The Pit is a deracinated society. Anyone living in or near it should have a handy stock of antidotes:

Miss Gladys contributed:

Here is my Pit-antidote and it never fails to work. Baking!! I have a small collection of very up-to-date recipes, although any will do to be honest! I put my rather Quirrie-esque pinnie on, take out my scales (with Imperial weights, none of these rather odd metric measures) and away I go. My kitchen activities are often accompanied by up-to-date music, and sometimes my rather tubby kitchen cat will sit and watch me.

At the end of half an hour or more (depending on the cake) I am thoroughly racinated and have a lovely cake to eat with a perfect cup of tea. What could be more perfect?

Miss Iris added:

Just guess what I got through the Iron Curtain last week: a book of Trentish embroidery patterns! It’s beautiful, with colour plates and detailed instructions. Now I’m working hard to finish my other pieces so I can start on one or two from my new book.

Miss B sighed:

Trentish embroidery patterns you say? How lovely they must be! I have a collection of knitting patterns from Quirinelle that I take out and admire from time to time, but I fear I am too clumsy to make anything of.

Miss Gladys, I agree with you that baking is wonderfully racinating. Cake is as far beyond this clumsy brunette as are delicate Trentish embroidery and Quirinelle knitting however.

Miss Iris insisted:

Ah, Miss B. – you must not think that you are too clumsy to make anything. It is very naughty of you! Every pette can create something, whether she is skilled in a particular domestic art such as knitting, gardening or baking or in more general things. And you have ‘made’ me feel most welcome, so perhaps your skill in creating is in creating a welcoming environment. That is every bit as important as doing fine work with one’s hands, and possibly more suited to a dashing brunette. What a thing it is to create a civilised atmosphere! I salute you.

I am firmly of the opinion that a lot of the problems with bongos are caused by the fact that they do not create, they only consume. Because they do not create, they see no value in permanence and beauty and effort, and praise only the instant and novel. In a sort of vicious circle, because they have been taught impatience and dissatisfaction, they then refuse to spend time on making things of value! They simply purchase an endless succession of cheap, ugly “novelties”, disposing of the things that had caught their eyes (but not their minds or hearts) a moment earlier. It is foolish, rootless and wasteful.

This is a subject I am passionate about. Every egg a pette cracks, every stitch she makes, every flower she places in a vase is of utmost importance. Better that a maid should produce a line of wonky stitching or the world’s worst scones (produced, nonetheless, with time and love) than that she should become a rank-and-file consumer. 

Miss B agreed:

Miss Iris, if all I ever did in this world was make you welcome, I would feel content. Such a wise blonde as you are ought to be made feel how welcome are her words, as well as her lovely self, wheresoever she chooses to favor the brunettes with them.

I am most grateful for your salute to my humble part in creating the civilized atmosphere which prevails here. It is perfect for civilized discussion with the lightest spice of – I do not want to say dissent, or disagreement, because never would I dissent or disagree with a blonde. Perhaps I shall say the spice of differing perspective.

It is true that the vast majority of bongos spend their sad lives as consumers of the things of which in a sane society they would have a share in the production. However, if all bongos were so, Telluria might look forward to a much swifter return to sanity. The images and noises of the Pit do not arise of themselves. Intelligent and educated bongos are paid quite a lot of money to produce the trash that assaults our precious sensibilities whenever we must venture into the Pit. Bongos of the most powerful class choose to create art of destruction and sickness, and choose to broadcast it to the great world.

As you say, “Every egg a pette cracks, every stitch she makes, every flower she places in a vase is of utmost importance.” It is so that the forces of light will triumph over the forces of darkness – but not only because of the stitches made, eggs cracked, and flowers placed to beautify the Hestia, but also because of the ugliness not made, the chaos not succumbed to. When we use our Dea-given powers in the service of light we do not use them in the service of darkness. We choose to create beauty and order and light and love.

And as I write, I am eating wonderful lemon bread you inspired me to make! I wish I could share it with all who read these (overly serious!) words.

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