From "The Clock of Time" by Gertrude Ruston:
"Discipline in the home was very strict, and no alcohol ever came into it. My paternal grandfather wore a blue ribbon in his buttonhole to show his temperance beliefs but, unfortunately for him, he had a large red nose (probably due to indigestion) which people thought did not quite tie in with his blue ribbon. Neither my mother nor father ever drank alcohol and my sister Amy and I were brought up as teetotallers. I can remember belonging to the Band of Hope and signing the pledge promising not to use strong drink as a beverage. (This is the medallion worn by members of the Band of Hopoe in the early 20th century):
I had my meals in the kitchen with the maid (as did Amy when she was home from school) except Sunday lunch times when, unless there were visitors, we were allowed to join the august presence.
When asking for anything at table Amy and I were obliged to speak in either French or German so that we had early knowledge of languages and, if we could not think of the correct word, or something like it, we had to sit until inspiration came or go without. Amy, being so much older and learning the languages at boarding school, managed quite well, and I used to sit hopefully waiting for her to ask for something I too wanted. when I would also pipe up, having learned from her what it was called. Perhaps it was due to this early training that Amy and I both became proficient in French and German. My father spoke several languages. Those were the days of "speak when you are spoken to" and we did not dare enter into conversation unless invited to do so.
When holidays were on Mother, Amy and I went to one of the seaside resorts for several weeks and my father went sailing, calling into the pier to see us occasionally. My mother did not like small boats, but she came with us sometimes on the large steamers which travelled to Southend, Margate or Lowestoft. I was the only one who followed P.R. and had his same love for the sea, which has remained with me through all the years. I alone went on the yacht as a special treat for a short sail."
(This is a picture of Margate in 1897 (the year mum was born) and I imagine it would have been much like this still when she was a child in the early 1900s):
Note: I can remember mum telling me about those special meals with her parents and how frustrating it was a times when she couldn't remember the correct word in either French or German for the item she wanted passed to her. She often used to laugh about it with me.
Another thing about mum and sailing. I mentioned it before in an earlier blog about when I was 15 and down at Mandurah on holiday I was asked to go for a sail but was afraid to do so. Mum said she'd go and I am sure she would have done so too. I realised it Mum thought it safe then it should be OK and it was then I found my own love of sailing.