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29 January 2009

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I have just 'downed tools' at the office to muse over the memories you have provoked with this post.

I remember a Family at War well, one of those series like 'When the Boat Comes In' that were well crafted, written and acted. Wonder what ever happened to them!

I can remember my Mother's darning mushroom well and although it has long disappeared can still see myself enjoying its shape and the texture of the wood. Museum pieces now but you are so right about the mending box full of items that could repair anything in a trice. Or make a nib wiper from 2 small circles of blanket with a button sewn on to hold them together.

I was born in February 47 at home so that must have been really scary for my parents trusting the midwife would arrive.

Have not read Hidden Lives but Austerity Britain 1948-51 by David Kynaston covers similar ground (and an excellent read)and here too is the underlying feeling of anti-semitism and to a lesser degree racism with the arrival of coloured GIs.I sense that there was almost a 'sympathy' with the Nazi view at the time but this evaporated quickly when people saw how horrific the escalation of such thoughts and views could reach. Certainly though, racism replaced anti-semitic feelings without any of the overt attitude. Racism was full-on, in your face and our generation found this repellent and while it has got an awful lot better, I suspect it will never disappear totally in this country.

A terrific post.

I'm a terrible hoarder, I can't throw away anything that reminds me of something/ someone or a special occassion.

My Grandma had 8 children to bring up during the war years. She worked, made nearly all their clothes,painted watercolours and somehow found time to make her own stair carpet- which was passed on to my Uncle when he married. She crocheted but gave up on knitting as it was too slow to materialise! My Grandparents' house was lovely- always a button tin or biscuit barrel full of interesting things. She died when I was very young but I still have the (faded) pink blankets she cut down and re-stitched for my pram and the black string shopping bag she crocheted (from fisherman's net string).
We have old photos of the 47 snow. They had to drop food from planes to the farms round here. My father-in-law lived on one of them and remembers doing nothing but dig snow for weeks on end to try to reach the road.
The good old days...............

I wonder if I still have my mother's darning mushroom somewhere.
Yes, Family At War was terrific.
Coincidentally I've posted about WW2 memoirs on my blog today. Do take a look.

Ooooh! I remember Family at War. Started me off buying second hand clothes at jumble sales so that I could like the young women in it. Also, coincidentally, reading Kynaston's Austerity Britain.

Doesn't everyone own a darning mushroom?

Thanks for all your comments; perhaps we should start a Society for the Preservation of the Darning Mushroom.

And, yes, weren't those Family at War frocks fab?!

I suspect that the reason so many bloggers are writing about some aspect of another of this period is that all that wartime and post-war austerity chimes in rather with the this whirlwind recession. Everyone I know has been touched by it and we're all looking at ways of saving money. And all those old skills are coming into their own again.

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Thought for life

  • The House of Breath, William Goyen
    We are the carriers of lives and legends - who knows the unseen frescoes on the private walls of the skull?

Thinking about . . .

  • Daniel Klein, Travels with Epicurus
    I too listen to music more and more. Throughout my life, music has stirred me more than any other art form, and now, in old age, I find myself listening to it almost every evening, usually alone, for hours at a time.
  • Julia Blackburn, Thin Paths
    I began writing because I liked to write things down. I learnt foreign languages because they seemed to enter my head by a process of osmosis.
  • Joan Bakewell, Stop the Clocks
    I live contentedly alone. It's better that way and I am often thoughtful about what has been and what might have been. There are many like me.
  • Patti Smith, M Train
    Oh to be reborn within the pages of a book.
  • Patti Smith, M Train
    Why is it that we lose the things we love, and things cavalier cling to us and will be the measure of our worth after we’re gone?
  • Judith Kerr, Observer Magazine, 22 November 2015
    I don't believe in God. I find it much easier to believe in ancestors. I like to imagine they are pointing us in the right direction.

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