diary · family · History · Kids · Parenting

Nan’s Diary: Childcare

In Nan’s era, it was assumed once you got married that you would give up work, have children and spend all your days on unpaid childcare and housework. Sounds like pandemic-era Britain! ‘Taking the children out every day, either in the morning or afternoon, didn’t leave much time during the day for washing, ironing and… Continue reading Nan’s Diary: Childcare

diary · family · History · women

Nan’s Diary: Married life in the 1950s

As the coronavirus lockdown continues, and it becomes clear that it is having a disproportionate impact on the lives of women, with warnings of a regression back to the 1950s for many, I thought I’d look further at the actual experience of my nan in the 1950s, who was also bringing up small children around the same age as mine are now. The parallels are stark – particularly the burden of unpaid labour.

diary · family · History · Kids · Parenting

Nan’s Diary: Life at Home

With everyone stuck at home, I’m enjoying the descriptions of domestic life in my Nan’s memoirs. She talks of many things in her daily life as she raised three boys under four. This excerpt is from the time when she was living in a flat within a large country house called Feldemore in Surrey, which… Continue reading Nan’s Diary: Life at Home

diary · family · History

Nan’s Diary: Uncle Peter and Aunt Iris

It’s all a bit crap at the moment isn’t it, so I thought the next excerpt from Nan’s memoirs that I’d share would be in her words ‘a sort of cameo section about Uncle Peter and Aunt Iris…I think they deserve a mention, if only to give a humorous turn to things’. The haggard and… Continue reading Nan’s Diary: Uncle Peter and Aunt Iris

diary · family · History · World War Two

Nan’s diary: The Doodlebugs

I remember my Nan talking to me about this next memory of the Second World War. As a child, it seemed so incredible and now as an adult it still remains unbelievable that this was a part of everyday life: “I am reminded vividly of an episode when I was on holiday at a farm… Continue reading Nan’s diary: The Doodlebugs

diary · family · History · World War Two

Nan’s Diary: Burma – The Forgotten War

On a stranger Remembrance Sunday this year, I’m reading through Nan’s memories of corresponding with my grandad Les when he was posted to Burma during the Second World War. Often referred to as the Forgotten War, the Burma campaign dragged on long after Victory in Europe, in tough conditions far away from home. “I received… Continue reading Nan’s Diary: Burma – The Forgotten War

diary · family · women · World War Two

Nan’s Diary: Coming of Age

I thought the blog was long overdue another post from my nan’s memoirs, especially as we head into an uncertain winter. One of the parts about her reflections I find most fascinating is the voice she brings to women’s experiences of the Second World War, particularly when it relates to the path into adulthood and… Continue reading Nan’s Diary: Coming of Age

diary · family · History · World War Two

Nan’s Diary: Rationing

During lockdown, I’ve been enjoying ‘growing my own’ and have cultivated a decent vegetable garden! It made me reflect on food in the war years and how rationing must have affected people. Nan writes about this when recalling her recuperation from appendicitis back in London during the war: ‘It was while I was at home… Continue reading Nan’s Diary: Rationing

diary · family · History

Nan’s Diary: Theatre in the war years

The Coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating impact on many sectors, particularly the arts and heritage, where many museums and theatres are teetering on the brink of survival. Whilst reading through my Nan’s memoirs, recollections of how London theatre coped during the war years shows the importance of the arts in pulling people through the… Continue reading Nan’s Diary: Theatre in the war years