Springingtiger's Blog

Turn, turn, turn

I was talking to CrystalJigsaw on Twitter about lambing time the other day. Yesterday I was watching “The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher” when one of the characters mentioned that a nightdress looked as one might expect after a weeks wear and the two reminded me of my childhood. Temple Grandin says that one of the best things about growing up in the 1950s was being taught manners, and I agree, but even more importantly life had a dependable rhythm.

Mr Whicher reminded me that each of the days of the week had its allotted function, Wash Day, Baking Day, Market Day, Bath night. Back in the 50s without modern technology, when linens had to be boiled and the peak of washing technology was a Hoover Twin Tub it made sense to do the washing all at once, it also meant the pulley wasn’t full of clothes all week,if clothes were sent out to Lakeland Laundry they went one week and returned the next when the next load of washing would be lifted. My mother rarely baked but Mrs Hitchin, the Farmer’s wife had a baking day every week and I was allowed to help her. Every day had its own rhythm, collecting the milk, Listen with Mother, Watch with Mother, Children’s Hour, later on there was school and its rhythms. The Postman delivered twice a day, and before email letters were an event, particularly exciting were letters abroad which entailed buying a blue aerogram with its “Par Avion” legend, even now I find the feel of an aerogram exciting, perhaps more so as it’s such a rare sensation.

Beyond the daily rhythm we had a seasonal rhythm, which set the context for the village. Lambing time, Dipping, Haymaking. After we moved to Burnsall there was the annual Burnsall Feast Sports and every bank holiday brought an invasion of trippers. In summer we swam in the river, climbed fells, played and in Winter we had Christmas, and snow. After I went to school I became aware of the seasons of the church, Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, Whitsuntide and with them the regularity of school holidays.

Nowadays automatic washing machines have made any day wash day, email and economics has killed off the second daily delivery, the churches seasons are lost to all but a few and I live in a city, my food comes from a supermarket, and if I know it’s lambing time it’s only because some residual memory has been awakened by the spring sun. I suppose in many ways life is better now, but it is not as easy without regular rhythms, it is not as easy as it was when to every thing there was a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.


3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

You’re quite right; it doesn’t matter who we are, we all need routine in our lives.

When I first moved to the farm, it was still very traditional; one day for washing, one day for baking etc but my modern ways changed all that. My husband had to adjust to my townie ways and even though, 10 years on, he is still struggling, I have turned the farm around and made it a lot more modern.

However, those structured days that the farmer was used to would have dictated the farming calendar.

CJ xx

Comment by Crystal Jigsaw

Evocative and stimulating – an ‘in the now’ bit of thinking with some delightful memory triggers (-:

Comment by WorldWright

After a certain age nostalgia is as inevitable as aching knees!… Actually more so!

Comment by Springingtiger

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