Friday, 7 November 2014

The Book of Me, Written by You - Week 59 - Task Reflections

Each week there are prompts which require answering.

Week 59 - Task Reflections

Ok, so these are the tasks I have undertaken today with the comparison of what I expect my grandparents perhaps had to go through when they were my age:

  • Changed numerous nappies - I use both reusable and disposable nappies, reusables are great when we're about the house as they save us a bit of money but they can be taken off, the solid waste is flushed down the loo with the bamboo nappy liner and go straight in the nappy bin beside the washing machine. The reusable nappies are bottom shaped and have a waterproof liner and fasten together with popper buttons. The disposables are better when we're out and about or when I'm feeling a little lazy as they come straight out of the packet and the dirty one goes straight in the bin. The disposable nappies are waterproof and there are crystals which soak up the liquid waste, they fasten with velcro. I use baby wipes to clean my baby's bottom and put sudocrem on to reduce the nappy rash.
  • All nappies would have been cloth nappies when my grandparents changed my parents nappies, they would be fastened with safety pins and would probably have been a square of cloth which had to the folded correctly to fit the baby. The nappies would all have to have been washed and I suspect the bottom would have been wiped with a flannel or something similar, possibly dry or dipped in water. The flannel would also have to have been regularly washed. Possibly even hand washed daily.

  • Used the toilet and shower in my warm bathroom inside the house.
  • My grandmother used to talk of having to go the back yard to use the lavatory and a wash in the tin bath once a week in front of the fire and in front of the rest of the family, with limited privacy.

  • Make a bottle of formula up - includes sterilising the bottles in the microwave steriliser, boiling the kettle, leave to cool for a few minutes, measure out the required amount using the measuring scale on the side and then add the required number of spoons of the formula milk from the tin and leave to cool stood in some cold water from the tap.
  • Sterilising bottles would be an arduous task with Milton or boiling them. Formula milk was available from the early 20th Century but was not as good for the baby as it is today and the baby may have been given cows milk from a younger age instead. Boiling water would have been in a kettle over the hob, rather than an electric one.

  • Make breakfast - take cardboard box of cereal from the cupboard with the plastic wrapping inside containing the cereal to keep it fresh. Pour the soya milk over the cereal from the carton in the fridge bought at the supermarket a week before. Place a slice of bread made by the bread maker the previous day in the toaster and spread on chocolate spread from the jar in the cupboard. Make a cuppa tea using the kettle to boil the water and a teabag from the tin.
  • Limited food was probably stored, it would have been purchased that same morning and I doubt they had much cereal for breakfast, possibly porridge or bread or even a good hearty cooked breakfast. There was limited use of plastic bags for keeping foods fresh, even bread and milk would have been bought or delivered that morning before breakfast. If the bread was made at home it would have been handmade which takes a lot of time and physical exertion to knead the dough and allow it to rise before being baked. Dry bread from the previous day may have been toasted over the hob or in the fire. Water would be boiled in a pan or kettle over a gas hob probably.

  • Caught up with a few bits of finances on my laptop, checked Facebook and my emails from the comfort of my sofa in my house warmed with the central heating on.
  • No resources such as laptops or internet to do work, pen and paper in front of the open fire range. You cannot check bank accounts from home, you would have cash somewhere in the house and a bank account book which showed the balance. You would have to go into town to withdraw money or put money into the bank. You would find out what people were doing today by walking down the street and talking to people. 

  • Went into town for a few bits and met some friends - drove to town in the car as it was raining heavily, put our coats on, got the baby in the car seat, put the pram & plastic rain cover in the boot of the car, parked outside the shop and ran into the warmth of the shop with the baby in the pram.
  • My grandmother used to either go to the village shop for provisions or wait for the grocers or butchers van to visit the village. They would not drive but walk everywhere or if they needed something from the larger town it might involve a bus ride. In the rain everything would get pretty wet, waterproof covers and coats were probably limited. 

  • Got home from town & as I was wet changed into some dry clothes and put the central heating on to dry my wet clothes and shoes.
  • Wet clothes would be dried on a rack in front of the fire. Instead of going to get another change of clothes, they may have put the same clothes back on once they had dried off a bit. It would take the clothes longer to dry.

  • Had lunch - made sandwiches with bread from the bread bin, cheese in a plastic resealable bag & butter in the glass butter holder both kept in the fridge.
  • Making a sandwich is one of the tasks that probably hasn't changed drastically over the centuries but food to be kept cool would be in the larder rather than the fridge. Cheese and butter would be bought from the supermarket in smaller quantities more frequently.

  • Text my husband to see what time he might get home from work.
  • There was no way of communicating with your husband until he got in from work.

  • Talked to my brother in Germany on WhatsApp on my mobile phone.
  • Talking to my brother in the next county would have involved lots of letter writing with pen and paper, with a slow postal system it would take weeks on end to get replies. Cross country letter delivery would be incredibly slow in comparison to being able to talk to my brother instantly for free.

  • Enjoyed left-over stew from yesterday for our tea. It had been cooked in the slow cooker yesterday in a large quantity to freeze and reheat. It was reheated in the microwave.
  • Meals were not cooked in large quantity as people may not have been able to afford to buy large quantities in one go and there would not have been the option for long term storage in the freezer, it would need to have been eaten the same day. There was no microwave to reheat anything it would have been in the oven, stove or on the hob.

  • The dishes were all put in the dishwasher with the breakfast and lunch pots and it was put on to wash the dishes from the whole day.
  • Washing up would be done after each meal, to have enough crockery to eat the next meal with. The water would have to be boiled in the kettle on the hob to get hot water immediately.

  • Put the baby to bed in their cot in their own bedroom, using the lullaby tune on the baby monitor to aid the baby to sleep.
  • You would have to listen out for the baby. My grandparents may have even shared their beds with their parents, or the baby was put to sleep in the pram, the baby may not have had a cot.

  • Sat downstairs in the living room, writing this blog on my laptop, listening to Katherine Jenkins music on Spotify, with the baby monitor next to me in case the baby wakes and cries, so I can go and comfort them.
  • There would certainly have been no blogging perhaps one may have kept a diary with paper and pen, but would it have been read by people from all across the world - probably not, only if published as a book. Listening to music in my grandparents day would be either gramophone if one was available, radio or in house entertainment with the piano or other instruments which were available. 

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