June 6th, 2006

I may be some time

Prices and wages in London, 1963

Hello again! My request to this community a few months ago, about wealthy boys' clothing in the 1950s, yielded some good results (thankee!). Now, can anyone direct me to a source of information about typical prices - especially for cheap sketch pads and charcoals/cafe meals (e.g. egg, beans, chips and tea)/ordinary department-store clothing (e.g. M&S or Army and Navy) - in London in 1963? I'd also like to know what a typical wage packet would have been back then (I was far too young to notice at the time; I didn't start paying attention to wage packets until the very end of the 1960s).

Any info, whether in the form of URLs or that of some grandparent's reminiscences, would be greatly appreciated.
Girl Power

Question about horses and injuries.

If an adult thoroughbred horse reared up and brought its front hooves down heavily on the top of a stall door (probably at a slight angle, and presuming the wood is something like oak -- I'm not sure what's standard in building horse stalls), so that the wood splintered/broke vertically along the grain, what kind of damage would be done to the horse, as a result? There would probably be splinters, but would an impact like that also tend to cause bone fracture or breakage, damage to hooves, etc.?

Thanks in advance! :)

Gods and Adultery

Alright, I've been researching this for a good day and haven't come up with anything. I want to know if there is a story about a god, any pantheon, that tricks another god into letting him sleep with his wife. All I get is stories about them just stealing her away and giving the husband the bird, basically. There needs to be some cunning involved!

Emergency-Room Treatment of Panic Attacks?

I suppose I'm very fortunate to lack real-life experience with the ER, but it figures pretty heavily in a plot bunny that just won't leave me alone. The main character, a 32-year-old man in decent health, suffers from undiagnosed Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. When he has a panic attack at work, his coworkers think he's got some kind of heart condition, and get him to the hospital emergency room. He's accompanied by a coworker who's had a long-standing crush on him. You guys have been really great not just at answering questions, but bringing up all sorts of little things that spark ideas, and I'm intensely grateful for any feedback.

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Thanks again, everybody.
penelope - swinging

England, Berkshire countryside description

Hello all! I'm looking for descriptions of the countryside around Compton Beauchamp, Berkshire, England, and Lambourn (or really, Bockhampton), Berkshire, England. I'm writing a Victorian novel (1886 - 1888) where the characters live in the Compton Beauchamp house, and the Bockhampton Manor.

I have pictures of the fronts of these houses, but I can't seem to find anything else. How the country looks around these specific houses, how it looks leading up to the houses...would the roads be dirt leading up to the houses? Gravel? Are there trees? Is it generally green in this area? What type of farming is known from this area?

Thanks so much for everything you can tell me!
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IW bear

Who says "fortnight" nowadays?

When did the word "fortnight" fall out of fashion? Is it still used in some countries? I read somewhere that it is common in British English, but I don't know if that's current. My story takes place around the early to mid-18th century in a pseudo-English country. Would people still say "fortnight" or would they just say "two weeks"?

Edit: Answered! Thanks to everyone who responded. Guess it's really just North Americans that don't say "fortnight" anymore.

Silencing dirt bike engines

I have a character who becomes a super hero who decides to turn his dirt bike into his mode of transportation (he doesn't like the idea of flying). Would there be a way to silence the engine, as to keep from waking people in the neighborhood up?

I have no idea as to what to look for on Google and Wikipedia just lists information on the bikes.