(Post-WW1 street party, Carlisle, 1919;
my Mum, Grandmother and Great Grandmother feature here!)
Nearly at the end of this year's 'A-Z' blog-meme, my brief look at Genealogy has reminded me of the differences and similarities between the lifestyles of the previous generations and the present day.
Looking back, their lives were generally harder - struggling to keep land and livestock, coping with almost constant child-bearing and dealing with mortality (both infant and adult) from diseases and illnesses that would today be quickly remedied.
Also there were great separations when families emigrated, rarely to be seen or heard of again, often the only communication would likely be to inform those 'back home' of someone's demise. Nowadays, we have instant global contact by telephone and internet.
Our forbears may not have had the convenience of supermarkets and 'wall-to-wall' entertainment, but they also did not have the level of depressive illnesses caused by stress that our hectic lives can induce at times. When they fell wearily into their beds they generally were so physically exhausted that they would not likely lie awake fretting about life's worries!
Our modern day labour-saving gadgets would seem miraculous; we take for granted a machine that can wash clothes with the flick of a button or dial, whereas even our grandmothers would perhaps have spent hours boiling up water and scrubbing collars. (however, although assisted by electricity ironing still takes time!)
(as a child, even I remember using a washboard like this and a 'dolly' in the washtub
- how many times I nipped my fingers in the mangle, too!)
Vacuum cleaners and a less dusty environment mean keeping our houses clean is not the herculean task Great-Granny might have faced.
Cooking on clean and efficient stoves at the click of a button would seem magical to someone who would have had to find kindling and coal and wait for the oven to heat up - and also require the skill to know when it was hot enough to cook thoroughly but not burn the food.
So, looking forwards, I wonder what the generations yet to come will make of our lives today?