Cocoa at Midnight PDF ✓ Cocoa at eBook Ã

Cocoa at Midnight Kathleen Clifford was born in 1909 Her family lived in a tiny flat near Paddington Station and her earliest memories were of the smell of horses and the shrill whistle of steam trains For a girl from the slums there was only really one option once school was over a life in service She started work on 1925 as a lowly kitchen maid in the London home of Lady Diana Spencer's family Here she heard tales of the Earl's propensity for setting fire to himself as well as enjoying the servant's gossip about who was sleeping with whom The Spencers were just the first in a line of eccentric families for whom she worked during a career that lasted than thirty earrs and took her from a London palace to remote medieval estates But despite long hours amorous butlers and mad employers Kathleen always kept her sense of humour and knew how to have fun On one occasion she was almost caught in bed with her boyfriend who had to jump out of the window and run down the drive in his underwear to escape the local bobby Really enjoyed this bookEnjoyable read and interesting too The only trouble is the rather abrupt ending Lots to learn about the life of this lady Really lovely and gentle memoir about a young girl who dreamed of being a housekeeper to a posh household and the various jobs she had leading up to it including work in Lady Spencer's house from a very young age Very nicely written and a good laugh It sounds like she had a wonderful life The Inside Story of Downstairs Cocoa at Midnight which I won as a Goodreads giveaway is the true story of Kathleen Clifford's life in service in mid twentieth century Great Britain It is part of the series The Life of ServantsWritten in Ms Clifford's own voice her memoir of the downstairs life sheds light on the strange institution that was British domestic service a real life look at what we've seen on Upstairs Downstairs and Downton Abbey Ms Clifford shares her childhood poverty in Paddington West London and her early realization as a young teenager that the only way out for her was to enter service and make her way up the very long ladder from lowly maid to the highest female service rank of housekeeper She regales us with the unusual habits of her employers letting us in on secrets that only someone who was there could knowThis is an easy read written in a collouial style One feels like one is having a conversation with Ms Clifford about her life and I am grateful to have met her and discovered the ins and outs of the institution of British service and absolute oddities of the British upper class The only reason I rated this book 4 stars instead of 5 was that I wish it had been longer Hearing about a vanished part of history from someone who lived it is my cuppa tea Kathleen Clifford went into service at 15 years old in the early 1920s and worked through the 1960s She went from a dreadfully poor upbringing in PaddingtonLondon to working for aristocratic families in various parts of EnglandThis isn't to say she made much money but she improved her living circumstances by residing in some of the great homes A few rooms of her own in an attic were much better than the noisy slums and she didn't have to worry about having enough food She was however on call pretty much 247 at the whims of her employers This book is in the great tradition of Studs Terkel's Working and I enjoyed it very much I received this book gratis from Goodreads which did not influence my review

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