Tuesday, 15 April 2014

A Woman's Touch - Fanny and Johnnie Cradock at Home

It's hard to imagine now, but in 1970, years before Hello! magazine had a parade of celebrities showing off their lifestyles, Woman magazine featured a splash with Fanny and Johnnie showing readers around their new home. Fanny and Johnnie had moved into their dream home less than a year before Edith Blair and Rith Morgan called round, and were presumably very keen to show off their place. Of course it provided Fanny an opportunity to now only introduce some recipes to share, but pass on her hints and tips for interior decoration and kitchen planning too. Johnnie just seemed to be there.

Fanny Cradock

Fanny and Johnnie take Edith and Ruth on a tour room by room, but start with the outside and the history of the home. Despite only just moving in, Fanny and Johnnie explain that they have given the garden a lived in look by faking it - or 'gardening up' as Fanny calls it. This seems to involve planting thousands of bulbs over all the seasons. It was apparently Fannys dream to hear running water from her kitchen window, and at last that dream is fulfilled - Fanny adds to the perfect illusion by saying they catch crayfish and trout in the surrounding waters. It may just be me, but I don't see the photos of Fanny in waders... And Johnnies apricot outfit just wouldn't do.

Fanny gives readers a peek into the Cradock bedroom, and delights in sharing her secret for creating a restful space - using Peacock as a colour. It's depth of colour is warm and luxurious. It's a little disturbing to see the Cradock bed. The guest bedrooms look out over the stream and have an olive green carpet. Presumably this is restful too. The lounge has a TV which is draped I a. Green cloth when not in use, but apparently Fanny and Johnnie watch it a lot. I can't help but wonder if Edith and Ruth mention that Fanny has a whole make-up room that is lined with wardrobes as a tongue in cheek note, although Fanny would claim it essential I am sure. 

Fanny has set up the dining room for a splendid diner party full of very special treasured items. After all, what better event to show off at that a dinner party. Fanny keeps a menu book which lists all that was served on any particular evening with a list of who attended - this way she can be sure never to repeat dishes when guests return. What a super tip Fanny. Fanny poses in a relaxed fashion in her dream kitchen, proudly showing off her units and islands - she was sick of staring at the walls when cooking so designed cookers at the perfect height so she did not strain, in the centre. These are also handy for the steady stream of poor assistants I imagine, regardless of their height.

Every inch of the kitchen has been designed with labour saving in mind, and also motion saving - everything is in easy reach and can also be cleaned easily without a scrubbing brush. Fanny gives the illusion that the kitchen magically cleans itself. Again, no mention of the poor assistants who are no doubt never invited to the ball. So, once Fanny has inspired readers to have aspirations of a dream home lie, she has achieved, it's time to prepare some elaborate Petits Fours for dinner using the Fanny easy know how. The theme seems to be that it's easy if you are Fanny and even easier if you live in a dream home that you have expertly designed and created yourself. Aspirational as ever, and Fanny assures you are left knowing that you will never quite achieve this for yourself, but you are very lucky to at least see how Fanny and Johnnie live. 

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