Monday, 4 May 2015

Home fires!

I suppose it is inevitable that as we get older we spend time in retrospective thought. The world has changed very radically since I was a little girl and I am not yet "living in the past" but occasionally I see or hear something which brings much of it back!
One of those moments came yesterday when I saw the first episode of "Home Fires" recorded last week.
It is centred around the WI in a small village and it rings absolutely true.
In our small village all the activities like making jam, reforming moribund committees, building new relationships across the barriers of class all struck cords with me and memories long gone surfaced .
As a little girl living with my grandparents during the war my main relationship was with my Aunty Nora, my mother's younger sister who had to cart me around with her for much of the time...
She took me to meetings of young women and the determination to make some contribution to the war effort is the main image that has stayed with me.
During all the sewing bees, jam making etc I was also aware of the fun....lots of laughter, and a growing awareness of the value of the female contribution here at home! The occasional treats of chocolate , cigarettes were treated with huge joy and sharing became a way of life for most people.
An old way of life was slowly breaking down and this was reflected in a struggle for the old guard protecting their positions of power and often failing.
The sad part of the story was the domestic violence whilst a man was driven to impose his will on a newly emerging wife....that this happened is something I had personal experience of.... but these memories have stayed mostly buried until now!
The older men with experience of the first war often made up the home guard...Grandad went out every night to check that all was well and that no one was showing light from their windows to draw the attention a passing plane.
It is drama. It is a collection of stories . The title " Home fires" is the determination to keep life as good as possible at home whilst the men went off to war. It gives an accurate picture of life during the war....I am looking forward to the next episode.....
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