Friday, 13 May 2011


Yesterday was one of those unremarkable days when, if I kept a diary, I'd have to say Forgot What Did.
But if you'd like to go down as a footnote in history - sorry, but it's only for Brits - you might like to write yesterday up for Mass Observation.
I've visited their archive in Brighton and trawled through boxes full of these one-day diaries dating back to the 1930s.
My pasta and goat's cheese dinner last night was an ordinary middle-of-the-week supper. In 2011.
But I wouldn't have been eating it in 1951 Austerity Britain.
And in 2051, maybe it'll seem as far in the distant past as dried eggs and Lord Woolton's Pie.
Now ... what on earth was I doing for the rest of the day?
I forget.

11 comments:

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Me ? Same old , same old ..... just not in Britain so not suitable for inclusion . But it definitely wasn't 1951 .
The rocket salad at lunch and my wearing jeans proved that . No Maypole Dairy either .

A M Dallassandro said...

Mlle Miniver, I fear I am off topic but I have only just discovered your blog last week and I am entranced; I spent a great deal of the past few days reading your older posts.
have you tried O Douglas's novels?
your new but enthusiastic fan from the far side of the world
Dallas
I had a slice of sourdough bread with triple cream brie plus a bowl of Elizabeth David's tomato soup (with potato and onion) for lunch.
Its 16 degrees in sydney -absolutely freezing-I feel as if I am an extra in Dr Zhivago. You see sydneysiders at bustops shivering because they have put on a cardigan to cope with the cold and don't know what more can be asked of them....

mary said...

Hello, Sonata. (Have I got it the right way round?) I think the joy of Mass Observation is that today's same old, same old is tomorrow's historical detail.
AM Dallassandro, Hello and thank you for dropping by. I am charmed to be addressed as Mlle Miniver. So glad that you're enjoying the blog. I am envying your lunch which is just what I fancy right now.
I am trying hard to sympathise with your Dr Zhivago-like winter ... pile on all your summer swimsuits at once?

mary said...

Forgot to say, no I haven't read any O Douglas. Must keep my eye open in the charity shops! The closest I've got has been her brother's 39 Steps.

A M Dallassandro said...

my day by mrs bear grylls:

Mon:soaked in filthy climbing gear, stopped children jumping from houseboat onto passing barge
Tues: soaked filthy hiking gear, rinsed filthy climbing gear, stopped children from attempting to scale overpass
Wed: resoaked filthy climbing gear,rinsed filthy hiking gear, soaked filthy sailing gear, ordered new industrial sink, stopped children from attempting atlantic crossing
Thurs: all of the above,washed filthy hiking gear, ordered van of meat pies as bear is coming back from antarctic and doesn't really like tofu, cut down children's flying fox and threatened them with father's second best hunting knife.....

A M Dallassandro said...

my day by hamlet prince of denmark

Mon: spoke to ghost, who recommended bloodbath as duty of scholar

Tues: mused on nature of filial devotion and abused mother

Wed: mused on nature of life and stabbed annoying old man to death

thurs: mused on romance and abused girlfriend

friday; mused on loyalty to crown and country and killed king

sat: mused on friendship and fought duel to death with best mate

mary said...

Have you ever read Carol Anne Duffy, The World's Wife?

A M Dallassandro said...

No,but I just looked it up and it looks interesting. and on reflection, Hamlet isn't in britain so he doesn't really count?
coincidentally with Mlle Duffy, (Thetis) I was thinking about Achilles....mon, sat in tent, tuesday, sat in tent.....etc etc saturday left tent and killed everyone I met.....
I should try to think of something more in keeping with your lovely blog but it seems like such a great theme....
signed
Tome Raider

susanintoronto said...

It's way past May 12 now (spent the day enjoying Rochester NY: old lighthouse, 1905 carousel, search for quilt shop while on a visit from Toronto); but I would like to know the source of the photo. It's tantalyzingly familiar, but can't place it. Real or from a movie?

mary said...

Hello, Susan. Of course, you recognise it. It's from the TV adaptation of Nella Last's Diary, the real life Nella being Mass Observation's most famous diarist. Played here by Victoria Wood.

dalyght said...

Of course!

Thanks, Mary.