Monday, January 04, 2010
The Victorian Farm
The BBC ran a Christmas special about the Victorian Farm which was interesting to watch. Downshifting is not about returning to the ways people lived in the 1880 period but it helps me personally to understand how our historic home used to function. Ruth Goodman in particular has some excellent suggestions about how to cook on a range, how to preserve foods and how to live without electricity.
If you are planning a holiday this year and you want to experience a downshifting lifestyle without modern conveniences you can do so at Henley Cottage on the Scott Acton Estate. There is however a garden shed that houses a shower in case that is taking the experience a little too far.
Nevertheless, it would be a fantastic experiment. Last year we visited Thomas Hardy's cottage in Dorset only to find that it was not all that different from our own home.
As a general observation, people lived closer to the rhythms of nature and every task needed to be carried out with a vast amount of personal energy. Washing laundry took a whole week, people had fewer clothes and more care was taken of the few possessions they had.