Thursday, July 19, 2007

Great Big Blog Party 36 Winner

I have another winner to announce - this time for Marina Oliver's Giveaway Contest.

But first, Marina wasn't able to get in and join the comments so she's sent me her response to cut and paste here instead so - here's Marina's round-up - and her winner is named at the bottom:

Marina's Competition.

I was intrigued by how many of you said life would be uncomfortable in
past times, unless you were wealthy. That's more or less how I feel! I
want the fun and not the drudgery. In previous centuries I could have
died a couple of times without modern medicine. And I really would have
hated having to wear corsets!

I can recall the sheer hard work for my parents and grandparents in the
1940s, which is not that long ago - or I pretend it isn't! No washing
machines, so the weekly wash by hand took all of Monday, and then drying
and ironing most of Tuesday. No hot water laid on, it all had to be
boiled in a kettle on the fire, or for washday in a copper boiler.
Feather mattresses had to be turned and shaken every day. No vacuum
cleaners, rugs had to be taken outside and beaten. No fridges, so
shopping almost every day. Many men grew vegetables on allotments, and
kept a few chickens, even a pig, in the back garden. No central heating,
so fires to be lit and grates cleaned, even if they were not
black-leaded. Front doorsteps to be scrubbed. There were outside loos,
sometimes at the end of the garden. Either water to flush them had to be
carried in a bucket, or they were privies which had to be emptied
regularly. During WW2 frequent air raids meant lots of broken nights.

We now have a holiday cottage in Madeira, where they have all the modern
equipment, but in some ways it feels like the 1940s in England. There
are lots of small farms where we are, people give away surplus produce
to the neighbours (oh boy, don't bananas straight from the tree taste
scrumptious!) and they often keep a pig and a cow or goats as well as
chickens. At least we haven't been given one of those yet, but a friend
was presented with a chicken - for the pot or for eggs?

Some sort of time travel to visit would be better, I think, but without
that historical fiction is great. Why fiction rather than academic
history or biography? Those are all fascinating, and I read a lot both
for my research and out of interest. But biographers have to stick to
facts, while novelists can wander where they will, let their
imaginations run freely, inventing people and events within the real
framework, and often ignoring all the difficult aspects of life.


So who's won my competition? It's been so difficult to choose, but by a
short head it has to be Alissa and the Edwardian era, with both the
carefree lifestyle but serious undertones of threatening war and the
suffrage movement. Many congratulations, and a hearty thank you to
everyone who sent in suggestions.

OK Alissa - you kno the drill - send me your mailing address and I'll pass the details on to Marina and she'll post out your prize. Congratulations!

1 comment:

alissa said...

Thanks so much. That is wonderful! I enjoyed this post greatly and the blog party has been the best ever.


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