Mr Pocket received a good education, but after marrying Mrs Pocket, he took a position as a tutor. (No title still!) As this did not pay well, he gave it up and tried several different careers before settling on doing literary compilation and correction. (writing and editing?)
Pip walks the widow next door, Mrs Coiler, to dinner that first night and gets an earful of gossip about the Pockets. She feels Mrs Pocket deserves her title. Pip also learns that Drummle, one of the tenants of the Pockets, is heir to a baronetcy. AND that the book Mrs Pocket was reading in the garden was all about titles. They are all obsessed with titles!
In the 1800s, the order of precedence for titles was as follows:
Duke (Most Noble)
Marquess/Marquis (Most Honorable)
Earl (Right Honorable)
Viscount (Right Honorable also)
I had fun with this mixed media collage about titles in the 1800s!
Pip is shown his room in the Pocket home. It seems adequate and comfortable. He meets two other non-Pocket boarders: Drummle and Startop. Pip observes that the house seems to be run entirely by the servants, who make all the decisions, not Mr & Mrs Pocket. The servants are in charge! And they do entertain often, down in the servants’ quarters, doing whatever they like, eating very well.
Still on my quest to try new things with this project, I decided to try my hand at carving a rubber stamp. I have had a Speedball carving tool for many years. I believe I bought this in college and we did one project with it, just to learn how to do it. Haven’t touched it since. Until yesterday. I bought a pink rubber carving block, sketched out my “servant bell” design and carved away! It really is a lot of fun and carves like butter! Not how I remember carving into linoleum blocks in th 80s – VERY difficult. I used a brayer to roll on acylic paint and made my print. Pretty cool, huh?
Mrs Pocket asks Pip if he likes the taste of orange-flower water, a question completely out of the blue. Pip finds out that she was brought up without learning any skills of any kind, especially those pertaining to the common people. Being raised solely for the purpose of marrying a “title” (her father being a knight), she has no domestive knowledge. She’s completely useless!
I looked up orange-flower water and found that it is also known as orange-blossum water and is a clear distillation of bitter-orange blossums. It’s becoming more popular these days actually, which I find very interesting, since Dickens wrote this book so long ago! It is today being used to flavor foods such as Spanish King Cake, European madeleines, Mexican wedding cakes and Pan de Muerto and in the U.S. in scones and marshmallows. Yum, I’m getting hungry!
Enjoy my little orange-blossum painting and hope you have a great day!
The Pockets, all except for the Mr, are romping around in the garden. This gives Pip time to observe the Pocket family dynamics. It apprears that Mrs. Pocket does not want to be bothered with the children. (Hint: she has two nurses to help her with them.) In her defense, there are SEVEN little Pockets tumbling around the garden! Not including Herbert, whom I assume is the eldest. Mrs. Pocket awkwardly bounces the baby on her lap briefly and then sends them all off to nap.
Mr. Pocket finally comes out of the house, looking as perplexed and befuddled as Mrs. Pocket. I think I’d be in a dazed stupor also, if I had 8 children!
I am posting another gelli print I did last week during this online class taught by Carla Sonheim:
There are 8 shapes to represent each of the Pocket children tumbling about their lovely garden by the river. I really like the textures on this one!
I am taking an on-line class (my first!) taught by the wonderfully talented Carla Sonheim. While working on her project yesterday I decided to “kill two birds with one stone” or “two arts with one gelli pad!” The piece above was done using her techniques and my brand-spanking new Gelli Printing Plate! You can see her class info here:
It started yesterday, but anyone can sign up at any time and work at their own pace. This works great for me, because I’m busy, busy, busy. I still have dependants who depend on me! Young teenagers, who often don’t want to hear my opinions but still needy when it comes to rides, money and food!
Page 158 of Great Expectations finds Pip going for a late evening walk with Herbert Pocket then to see a Theatre show at half-price. This is still Pip’s first day in London, Saturday. In the morning they go to church at Westminster Abbey and then another walk in The Parks. There are many horses there which remind Pip of his step-father Joe, who helped raise him. (Joe is a blacksmith and often makes horseshoes.) He starts to feel sad about all he’s left behind, the country, Joe, Biddy too, I’m sure. It all seems so far away, even though he was there just this morning, saying his good-byes.
Monday morning arrives and Herbert starts his work-week. I think Pip is going to tag along.
My Gelli print is of Westminster Abbey. I had fun using this new mono-printing technique for the first time on this piece. I used acrylic paint. If you are interested in learning about it, sign up for Carla’s class!
Herbert talks about his career to Pip. He says he insures ships. And has grand plans of trading in the East and West Indies (silks, spices, dyes, drugs, precious woods, sugar, tobacco, rum and elephant tusks)! This all sounds very exciting, exotic and profitable to Pip. But, Pip then finds out that Herbert is not actually doing any of this – trading or insuring. He works in a counting-house and informs Pip that it pays nothing. But, he is “always looking about” for an opportunity to pursue these dreams.
Happy Early Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!
Here’s what’s happening on Page 156:
Pip, Handel according to Herbert, finds out that Miss Havisham’s half-brother was in on the cruel scheme with her fiancé to swindle her out of her fortune. (Poor Miss H!) Herbert does not know where the two men are today. They seem to have disappeared. Estella was adopted by Miss H at some point – also something Herbert knows little about. Maybe we will find out later.
In the meantime, Pip and Herbert agree that they both now know the exact same information about Miss H.
How horrible to be ready for the wedding, in the gown, cake on the table, only to find out that it was all a cruel joke, a mean scheme!
Page 155 finds Pip listening to Herbert Pocket tell more of the story of Miss Havisham’s life:
The man Miss H fell in love with was NO gentleman. He was not a true gentleman at heart but tried to appear as one. “No varnish can hide the grain of the wood; and that the more varnish you put on, the more the grain will express itself.”
Miss H fell hard for him. He swindled her out of large sums of money, all the while professing his love for her and the promise of marriage. Plans were made, a wedding dress purchased, guests invited. They arrived on the date, everyone but the bridegroom. Miss H received a letter from him while she was dressing for the wedding, at twenty minutes to nine. (This is the time that all the clocks at her home have been stopped at.) No one knows what the letter said exactly, but the wedding was off and no one has seen the man since!
Miss Havisham (not Estella) is the one who lost her mother, young,
and grew up spoiled by her brewer father. (I got confused and thought
Herbert was talking about Estella. Easy to do with Dickens!) Miss
Havisham’s father dies, leaving her a wealthy heiress with a wasteful
and extravagant half-brother.
As Herbert tells Pip all about Miss Havisham, he throws in bits of
advice on how one holds his silverware, wine-tumbler and dinner-
napkin properly. Pip is not insulted ain the least and they both
giggle at Pip’s ignorance in these things.
Herbert continues: Twenty-five years ago young Miss Havisham meets
and falls in love with a man.