Wednesday 25 October 2017

Mary And Martha

Sometimes I feel that books are churned out in the run up to Christmas just so the author can make a little more money. I was passing Waterstones on Monday and they had the latest offering from Mary Berry on display, so I popped in to have a look. I had read a few reviews already, and sadly they haven't been that encouraging [here, here,here]

It does appear that this lady - whose cookery skills are in no doubt - really doesn't have anything much to add to the growing stack of volumes on the subject of household hints and tips. Many are quite banal and obvious...
One newspaper summed them up with this info-graphic. I am not sure that the subtitle "The complete guide to Home Happiness" is quite accurate either.
My cursory skim-read [and I admit I didn't take in every single word] left me feeling that MB doesn't inhabit the same world as I do.
I do not need tips on 'how to clean my Aga'. 

Furthermore, is MB not aware that since the days of Mrs Thatcher changing rules about new house builds, many developers no longer build homes where "The whole family and two dogs can gather round the meal table in the kitchen for dinner" . Two of us perch at the breakfast bar.
But I think what irritated me most about this book is that the pictures seemed alarmingly familiar. Some of it appears to be a direct rip off of earlier books by Martha Stewart.
There's the Great Wall of China [MS on left, MB on right]
And then there's the section on How to Organise Your Linen Closet [MS on left, MB on right]
It is obviously vital to possess a neat blue shirt to wear when being the perfect housekeeper...

Sorry Mary, most of this book was written [better] by Ms Stewart nearly 20 years ago, and I've already read that one. 
This one's definitely not going on my Christmas List!
And apologies to anyone who saw the title and was expecting a post about two sisters who lived in Bethany [Luke Chapter 10 etc] I'll just say that I think the way to 'home happiness' is all about building good relationships with the other people who live there, not fretting about limescale in the loo, and the state of the Aga!


  1. Poor Mary, she's probably really hard up now she's no longer on bake off!

  2. I saw this book in a bookshop window today and thought to myself 'she must be joking'!Firstly, there's no way she goes anywhere near her Aga to clean it.That will be reserved for her Housekeeper Extraordinaire who also has more than likely been keeping the linen cupboard tickety-boo for many a year. In fact, most of the 'hints and tips' have probably been gleaned from same Housekeeper!If you want to know how to keep the Aga clean (when and if you want one) just ask me!In fact, I just might write my own book!!!

  3. Oh dear! I think your final conclusion is spot on.

  4. Sounds like a Christmas present for the nation's nannas. And 75% off in the January sales lol.


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