Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Post-war diaries
I have just finished reading a book called 'Our Hidden Lives'. It's the diaries of 5 people living in Britain during the period 1945 to 1951. A bit like condensed blogging from another time.

The diaries were written as part of a project called 'Mass-Observation', in which 2000 people sent regular journal entries into the project HQ, to be recorded and analysed as a type of anthropological experiment. There is a website about it here.

The period selected by publication in the book is pretty intriguing. Britain and the world are emerging from WWII, the Labour Party is making the theories of socialism reality in the economy of the UK, the Jews are moving into what was then Palestine to create Israel, the Russians and Americans are on the verge of starting the cold war, and Britain is starting to become a multi-cultural society with a crumbling empire.

One of the funniest things I read though, was a throwaway comment by middle aged housewife Edie Rutherford. She remarked, "Strange that in a cold climate like this curry isn't popular".

Curry is now the favourite national dish!

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