Let’s play a game of ‘what shall we do this weekend’.
I’ve been thinking about how amazing it would to travel back in time to the actual 1930s* instead of just daydreaming/writing or pretending/obsessing about it…
This is what I’ve come up with:
Things I’d be excited to do/try:
A posh weekend at a country house with lots of people who are glamorous and speak nicely.
Ditto the big frocks and hair-dos.
And gloves and hats.
And the four/five/six course dinners.
Going to the house of someone posh for ‘drinks’.
Dancing to the radio in a kind of impromptu disco at home with dinner guests.
The excitement of talkies – films with speaking actors!
Meet Gary Cooper when he was young and gorgeous…
And knowing there is a study or library, and perhaps even secret passages.
And bell-pulls to summon people from the depths of the house. I’d be like a child, ringing the bell then have to run away as there would be no legitimate reason to ring for them…
Maybe a maze? Or a rose garden? Or both? What about a croquet lawn? I am certain I’d be an amazing talent when it came to croquet. I can always bowl a great croque.
It might be nice to – very occasionally – have all the men stand up out of politeness when I come into the room. Or stop using bad words because I am in the vicinity and am a ‘lady’ (until they get to know me better, of course).
Travelling by steam train in the actual era they were used, not just on a preserved line in my usual jeans/t-shirt combo.
Things I’d miss terribly:
Being able to say all those bad words that are so good for stress relief when things go wrong. In the 1930s, I’d probably be vilified for my potty-mouth. Though to be fair, most of my rage is triggered by modern technology so it wouldn’t be an issue in the 1930s, when a telegram was still pretty exciting, and indoor plumbing was all too often a thing reserved for the gentry.
Sorry if I’ve destroyed your illusions about the way a writer speaks/acts/looks, btw.
My freezer, and my microwave.
Going to a cafe ALL the time to sit and watch the world go by whilst pretending to write.
The Internet (sorry to all you nay-sayers).
Nipping to a supermarket – even on a SUNDAY to get the bits and pieces I completely forgot I urgently needed.
Books by all my favourite post-1930s authors such as Ann Cleeves, Helena Dixon, Julie Wassmer, Helen Forbes, Emma Baird…
TV: Midsomer Murders/Death in Paradise/Vera/Madame Blanc/Strike/Van der Valk/Darby and Joan/Three Pines/The Chelsea Detective/Dalgliesh/Whitstable Pearl… (can you spot a trend here?)
All my modern vaccinations – I don’t want to catch diptheria/small pox/scarlet fever etc
Being able to slob about in jeggings and a baggy jumper – because I reckon there could be times when looking posh 1930s-style might just be too much effort…
Being allowed an opinion about anything other than babies, flower arranging or hair-dos.
So what do you think? What would you be desperate to see/try/person to meet? Or what would you miss the most? Or what about another era? What would be your perfect era to visit if that were possible?
*obviously I’m dragging my poor family along with me – I wouldn’t dream of going anywhere exciting without them.