Thursday, March 3, 2011

3 March 1957 “The Queen, Thinking of War Times, and Preparing for the Worse?”

On 13 October 1940 young Princess Elizabeth ( the Future Queen) and her young sister Princess Margaret Rose gave a speech on the wireless during Children’s Hour.
It is a very sweet little speech. And it is amazing that by then, in 1940, many of Briton’s children were being sent out of the danger zone of London and its environs to the safety of the English countryside, Europe and overseas.
Here they are three years later in their Girl Guides uniforms.
This year, 1957, the young princess is Queen. And this year is the very first of her now yearly Christmas Television Broadcasts. That media now becoming more commonplace in homes ‘across the pond’ while in America, it has been quite a part of our lives this passing decade.
It was filmed at Sandringham House in Norfolk. A bit early but still nice, none the less.  It demonstrates the vast change in her life and all of those of the time in under 20 years.
In her talk she mentions the import of ‘modern inventions’ but also warns of people ‘carelessly throwing away old and ageless ideals as if outdated machinery’.
This really has hit home with me and my thinking of this past month. I have been ever haunted by the modern times. They keep poking their head through the vale of my 1957 seclusion. Perhaps the very great changes happening in the past few months are greater than when I started two years ago. Or merely it is my own ever increasing asking and questioning and therefore daily study of how things were and how they are that has lead me to feel this way.
The latest issue of the increasing oil per barrel prices have leaked into my little 1957 Eden. I cannot ignore them and find myself wanting to find out where it might lead us.
I have also come to realize it matters little why we are there. War, Middle East unrest, failing or peaking oil, the ability to drill or not drill for MORE oil, it all really matters very little. Because those decisions are really out of our hands, you and I. And the endless debate as to ‘why’ it is happening or whom to blame seems less important than how do we, the little people, prepare.
I have begun to think more and more about the future. I may very easily,now, slip into a false past but will the increasing costs of food and all that is connected with oil allow me such lax pleasure? I don’t know. I do know that the more I consider what I might want or like to do to prepare FOR such a future as left me with a dichotomy of feeling: Both fear and Hope.
The fear of increasing oil leads to any endless horrid scenarios: Extreme food costs and shortages, the economy failing, Increased unemployment mingled with recession (or Stagflation as it is referred) and the list goes on.
The Hope, then, comes in what I begin to think of when I consider ‘solutions’. I begin to see the things one had to do once during the Depression and the war years. And to even go back further, to before the industrial revolution existed. And in its scary scenario I also see some wonderful outcomes: an increased need for community, the very NEED to grow and manufacture at home in a very small mile radius community. The joy and return to we as individuals within a group and a community, not merely numbers to be advertised to, to become Citizens and NOT Consumers.
Now, surely there could be no worry at all. Oil could drop back down to 40 dollars a barrel and we could go on and on as we are. But, there is a part of me that wonders, why does it MATTER if any of it is true or if we ARE headed for bad times. Because if the preparedness and the outcome of planning for such a future would  be, in many ways, an enjoyable life, why not just go for it anyway! Prepare for the worse but enjoy the good if you have it.
Much of what I have learned from the 1950’s over the past two years has already put me on that path. But lately I have been looking in my 1957 magazines with all the plastic glow and bright promise of things and it begins to feel rather weak or almost false.  40swomen I am striving for more war time ideas of gardening and food on a shortage and a budget. I am curious and hungry for Victorian farming (though industrial still very animal or steam powered). I don’t know. It has left me wondering if 1957 is going to make it to the end of this year, or if I need to go back further?wwIposter
I think, over all, that if bleak and bad times are coming then preparing for them may only make me a better person and in some ways improve my life. If there are no real bad times, then will I really miss being more disconnected to what the modern world really is? I don’t know. I know having got rid of modern TV/mags/advertising has done so much good for me. Perhaps I should continue back with my eyes fixed on the ‘news’ of the day leaving the ‘entertainment’ of it behind as I have done.
What do any of you think? Not rather or not Bad times ARE coming, but rather or night it might be a good idea to prepare for them even if they don’t? Is that too odd of a concept in the modern, instantaneous, now me me world?

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