Sunday, 29 August 2010

Old Fashioned Values and Routines

I've been putting a few things up on Ebay to sell and I've bought a good leather bag (also Ebay) in the spirit of having one good one meaning that I can let go of my cupboard shelf full of cheap ones. (Let's hope it's not in the spirit of clutter and chaos anyway).

I've been thinking a lot about our parents' generation and how they lived so differently from us.  Neil's mum made bread once a week on a Tuesday (monday was wash day) and the bread lasted all week although it was mainly toasted by Sunday.  The war generation seems to have kept their houses and lives in good order by having predictable, tried and tested routines for things which needed doing regularly.  I imagine a comforting life of regular habits, clear floors and never an overflowing heap of cluttery nonsense as in my house.  Although they seem to have had very little in the way of things, they appreciated what they did have and looked after it.  They were slim (selling my friend's mum's vintage clothes certainly backed this up) and wasted nothing.  If my mum hadn't played with something for a while, my gran would pass it on to somebody who would!

I ran the wash day routine thing past Neil who felt it was probably a good thing especially because the whole family would know that was when the washing would be done.  But what if it was raining on a Monday but warm and dry on a Wednesday?  Modern life enables us to wash any day of the week as often as we like but doesn't this make us slaves to laundry?  I know mine lies about on chairs all week causing me a lot of frustration.  Were the older generation slaves to housework or... had they in fact more freedom than us? As an experiment I'm going to have tomorrow as a laundry day and see how I get on.

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