The correct manner in which to visit blogs and leave comments is a social minefield and she dedicates twenty pages
to the rules which if neglected
either through ignorance or carelessness will result
in lessening the number of one's friends.
Making the First Advance
The matter of paying the first call is often a delicate one.
Frequently, sensitive people are offended by some unconscious slight on the part of a friend or acquaintance.
The newcomer to a country neighbourhood must wait
for older residents to call upon her.
If she has friends who can vouch for her and who will
write to one of her neighbours saying,
"Mrs Smith has come to live near you. She is an old friend of mine and such a charming woman," or something to that effect, it is all to the good of the newcomer.
Length of Calls
The length of this first call should not be
more than a quarter of an hour or twenty minutes.
Never prolong a call...
until your departure becomes a relief to your hostess.
When two ladies meet at the house of a friend it is for the lady of highest rank or superior social position to make the first advance.
She should say, "I should so much like to come and see you,"
and should call shortly after...
or this advance may be met with, "That would be delightful -
but won't you come to tea?
I should be so sorry to be out when you came";
or the more important or older lady might say,
"Do come and see me. I am always in to tea" or "after five",
or "on Thursdays," as the case may be.
When ladies are of much the same age and standing
it does not matter which of them makes the first advance.
It is of the utmost importance that calls should be returned promptly, and more especially the first call, for neglect to return it within two weeks or three at the most, or to explain by letter why it cannot be returned, is to indicate tacitly that the caller's friendship is not desired. This, of course is an extremely rude and inconsiderate method to chooses, and if one really does not desire to cultivate a certain friendship there are many less unkind means of indicating that desire, as, for example, the leaving of cards without inquiring if the owner of the house is at home.
If a woman has a day "at Home" she should be in her drawing room punctually at the hour at which she has announced
that she will receive her guests.
Calls can be made any time between half-past three and half-past five in the afternoon.
Morning calls are only made between the most intimate friends, and are not always acceptable even then.
Making a Chance Call
A woman calling on a friend or acquaintance who has no fixed day for reception makes some such inquiry as this from the servant at the door,
"Is Mrs Henderson at home?". If she receives a reply in the negative the caller leaves her card... and departs. When the servant announces that her mistress is 'not at home' it may mean either that she is out of the house or that she does not wish to see people. In either case the report of the servant must be taken as final and should never be questioned. There are many people who become very angry if they learn that the person upon whom they have called and who they have been told is 'not at home', was in her house all the time. But their anger is not justifiable. The expression has come to be regarded as a civil expression of not being able to receive callers as well as an expression of fact.
Calling by Men
A man is expected to make calls of condolence, inquiry,
and congratulation upon all his intimate friends,
both men and women.
A bachelor taking up residence in a new neighbourhood
is expected to return all the first calls made upon him,
but if he has a sister or another woman relative living with him,
she can make the call in his name.
It is quite permissible for a girl who has made the acquaintance of a
young man at the house of friends
to ask him to call upon her mother.
The young man may also ask for permission to call.
I hope that helps.
Picture credits from top to bottom
The Rain it Raineth Every Day - George Frederick Watts
Portrait of Madame de Sevigne Writing - French School
The time for sowing seeds of hardy annuals is approaching.
They can all be sown outdoors towards the middle or end
of this half-way March month
when an occasional spring-like day deludes us into a belief that winter is over -
poor optimistic us!
...I would like to suggest that we might all go a bit bold and enterprising and altruistic this year,
strewing our seeds all over the place, not only in our own prepared flower beds, but also over such waste places as railway embankments, ruined castles, bomb-sites, and even along the hedgerows of our country lanes.
Years ago, I read a book by Maurice Hewlett. It was called Rest Harrow.
It was about a man who went walking all over the country,
sowing seeds broadcast.
I have forgotten the detail of it,
but I know it made a deep impression on me at the time,
and I determined that if ever I got the chance
I would go walking around, scattering seeds in handfuls, which might, or might not, come up.
It was a youthful dream; but now that I am much, much older,
and much more sadly experienced,
I still believe that we might beautify the countryside by such rash sowings.
From Vita Sackville-West's Garden Book
taken from her weekly gardening column in the Observer newspaper.