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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Another little special project: Part 1 of BBC-"The 1940s House"

I've been trying to do a few different things lately. Not just the music as usual, but a few more pictorials and such. I recently re-watched the BBC reality series, "The 1940s House". Now I'm not normally a fan of reality TV...or really ANY television, unless it's current events/news related. but I loved the show, and felt I needed to view it again.

Being nearly 50, I grew up on the tales of my parents, and in the Great Depression, and life during the war years on the American home front. Being an avid student of history and growing up in a family that was great on talking and teaching about the past, I often feel that I know quite a bit of how life and culture was....from both the major timeline events, music, fashion, and even the most mundane of the daily aspects of the lives we led many years ago.

Don't get me wrong, I'm addicted to technology, and would find it awfully hard to live without all of it. I certainly won't deny that I'm as lazy as the next person when it comes to modern material comforts, but I do know enough about how to "get by".....knowing many of practical tools that most of us have forgotten, and which most of us used to learn as a matter of course from our elders. Can you bake a pie from scratch? darn a sock?, lay a fire? that sort of thing. I feel that I can safely say that I know many who can't, as I'm sure that many of you could say the same also.

I mention this because I try my damndest to teach as many of these things as possible to my 13 year old, as my mother did for me. Trust me, she WILL learn the secret to my Great-Grandmother's famous lard and ice water pie crust!! I'm amazed at the ignorance of some of the most basic things that were daily parts of the lives of our elders. No wonder our grandparents worried for us, as we really couldn't make it a day without the modern conveniences that we've come to depend upon.

My daughter was freaked out a bit by this series when first she saw it. I do think she was a bit young to take in all of it at the time, and frankly was a bit bored by all of it.  She's a teen now, and I feel it's time for her to watch it again. They've studied WWII and the Holocaust in Middle School, and have a basic understanding of the politics and effects of the war as an result. 

That being said, she only knows of what the Americans on the home front experienced during the war. She has no idea how different it was for Europeans, especially the British, and just what they had to live with daily in the 6 months leading up to the Blitz and the war.....also the hardships of wartime deprivation and the constant presence of possible death being always a part of ones life. My daughter's best friend has one parent who lives in London, and she spends each summer over there with her father and her grandparents. I've heard that she has been told something of what life was like during that time for them, but I don't really know if the girls really understand just of life was actually like. I'm hoping that maybe if they watch this, it will give them an idea just a bit of what it was like....a world completely removed from anything that they now experience in our cushy, comfortable, disposable existence......

Yes, this IS reality TV, but I do feel there is much to be learned from this, IMHO.

The show:

Assembled by the same team responsible for the reality series 1900 House and Frontier House, this three-episode endeavor challenges a 21st century British family to live under the same conditions experienced by their countrymen during the WWII years (1939-1945). Three generations of the Hymers family are crowded into an old-fashioned London flat, where they must endure such deprivations as food rationing and air-raid blackouts, as well as conduct their lives within the moral and cultural parameters of the early '40s. How well the Hymers clan fares under these restrictions is determined by a "war cabinet" made up of historians and sociologists. Originally broadcast in the U.K. in January of 2001, all three episodes of 1940s House were later broadcast on a single evening by America's PBS network.

Here 'Tis......Enjoy. (Part 2 to come in the next post)

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