Looking for a post about history-dwellers January 14, 2009 7:37 PM   Subscribe

Losin mah mind. Looking for a post about British couples living anachronistically as though they were residents of the 1930s, 40s, 50s, and 60s.

I been googlin' for an hour and I can't find this post anywhere. I'm pretty sure they lived on the island of Britain, it might have been a special article by the Guardian, and these people had redecorated their homes and rearranged their lives so as to approximate the lifestyle of folks living in previous eras. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
posted by Baby_Balrog to MetaFilter-Related at 7:37 PM (32 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite



...the island of Britain...

Where now?
posted by turgid dahlia at 7:59 PM on January 14, 2009


(Which I found by searching Delicious for variations of "30s", "40s", "woman", and "live", along with "daily" and "mail" because I vaguely remembered it was in the Daily Mail or Daily Telegraph. I found it in a search for "live thirties". Delicious searches can be really helpful when looking for links popular on social websites during the last few years.)
posted by dreamyshade at 8:04 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Best line: Diane spends hours on the internet sourcing items for her 1930s lifestyle.
posted by piratebowling at 8:09 PM on January 14, 2009 [10 favorites]


And if you saw it on MeFi, it was probably here or here.
posted by piratebowling at 8:13 PM on January 14, 2009


There's a woman I see on the subway sometimes who looks to be about my age but dresses like Rosie the Freakin' Riveter. Maybe you could ask her. Then again, I haven't been on the subway in month so maybe she shipped out with the WACs or something.

living anachronistically as though they were residents of the 1930s

the way the economy's going, it's not all that anachronistic now, is it? I'll have to set up a fan to create a dustbowl in my kitchen.
posted by jonmc at 8:16 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Can I piggyback a lost thread Q here? I think it was on MeFi or Ask that there was a link to an article in the NYT (I think) about young artists who were going to some place in South America and living and DJing and writing and whatnot. Anyone recall this?
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 8:25 PM on January 14, 2009


Wow, this is great, and I didn't see it originally. Totally interesting and odd - and I say that as someone who kind of likes to pretend it's the 30s and 40s now and then.

But yeesh -the 50s gal says

"I admit I am in retreat from the 21st century. When I look at the reality of the world today, with all the violence, greed and materialism, I shudder. I don't want to live in that world."

What 50s was she thinking of? The one without all the violence, greed, and materialism? Because that one - oh yeah, that never actually existed.

But her kitchen is nice.
posted by Miko at 8:25 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


dreamyshade

You freakin rock. Thank you so much. You nailed it.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 8:43 PM on January 14, 2009


What 50s was she thinking of? The one without all the violence, greed, and materialism? Because that one - oh yeah, that never actually existed.

It didn't exist on the TV shows.

In her mind, that's all that matters.
posted by jason's_planet at 10:31 PM on January 14, 2009


It existed on the TV shows.

Sorry.
posted by jason's_planet at 10:32 PM on January 14, 2009


The 1980's house
posted by Artw at 11:00 PM on January 14, 2009 [4 favorites]


The problem with nostalgia is that it tends to hark back to a time that never existed.
posted by dunkadunc at 1:35 AM on January 15, 2009


When I read that first line, I thought for sure it would be about The Supersizers go ... with Giles Coren and Sue Perkins living (mostly eating really) in among other things WWII and 70s style.

But this... whoa.
posted by bjrn at 3:21 AM on January 15, 2009


I missed this before too. It's bizarre how people choose to live like they're in a film, and then start moralising on the loose women of today as if they're remotely engaging with the influences or world in which those women are living.

All the things they're wearing and decorating their homes with were a product of their times. Surely, to truly live as if in the 1930s/40s/50s, you'd take the equivalents used by the same economic bracket and circumstances today - what they're doing is more like exhuming some woman who wore full-on Victorian costumes in the 1930s. It's cute and it's pretty and I'm sure it's comforting, and I say this as someone who loves 1940s and 50s design, but it's terrifying to think of giving one's life to just that and closing out the possibilities of now.

Or, what dunkadunc said.

80s parties in college always make me want to scream. There's plenty of tv footage around of 1980s Ireland, as well as plenty of people who remember it vividly, and it wasn't about fucking neon legwarmers.

posted by carbide at 6:13 AM on January 15, 2009


I like how the women get homelier as you go back in time. It's like a progression from "I'd hit it" to "I'd hit it during wartime" to "Gee, spending five years slogging through trenches on the continent sounds like a good idea."

Also, the pervasive use of the word "breadwinner." Has anyone actually ever won bread? Because that would seem to be a pretty crappy contest/gameshow. These women whose dream is to secede from the workforce and define themselves by their man are exactly the women who I learned to avoid dating very early on in life.
posted by Eideteker at 6:34 AM on January 15, 2009


Ooh, forgot to point out this lovely bit of fantasy: "Women were these amazingly glamorous creatures, with their perfect hair and immaculate makeup, and they were treated with such respect by men."

I'll give you such respect you won't wake up for a week! Just ask Sean Connery, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, or any of those old-timey gentlemen what women were given back in the day. Talk about taking "I'd hit it" to the HNL.

I like that these women don't seem to have kids. They can lie to themselves about the past all they want.
posted by Eideteker at 6:43 AM on January 15, 2009


80s parties in college always make me want to scream. There's plenty of tv footage around of 1980s Ireland, as well as plenty of people who remember it vividly, and it wasn't about fucking neon legwarmers.

And this 80's survivor from the U.S. says "I'm right there with you." The people who dance all goofy to "99 Luftballoons" today aren't even aware that it was a song about the ultimate conclusion the arms race and the complete and total annihilation of all mankind, and that we all believed it was going to happen any damn minute.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:05 AM on January 15, 2009


The problem with nostalgia is that it tends to hark back to a time that never existed.

Someone recently told me that nostalgia's root words translate to "remembering without pain."
posted by Miko at 8:05 AM on January 15, 2009 [5 favorites]


I remember my parents saying the same thing about the 60s themed parties (and fashion and music) that I was really into growing up in the 80s. They spent a fair amount of time reminding me and describing to me that the 1960s could not be summed up by tie-dye, free love and the Monkees, they were also a tumultuous anxious bloodbath.

The 80s really weren't a legwarmer picnic, either. I have a picture of Reagan signing the treaty with Gorbachev that I clipped from a newspaper because it actually let me ratchet my very real belief that we were all going to die in nuclear war down a hair. The early 80s was a tough time for my family and many others - the mill and factory closings permanently changed my hometown and state, as did the farm crisis. The Irish conflict was terrible. Our odd military forays were worrisome. Everyone started freaking out about child kidnapping in the 80s. War on drugs, war on music. Then, even the prosperity of the late 80s was somewhat hollow because there was a lockdown focus on the achievement of status through competitive activity in the corporate workplace - other ambitions were pooh-poohed. It wasn't especially cheerful. But what younger people respond to, as they have since time immemorial, are the stylistic features visible on the surface - the music, which generally had an upbeat sound that broke with previous musical movements, and the fashions, which were indeed bright and lighthearted and oriented around being active.
posted by Miko at 8:12 AM on January 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


I like that these women don't seem to have kids. They can lie to themselves about the past all they want.

I know; I can't imagine trying to have a baby with 1930s medical technology when there is 2000s tech around. What about vaccines, ultrasounds, and better sanitation? What happens when they get sick? Do they even go to the doctor?

Thank goodness all of these people are white. I wouldn't want to have been Indian or black in the UK in the 1940s and 50s.
posted by bluefly at 8:40 AM on January 15, 2009


Hey that's right, Miko–that "-algia -algic -algesic" means pain. Analgesic, neuralgia, etc. Never thought about that before, makes sense.
posted by Mister_A at 9:25 AM on January 15, 2009


Just imagine how college kids are going to be dressing 15 years from now when they throw their 00's parties.
posted by dunkadunc at 10:29 AM on January 15, 2009


Just imagine how college kids are going to be dressing 15 years from now when they throw their 00's parties.

Oh god...Crocs are ugly enough now. When they come back they're going to annoy me even more.
posted by Miko at 10:32 AM on January 15, 2009


Crocs look like shoes that they'd make you wear in a mental hospital, seriously.
posted by jonmc at 10:52 AM on January 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


We should be right on the brink of some serious 90s nostaligia; time to drag your brazier lamps out of the attic and tart them up for eBay
posted by jtron at 11:50 AM on January 15, 2009


We should be right on the brink of some serious 90s nostaligia;

great, I'll be fashionable again.
posted by jonmc at 12:01 PM on January 15, 2009


Someone recently told me that nostalgia's root words translate to "remembering without pain."

Close, but a bit backwards. It appears to be a painful longing for a homecoming. It was originally used to refer to homesickness.

I think there should be a term specifically for an analgesic remembrance, though. Nostanalgisia, or something to that effect.
posted by piratebowling at 12:04 PM on January 15, 2009


You'll have to pry my ugly Crocs off of my cool, comfy foot!
posted by deborah at 1:39 PM on January 15, 2009


Nostanalgisia, or something to that effect.

Consider it done. I swear, I'll be hearing about this "new word" on NPR in two months.
posted by odinsdream at 7:14 PM on January 15, 2009


We should be right on the brink of some serious 90s nostaligia

I still wear the same pair of Chuck Taylors I wore in 1992. I stopped wearing them for about 10 years in there, though, so I suppose it doesn't really count.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:19 PM on January 15, 2009


nostalgia on Wiktionary claims the pain part is in the affirmative -- that is, it means looking back at the past with pain, not without.
posted by spiderskull at 7:35 PM on January 15, 2009


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