From the South China Morning Post this week in 1953 It was tough being a woman 50 years ago. 'Was my face red! And all because my nails weren't! It was a madly smart party and I was the only one with plain Jane nails!' howled one advertisement. 'I felt dowdy and my hands looked naked! There and then I became a convert to Cutex nail polish.' And there was more. 'See for yourself how well the hard surface withstands dripping!' the ad continued. But it didn't stop with getting to grips with drips. Skin had to be 'petal smooth and flower fresh', according to Elizabeth Arden, pushing 'exquisitely fine Ardena Powders', which 'seem to caress the skin, giving it a delicate bloom that lasts for hours'. With such refined lifestyles it's hardly surprising that some products were considered too impolite to mention. Readers could only guess what 'For babies, for mothers, for those with delicate skin' was hinting at. Then came the clue: 'Not crisp and shiny, it's downy soft like cotton wool. Completely different from anything else you've tried.' The last line gave it away. 'Aah Andrex - entirely British made.' Not everyone shied away from open discussion of bodily functions. 'I suffer most abominably from perspiration, but from the head only,' complained a correspondent to the editor. 'Not a drop from any other part of my body.' A friend had mentioned water on the brain, 'but that's out because the amount that has dripped from my brain during the last four weeks would be sufficient to fill the boilers of a large troop steamer'. It was signed 'Percy', and it was not April 1. You could conclude the colony was actually a more pleasant place to live back then if the benevolent Hong Kong and Yau Ma Tei Ferry Company and one unctuous government employee were anything to go by. 'We all thank greatly the management for half-fare cards for government servants who have to cross the harbour to their offices,' oozed one Tommy Chan to the editor. 'I myself thank them again and again.' But not all of the ferry workers took this view. 'Unfortunately some of the employees at the turning gates give ugly looks and foul language' to those who were unfamiliar and fumbled or hesitated on their way through. No passenger should be treated with 'abusement, unfriendliness and bully conduct', (sic) concluded Mr Chan. But then, being an employee was different in those days too. Attributes like loyalty meant something. 'Briton, ex-Shanghai, seeks position of trust where initiative and loyalty are valued. Can handle any job connected with shipping, godowns, wharves etc. Wide experience, excellent references, accustomed to hard work.' Another keen entry in the 'positions wanted' column had skills rarely mentioned these days. 'Young Chinese, well experienced in dog training, having HK private car driving licence, some knowledge of English and can type. Seeks employment in European house or firm.' There was no escaping the colony's Britishness. Legco passed an ordinance saying that British Summer Time would from then on be observed, with clocks going forwards and backwards from the first Sunday after March 17, and the first Sunday after October 30.