I’ve kept a detailed diary for over fifty years, in an attempt to preserve a record in the life of an ‘ordinary person’. It has proved invaluable in settling many arguments about where or when an event occurred in our lives, often giving us a surprise as memory detail fades with time.
Unfortunately, I know of no such diaries kept by my grandparents, on either side. This leaves me with an amazing lack of information about my forebears. I had obviously many, many chances to ask questions, but never did. Such questions would not have been about great philosophical ideas or earth-shattering revelations, simple day-to-day enquiries about their life.
- Their parents were farmers, and lived in the country, so how did they get to school?
- What games did they play?
- What toys did they have?
- What was their favourite food?
- What did they do for holidays?
- Did they have to wear hand-me-downs?
- How well did they do at school?
- How did they meet their eventual spouse?
- What was their wedding like?
- How could they afford the relatively-large families?
- Did they read a lot?
- How did they get to a doctor…and how could they afford it?
- How did they keep warm without central heating and double glazing?
………….Just a few of the questions which shall be forever un-answered. None is of great importance, but put together and with a bit of imagination we might be able to piece together ‘a day in the life of’ for people just over 100 years ago.
Are there any questions you wish you had asked your parents or grandparents…but never did?
And do your children ask you questions about your youth?