RMS Berengaria. Dolly, Minerva, and Iffy are decked out in their best gowns, looking forward to sitting at the Captain's table this last evening on board. Conversation is a bit awkward as the girls are asked about their backgrounds. Eventually, everyone came to the consensus that they were the extremely sheltered daughters of an aniquarian, which in fact, they were.

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Irresistible Lure of Tea Cakes

Ocean travel is a wonderful experience. When I was 11 years old, my family took a month-long cruise from New York to several Mediterranean ports. Our out-going ship was the Italian liner, the Vulcania. Launched in 1926, it was on its final voyage. What a lovely ship! Watching the movie Titanic decades later, I was transported back to that elegant old ship with the great staircase made to provide beautifully-dressed ladies with a memorable entrance. We returned on the Cristoforo Colombo, a very modern vessel, a sister-ship of the ill-fated Andrea Doria.

I was the eldest of four children, and I hate to admit, we were terrors on the high seas. We loved the library-writing room, with its inkwells and pens. We made lots of artistic inkblots with folded letter paper and blobs of ink. We'd sneak into the dining room before afternoon tea and steal all the meringues from the cake trays. Hey, this wasn't a Disney cruise - we had to make our own fun!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Making friends on board

There is much to do on board the HMS Berengaria: There are social events planned, morning and afternoon tea, a lovely hairdresser, and all sorts of little shops to browse in.  Iffy manages to lose her aunts during the day and runs freely around the decks. There she meets Bertie, who enjoys a spell in a deck chair each afternoon. Bundled up in a warm wool lap rug, he sips a cup of tea, while his valet stands by with a thermos bottle. After befriending Iffy, Bertie makes sure there is a second cup on hand for her. Bertie has been to New York several times. His stories are a bit confusing to Iffy, and the valet occasionally interrupts them with a quiet harumph sound in his throat.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Iffy's Adventures on the Berengaria

Before their departure, Mother Ackermann presented Iffy with a nicely-bound journal to record all the interesting details of their up-coming trip. Of course, Mother's ulterior motive was to read this journal and see if Dolly and Minerva were up to anything unseemly. 

Through the travel brochures left by the Arrow family, Dolly and Minerva were able to book staterooms on the HMS Berengaria, a luxury liner travelling from Southampton to New York. Immediately, Iffy began collecting all sorts of labels and beautifully printed advertising.

Monday, October 5, 2015

The New Adventures of Dolly and Minerva

The girls are embarking on a major shift in their adventures in the world of publications. So far, it's been easy to explore French fashion magazines or English publications far inferior to Ackermann's Repository of the Arts. Even their excursion into Currier and Ives lithographs was manageable, though it stretched the limits of well-bred ladies of the Regency world. Now Minerva is following her fiancé, Willard, to his world in 1920s New York. He's an up-and-coming advertiser for the Arrow Shirt Company and moves in the most interesting circles. Father Ackermann has approved of him, but insists that Minerva go to New York with her sister Dolly, and suprisingly, their niece, Iphigenia. Since there is no male relative to act as chaperone, a ten-year-old child is the next best thing to keep two young women out of trouble!