Elizabeth noticed from analyzing the interview that Fan seemed to have a hierarchy of words, from "everyday" ones used by common people, such as "flatter," to those "interesting expressions by famous authors," such as "cretonne
." In fact, during his interview, he seemed embarrassed that he had underlined the short, simple word "crib," but then explained it as cultural: "I do not have 'crib' in my life."
She plumped down on one of the cretonne
cushioned chairs and sat still, except that her fingers trembled.
Up would come the rugs to be hung over the washing line and given a severe beating and down would come the curtains including the cretonne
one that hung under the sink over the space where all the cleaning stuff was kept.
This bowl was kept under the sink behind a cretonne
curtain that hung on a wire and hid a multitude of sins.
As soon as he'd gone to work my mother set to, she got on her hands and knees and rummaged under the cretonne
curtain that hung from the sink.
The deep earthenware sink had a curtain of flowered cretonne
and a wooden draining board, the space beneath being used to keep a variety of things; Ajax,Brasso,Parazone, washing soda,double bars of Puritan soap,Lifebuoy and Swarfega, lavender scented Mansion polish, a ball of hairy string and a small tin that used to contain White Heather chocolates and toffees full of fascinating odds and ends -buttons and skeins of purple Silko left over from the violets my mother had embroidered on a table cloth.
It was a very basic shop with a hollow-sounding woodenfloor, a cretonne
curtain that covered the entrance to the living quarters and lots of shelves that held Heinz tinned soup, Lockwood's carrots and peas, Horniman's tea and blue bags of sugar.