Hoppo Bumpo (n): A children's game. Played by folding one's arms and hopping on one leg. Aim is to bump opponents, so that they lose their balance. Last person standing wins.

March 21, 2009

Introducing Hoppo Bumpo Hall (or why I want everyone to be a lady)

Vintage lady's purse (author's own)

I have been watching a reality series called Ladette To Lady. Its a kick-back-on-the-couch-and-gawk-in-horrid-fascination sort of show. Not everyone's cup of tea for sure. But as they say, one man's trash TV is another woman's treasure - and this one is a gem.

So if you've not had the benefit of seeing this program, here's the premise. A group of uncouth, young women are brought to Egglestone Hall, an old fashioned finishing school, to have the rough edges knocked off. The students are educated intensively in deportment, elocution, etiquette ... everything it takes to make a lady. Of course there's also the requisite amount of fancy cookery, dance, flower arranging, high teas and dinner outings ... and fraternising with foppish, B-grade aristobrats.

Each week is an elimination round, where one contestant is booted out for various transgressions, lack of progress or poor attitude .... or a combination of all of the above. There's tears, tantrums, drunkenness and the occasional flash of a bare bottom.

Sadly, its the lack of decorum -the truly disgraceful behaviour - that makes the most riveting viewing. And without a doubt the notion of a finishing school and debuting as a lady is dated; the mark of a bygone era (that is unless your family is titled and you own your own tiara). Some of the ideals are old-fashioned, perhaps even a little sexist.

But there is something I can't help but like about Egglestone Hall. No matter what is played up for the camera, there has to be some inherent good below all the sideshow hoop-la. Good manners and social graces have never gone out of fashion. There's nothing wrong with knowing which cutlery to use or how give a small speech or to do dance a few coordinated steps at a social occasion. Good posture and the ability to cook yourself a meal, also seem like handy skills. And I can't see too many visitors to this blog arguing that teaching a few craft skills, such as sewing, could be too damaging.

The bottom line is that I have found Ladette To Lady quite inspiring. This is why effective immediately, our house is to be known as Hoppo Bumpo Hall and all family members herewith are in training to be "ladies".

Now if you could excuse me, I must find my white gloves. Toodle-pip.


  1. Are Argy and Bargy going to have some flower arranging lessons?
    PS I love Ladette to Lady...actually I love every reality / boot someone out weekly type show!

  2. Oh I say old chap - make sure you post some pics of when Argy & Bargy defeather the goose and stuff it!!!

    Love that show for all the same reasons!!

  3. Entertaining read, thanks. I watched the first ep - it sure was trainwreck TV, but I couldn't look away! Just nevr got around to watching the rest!

  4. you could get years of contestants for that show just on our street :/ and its not seen as a bad thing to act like these "ladies" :/ its always nice trying to walk into the grocery store to have them yell at us or walk down the street and be afraid that one of them is going to jump me :/ while the show is worth a few laughs I just think its not helping the problem :/

    I think more people should now how to do basic tasks. I'm always surprised when people my sister's age(23) have no idea how to do laundry or cook even the simplest meal. odd what a difference of 4 years does. I can't dance tho, have two left feet :p

  5. I do love Ladette to Lady.

    My favourite bit:

    "I didn't kiss any boys at the pub".
    "But you did kiss another girl."
    "Well, yeah."

  6. Oh I still dream of living in that society - I am like you - when I watch it I think ohhh it would be so nice to be a lady. A house of boys - kinda hard to do at times hey - but I like the idea of changing the name with Hall in it - might go suggest it now... Oh and suggest the boys have to wear dinner suits to dinner and flower from the garden are arranged daily and extravagant meals made from the pigeons nesting outside LOL

  7. Might be hard to convert Argy and Bargy to "ladies", but I'm sure you'll be able to convert them to "Laddies", oops no done it already! Toodle-Pip

  8. Hilarious!

    Only an hour ago I was considering making myself an old fashioned night gown, but my inspiration has been Pride and Prejudice, not Ladette to Lady!

  9. Glad you have had a few laughs from the show. Don't forget to watch the seson final Tuesday night to see what we are all up to now :-)


    Ladette Sarah

  10. We seem to be raising a ladette at our house, despite my insistence on manners at all times. Perhaps I'd have more luck if I spent more time on the flower arranging and less time on the pleases and thank-yous?

  11. Oh I love it too! I want to be a laaay-dee.

    All the parts except for de-feathering a duck!

  12. Yes, I was strangely fascinated by the show too.


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