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witterings on OS life



  • Valli
    Valli Posts: 24,746 Forumite
    Name Dropper Photogenic First Anniversary First Post
    edited 3 December 2009 at 4:16PM
    I have read the thread, so far with interest BUT
    I go out to work (and I went out to work before OH and I split)
    My mum went out to work, in the mid 60s with three littleys and the NHS was desperately short of nurses
    HER mum went out to work, in a mill, she was a weaver (working class) mum was latchkey kid
    HER mum worked, she ran a shop, during the depression they both (mother and daughter) went to work away from home in Blackpool as waitresses as there was no work at home...
    That's 4 generations of women working outside the home...

    Having said that when we came to Derbyshire quite a lot of my schoolfriends had non-working mums; in Lancashire, where I originated, many of my schoolfriend's mums DID work.
    Don't put it DOWN; put it AWAY
    "I would like more sisters, that the taking out of one, might not leave such stillness" Emily Dickinson
    :heart:Janice 1964-2016:heart:

    Thank you Honey Bear
  • worbikeman
    worbikeman Posts: 2,971 Forumite
    OP is right. Take cars, in the 50s/60s a good family car was the old Morris Minor. Simply built, not much could go wrong but if it did most jobs were fixable by the lay-person. Nowadays cars are so sophisticated millions of things can go wrong and they're all complicated, time-consuming and expensive! (that's the idea).
    I've got a 1970 book of the TV programme 'Tomorrow's World'. Very intrestin. It says in the 21stC we will all have more leisure time:rotfl:I think they had more then!
  • HariboJunkie
    HariboJunkie Posts: 7,740 Forumite
    edited 3 December 2009 at 4:47PM
    I can't comment on the fifties housewife/family as I grew up in the seventies in a centrally heated, five bedroom house with most of the mod cons my mother needed. We were lucky enough that Mum could afford to stay at home as Dad earned enough.
    My mother was OS through and through in that she was thrifty and frugal and a fabulous cook but she also didn't skimp on our home comforts or martyr herself by not taking advantage of the technology available to her.
    We are also lucky enough to be able to absorb the fact that I cannot work full time due to health issues and prefer to be a SAHM. We just try to live within our means and not get into debt. We have a couple of tellys which my children watch alot :p and OH and I have a computer each, but we still rely on our coal fire to heat most of the house. Watching tv doesn't mean my girls don't play outside or pursue other hobbies. But it's 2009. I don't expect them to sit in a corner doing tapestry when they would rather be watching Horrid Henry. :D
    By being frugal we can afford the luxuries we want and we don't bother fretting about the ones we don't. Lack of waste is important to me so that is the basis for our moneysaving.
    The thing to remember is personal choice. Some women may be run off their feet and others may see this as being on a hamster wheel but maybe these women wouldn't want it any other way. Just as I am happy to stay at home but that doesn't mean I am brain dead or setting the feminist movement back 30 years. It's simply a choice that works for us. ;)

    And actually, being OS can be a hamster wheel sometimes too as I can testify today as I've made dozens of mince pies and muffins and a gingerbread house for the school fair while trying to clean and cook a three course meal for my guests coming tommorrow. :wink:
  • LameWolf
    LameWolf Posts: 11,234 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    seraphina wrote: »
    The only thing I think i might miss about the 1950's is the skirts and dresses. They look great:D (And also, being addressed by surnames. I think that kind of formality is just good manners. Are you listening, Vodafone???)
    Arrrggghhh! Don't get me started! I absolutely cringe when some bod that I've never set eyes on before calls me by my first name. Especially because 9 times out of 10, they get it wrong! I have a slightly more unusual version of a very common name, and I'm very picky about people getting it right.

    But no, they should call me Mrs Wolf til I invite them to do otherwise.

    LOL Rant over!:o
    If your dog thinks you're the best, don't seek a second opinion.;)
    THIRZAH Posts: 1,465 Forumite
    I wouldn't want to go back to the fifties-ice on the bedroom window, chilblains, having to get washed and dressed in the kitchen in the winter as it was the only room that was heated.Little girls wore skirts and long socks with cold red legs in between and boys had to wear short trousers until they were about twelve.

    Some things were certainly better then but others have definitely improved.
  • Beccatje
    Beccatje Posts: 728 Forumite
    edited 3 December 2009 at 9:29PM
    Woah.. settle down girls!

    I understand where Mardatha is coming from. Maybe because I can do it too I suppose.. Just sort of muse...

    It's like this list about if you were born before 1980 ...

    Like: we were brought up in brightly colored cribs painted with leaded paint.. we didn't have cell phones, we went round to our mates to fetch them... we didn't have computers and email, we wrote letters.. we ate dirt, spiders and bugs... we rode bikes without helmets...etc...

    It's a generalisation. Ofcourse it is.. it's just musings.. generalisation and a bit of exaggeration to get the point accross. Ofcourse nobody is suggesting everybody who is not OS has 4 tv's and eats nothing but ready made meals....!!! Just like saying the old days were all fun and glory. Hell no! ..
    But the musings sometimes let you stop and look.. stop and think... especially if your life is full of stress and you feel busy all the time. With musings like that you can re-think your way of life.

    And the great thing is!: We live in modern times so for the most part: WE GET TO CHOOSE the best of both worlds!!
    We can muse and look at the past... take from it what we like and can benefit from... and take things from the present...and find a balance to make the life in which we are truly happy.
  • maryb
    maryb Posts: 4,660 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post Combo Breaker First Anniversary
    I'd hate to go back to the 1950s (and I was there so I remember it from first time round). There was so much pressure to conform and you were really made to feel it if you didn't. I was a sensitive child who dreaded getting into trouble (and was never deliberately naughty, I was far too scared) and I was slapped far too often by bad tempered teachers just because they could.

    I still remember the frisson of horror that went round my convent schoolroom when I innocently remarked that my mother didn't do the washing on Monday because she was at work, she did it on - shock horror- SUNDAY. I can remember the shrinking feeling when I realised I'd said something to attract criticism yet again.

    The 1950s for me and for a lot of children was a never ending story of always getting into trouble for the most minor infringements of rules we only vaguely understood.

    And Sundays were sooo boring!!

    Liberation is not too strong a word for the change in women's lives in the 1970s
    It doesn't matter if you are a glass half full or half empty sort of person. Keep it topped up! Cheers!
  • InfamyInfamy
    InfamyInfamy Posts: 1,727 Forumite
    Wow! Great thread!
    I was brought up in the 70s but it may as well have been the 50s as my Mum seemed to live in martyrdom! My Jack Russell used to sleep on my feet at night to keep them warm & winter time I had a constant red rash on my tummy from my hot water bottle!!!!
    I think our lifestyle now is quite OS but in modern times. We live on a farm so produce our own meat to eat, eggs & veg (when it grows). I work parttime as a freelance consultant, OH farms. He was a stay at home Dad to both of our kids as I could earn more, so there has always been someone at home for them. I believe washing machines & dishwashers are necessities but have never had a tumble drier as that is what the outside line & polytunnel is for.
    Have never bought into designer clothes (too big!!!) and nor does my 11yr DD as she likes unusual stuff so will happily rummage to look different.
    Sometimes have big arguments with DS about trainers but I always win!!!
    The debts we have are due to the farm (money pit) and not extravagance.
    Bought the kids a PS2 once but they never played with it so sold it!
    Couldn't do without PC cos how would I get all the great freebies!
    We rarely use the central heating (was put in free on a grant) but use the woodburner instead.
    Home educated DD who loves to read, sew, cook etc. Always got her nose in a book! Both have TV/VHS in bedrooms but they love being outdoors.
    My OH does 99% of the cooking...I like doing more OS stuff like pickling etc.
    Most of the people I know do similar stuff as it is becoming more fashionable. I was writing for mags on eco stuff in the 80s when it was really unpopular, now it is the norm. Knitting has become the new celebrity pasttime and make do and mend is having a resurge in popularity. It doesn't mean we need to go without but there is a spiritual high on living a simpler life! xxxxx:T
    Infamy! Infamy! They've all got it in for me!
  • mardatha
    mardatha Posts: 15,612 Forumite
    :D totally agree on the spiritual bit, its much better than money !
  • I distinctly remember one cold night a few years ago returning from the weekly shop (by car) to our very isolated farmhouse, lugging in bag after heavy bag of heaven-knows-what and wondering "how on earth did my mother manage?" She didn't drive, and my father used the car to get to work in any case. She didn't work until we were at high school, and then part-time, but how did she cope with the physical carrying of all this shopping?

    And then it all came back to me. She would get dressed up, put on some lippy, a hat and propel herself at speed along the mile or so to the parade of shops and the old 'village'. The first shop was a greengrocer, run by a couple of rather strange tweed-jacket-wearing middle aged ladies. Oranges had wrappers in those days, rather like wine labels, denoting their provenance. My mother would scrutinise each piece of fruit, turnip, leek and apple, and make her selection which would not be carried, - oh no, it would be delivered by The Tweeds in their Morris Minor van later in the day. I don't think money changed hands, so it was on account. Next the fish shop where gills and eyes would be examined critically and the purchased wrapped in something like greaseproof and put to one side. On then to the butchers, sawdust on the floor, huge beasts lardy looking hanging in the back of the shop. "Three quarters of a pound of smokey bacon cut at number five please". Again, each item once found to be acceptable and affordable, was wrapped and set aside. The fish and meat was delivered to the house by van during the afternoon. The butcher's boy with the boater and bike (he was a friend of mine in later years) would deliver the weekend's meat on a Saturday morning.

    And on it went, to the tobacconist, 20 Picadilly tipped please, the newsagent, maybe the chemist which dispensed medicines and sold flannels and old violet concoctions, maybe to the wool shop for another ball of wool (the total amount for the garment was 'put by' and purchased as required - cash flow was obviously not a factor then!).

    Once a week it was a shampoo and set and a visit to a general grocer who had a tin of broken biscuits. He undoubtedly sold a lot else, but that is what sticks in my mind.

    They all delivered. It was even better than shopping online because you actually got to see the produce before committing yourself, you got the exercise from the brisk walk, had nothing to carry and by virtue of the lipstick and the hat, you had had an outing! Granted, there was not a huge choice and for that you caught the 'bus into Town on Saturday where you felt superior because you were not in your rollers and chiffon scarf, as you had been S+S'd earlier in the week. Town seemed to have been full of shoe shops and cake shops selling gateaux. Fortunately these guys did not deliver, so the temptation was not there even had the budget been. Some of the shops still had those thingys where the money was placed in an overhead pulley system in a sort of canister with a bill, then a cashier (also overhead presumably) stamped, returned the bill with the change in another canister. It was all rather surreal. Anyone know what these were called?

    All in all, I'd say it was less stressful then as a mother than now, for shopping anyway. Heating and laundry, well that's something quite different!
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