From Ngaire’s Journal, 21st April 1955
‘Carol has been re-packing and listing her Glory Box.’
My mother Carol was just nineteen in 1955, the perfect age, at least in Ngaire’s opinion, to get serious about marriage.
In fact, Ngaire had been serious about marriage for years, progressively stocking a carved camphor-wood box with household linens, china, silverware and kitchen essentials. Mum was still extracting new tea towels from The Box when I was a teenager (by which time the The Box was running on Australian TV, and schoolteachers, fresh from the city and calling themselves Ms, were telling girls like me that we could be and do anything we wanted).
While I refused to have anything to do with a Glory Box (or the dowry of 20 cows Dad was always threatening), I am very grateful for the beautiful tea cups and plates my mother quietly collected for me. (I am even more grateful that they came with no caveat or expectations of marriage.)
Another thing Ngaire was serious about was breakfast (along with lunch, dinner, morning and afternoon tea and supper). She felt very firmly that nothing worthwhile could be achieved on an empty stomach.
I tend to agree (about breakfast at least) and like to have stewed fruit in the fridge to dollop on my porridge. Today it was quince (I kept some back when making paste) and prunes, with some yoghurt and nuts.
PS. I came across Married before Breakfast (1937) when searching about for a title to link breakfast and marriage. I’ve never seen it, but the synopsis is truly intriguing.
After a leading razor company pays inventor Tom Wakefield a quarter of a million dollars not to publicize a hair-removing shaving cream that makes razors obsolete, he makes plans to take his socialite fiancé June Baylin on a glamorous world cruise. However, before that happens he wants to spread his good luck to his friends and falls into all sorts of romantic intrigue in doing so.
You couldn’t come up with a plot like that on an empty stomach.