I hope all of you have had a wonderful Christmas and Holiday season. I had a lovely Christmas Day and our Christmas eve party was really fun as usual. Here is my Christmas pudding from this year. I made it ‘vegetarian’ in that I used butter rather than suet and lard. It was quite good and my homemade hard sauce was lovely. But with Brandy, butter and sugar, how can you go wrong?
The week leading up to Christmas found me fighting a cold. I realized going through my blog I have not been ill too much over the past three years of my project and often found myself nursing hubby with something he picked up out in the big bad world, only to find I was staying strong against it. Much better, as I prefer to be nurse to patient any day.
However, part of my ‘break’ this past week has not been entirely due to illness nor even due to the hectic rush of the Christmas Season. It was, rather, my contemplative nature getting the better of me. I have been, now, three long years in the 1950s. And I cannot believe how much our present has changed in these past years nor, I am afraid, how much we seem to be set on a road of even more change. And not for the better, I might add. This has left me contemplating my own project.
In many ways I have been thinking about the Depression years of the 1930s. Though, I like that era, it has not ever normally been one I have ever been infatuated with or intrigued as I have been with other past eras, such as the Edwardian and Victorian and so on. Though in many ways I feel our current time is becoming much more akin to the Depression, it also has much of the Edwardian in it. That brief span of time from 1901 to 1909 that saw Kid Edward on the Throne in England, that long awaited spot by Queen Victoria’s eldest son, was one of excess and vast disparaging gap between the haves and have not's. The older nobles and upper-class of the time had been increasingly wondering at this ‘younger generation’ and its rampant spending, speculating, promiscuousness and blatant debauchery. Once, a person of the upper classes felt a duty to the land and his tenants, and the poor in general. There was wealth to be sure, but those who had it felt it was an honor and a duty to have it and that meant giving back and also acting in certain ways to represent that to the lower classes. By Edwards time, the early 20th century, it had simply become a playground of spend and live how you like and whichever way you liked. In many ways it was set on a road of its own destruction.
Of course, much of what lead to the ensuing wars of the 20th century were social unrest, much of it was actually monetary and in the hands of the few who were increasingly controlling things with wealth. The old land owners found their power dwarfed by the new money and insane amounts of wealth created overnight by American and other Industrial and Banking Barons. IN many ways, much as we have today, instant money was available, money in general had less value and social position was a sign of how much money you had not history, tradition, or duty to those below you. The hereditary lords whose ancestors had won honor and land through battle had been slowly ebbing. Speculation was born. This sort of money for nothing was greatly portrayed in Anthony Trollope's satirical work of 1872 :“The Way We Live Now” which was also made into a wonderful screen adaptation by the BBC and is well worth a watch. Trollope returned from abroad in the 1870’s to be appalled at the rampant green and money lust now popular in his country. Yes, it is true that the desire and urge for the almighty dollar was not always a part of the human psyche as it has become in the modern world. It is odd to see the main character creating money on ideas and speculations and to see family fortunes and ancient homes go to those who simply dare to create and give into this new scheme of money. But, I digress.
Back to my lax posting and contemplation. I had even begun to contemplate my love of history. Have I, living in the 1950’s, become to so it as so commonplace that it no longer seemed history? Perhaps that is the reason to wish to move on to a new time period? But, really I believe that our current economy has made me think more and more upon those troubled times of the 1930s. Higher prices, inflated currency, increasing unemployment, troubles and droughts in the farm world, talk of war, government attempts to aid the country all seem to be things we modern people can begin to relate to. Things that have happened before and we know to what they lead.
Therefore it has been rather hard to focus on the glory days of the 1950’s lately because of my own feeling of frustration and fear of our current times. Much, I am sure, as it must have begun to feel to those in the early 1930’s after the hey day of the 1920’s. Now, I am not saying in anyway we have it as bad as they did, but I also wonder that we might not see it just as bad or even worse in the coming years. We cannot know, as they themselves back then did not know. I am sure many never thought to see another World War after the Great War was meant to ‘end all wars’. A very good advertising ploy, I suppose, to make nations feel more at ease at sending their young men to fight and die in foreign fields.
Any way you slice it, I have been contemplating two major points in my life as this year and third year of my project ends: 1)general economy and fascinating moments in our current history as well as their connection to the Great Depression. 2)worries about money and the Housewifery need to work on making my pin money jar grow. Therefore, I really am contemplating start January first in a year in the 1930s. I might not be as complete in dress and such as I was in my 1955 year, but would very much like to see magazines as well as radio (no TV yet) and news of the time and really delve into it to share with all of you. And, of course, the fun bits of trying 1930’s recipes and some tips at housework as my social history is just as important to me. With that I would like to start focusing on a cottage industry, perhaps my jewelry, to see if I could make a bit of pin money here and there.
My question to all of you, or any of you who have stuck around this long!, is what decade or time period would you like me to approach next year? Or do you care at all? So, to do that I am going to put a ‘quiz’ applet in the sidebar of this site with the question for you to choose. I think it would be fun to see if any of you (again those of you who are still around for all I know I simply have two readers? One can never tell) want to chime in or have an opinion on it. I am running Poll until 30 December.
So vote and let me know what you think. Again, Happy Christmas and Happy New Year and as always Happy Homemaking.