Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Living In The Past - Temporarily


Beautiful penmanship in an old
bible that I own



Sometimes I dream about living in an era of the past, or at least a romanticised version of the past. It is then that I shake myself and remember the horrors of life without modern medicine and women's equality, a life made possible by horrendous slavery and a distinct class-based society....and I think again.


My tailor made this wool vest
from scratch - it will last me
a lifetime


I guess some bits about the past that I like are certainly wrapped up in the notions surrounding well-to-do white rural families, but mostly the bits that I like are things like the following:


Detailed stitching on the french cuffs
of my business shirts


  •   The sheer muscle power required to clear millions of acres of farming land from bush land
  •   Home made music
  •   The multi-faceted knowledge of the jack-of-all-trades
  •   No plastic
  •   The love, care and total over-engineering that went into house design and  construction
  •   Teapots
  •   The true sense of occasion of fete's, agricultural shows, church and afternoon tea
  •   Men in work suits

Victorian style clutter on my piano

  •   That hard work could truly improve your life fortunes.
  •   Horses, everywhere
  •   The direct connection between what was consumed to what was produced
  •   Newspapers
  •   The minimised activity after sunset
  •   Books
  •   The importance of nearby rivers, wells, streams and dams
  •   Gold rushes!
  •   Community (not hip community...real community)
  •   The forgotten arts

1884 pedal organ I own

  •   Seasons as a life-source 
  •   Lanterns and fires
  •   Cash...in particular, coinage
  •   Cellars
  •   Leather and wool
  •   English and penmanship as a daily art form 
  •   A knowledge that new worlds and countries were yet to be discovered, pioneered and settled (yes, I would have been one of the folk who jumped on a boat and started a new life)
  •   Tailors and seamstresses, hat makers and glove makers
  •   The blacksmith, the potter, the butcher and the baker.

My cuff link and tie pin box


These days I indulge myself in small ways to reach out to the past whilst both feet are firmly nailed to the present.  I love dinner by the light of our kerosene lamps....oddly, most people that pass through our home enjoy this too.  I love real musical instruments not synthesised versions....we have silver flutes, piano, pump organs, trumpet, acoustic guitar and ukulele.  I love wearing woolen suits with tailored vests, tailored shirts, cuff links, ties, tie pins and felt hats to work....it is a little odd, but my staff are kindly tolerant and probably mildly amused. I love old cars too....but the upkeep cost is prohibitive and the safety factor is terrible.


Vintage style silk ties


So, I think it is OK to live in the past as long as it is temporary and in part only.  Modern technology, when harness for good, can be a truly wonderful thing. New technologies around solar and nanotechnology excite me very much indeed as does the somewhat more curious concepts of quantum physics. Wisdom is knowing when to choose elements of the present, the past or the future.


Dinner on the deck this evening


Take care folks and stay nice now :-)

Mr HM


A beautiful raw ivory and brass powder box from another era
that sits on our tall boy.

24 comments:

  1. I love vintage style and I love dramas and books set in the 1920s to 1940s. There are a lot of solid values that can be extracted - craftmanship, longevity and thrift being ones pertinent to simple living. I take those values (and solid old furniture!)and leave the rest back in 'the good old days'.

    I've known a few true timewarpians, and they've tended to over-romaticise the past. The first half of the 20th century and was unkind to almost anyone who wasn't white, upper middle class and male - and even they weren't immune to strict societal norms bringing personal misery.

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    Replies
    1. The 1940s are one of my favourite eras Aurora - I indulge in parts of it now and then.

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  2. Mankind are both clever and ingenious or devious and wicked. The line between both are slender.I'm like you in preferring the simple organic things in life.

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    1. It seems that there is a fine line between them....keeping balance it truly and art.

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  3. I have always loved & felt most comfortable & "at home" amongst old things from the past. I have always (for some strange reason) felt an affinity for oak furniture & it brings back warm memories for me ... tho of what I am not sure!! I feel most uncomfortable amongst many of todays whizz bang appliances & contraptions. I love the fairy lights you have going when you have your dinner on the deck - just magical!!

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    1. The fairy lights look far better in real life Julie. The deck would have to be my favourite place to be in this house.

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  4. Oh if I could live like the past it would be in the days of Little House On The Prairie for sure! It's a bit hard to dress like they did, you would certainly get some looks, but I can keep home in ways that they would have, and decorate how they might have...think home made patch work quilts on beds, and oil lamps, all homely and comforting to me.

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    Replies
    1. I devoured the "Little House" books as a boy (I was a strange little boy!). Do what delights you Cheryl.

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    2. Not strange at all Mr HM, they are unisex and timeless, I believe a good deal could be achieved by making young children read this classic today! My youngest doesn't read the books, but he LOVES watching the DVD series with me 😁

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  5. I can just see you jauntily walking down the street in your finery. I think it's great you get out there and do your own thing.

    The lamps are gorgeous. I bought some things from Lehmans a couple of years ago and have been very happy with them, including a lamp very similar to yours.

    I'm loving my visits here. xx

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    Replies
    1. I am rather chuffed that you love visiting here rhonda jean. Lehmans is a wonderful store - my favourite place to window shop.

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  6. My husband just left for the library, with our little one, all decked out in his grandfather's clothes. Not literally his grandfather's, but that's what they call the era he loves to dress in. They were suits his grandfather would have worn. But he had the luxury of a modern vehicle to get them to the library. ;)

    Some people say its wrong to romatacise the past, but it's nice to relive certain elements, I say.

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    1. Choose the good bits of yesteryear and create a collage with the good bits of modernity - tread your own path in so doing Chris.

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  7. Oops! I didn't read your comment before posting mine, Aurora. Mine was a generalised comment about romanticising the past. I've heard people suggest it's ignoring the suffering of people who lived in that era, when you romanticise what it was like. But it's okay in my book to relive certain elements within reason. ;)

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  8. Oh so lovely, wish I could use words so well.

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  9. We are currently watching little house on the prairie on DVD. I was so sick of the horrible TV, drama and such. I miss a proper show with an actual storyline.

    We too romanticise some of these elements.

    But I'm glad I don't have to wear corsets. Oh so glad!

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    Replies
    1. ...and to think our country was settled and pioneered by women in full corsetry and woollen underwear - heck.

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  10. i think it's lovely that you wear well tailored suits & cuff links! when my dad wore long sleeved shirts he wore cuff links, stopped wearing them when he got married as step mum put buttons on all his shirts!
    anyway just caught up & glad you are all well, that's a lovely lighted deck you have there too.
    thanx for sharing

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  11. Loving your posts MrHM. Beautifully written.

    I too have a yearning for yesteryear. Whilst I do acknowledge the hardship of those times, I would still jump back in time if I could - even if it was just a fleeting visit. At the moment I have a fascination with the 1940s.



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  12. I follow another blog called "gDonna" (http://gdonna.com/living-like-the-past/1942-priorities/ ) where she and her husband are living like it's 1942. It is very interesting without being completely over the top with idealism for a past time. I always enjoy your posts!

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    1. Yes, I read gDonna too - an excellent read

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  13. HI Phi,
    Great post...lots of memory makers there. Another one to add is Little Golden Books - some have become collectors item and I love finding original ones that were read to us as small children.I have an "exact same" ivory and brass box bought at an auction for $6!! Love it. Cheers Jo

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  14. I'd like to add " Real food " to your list of yesteryear.

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