To Time Travel or not to Time Travel….

Jocharlie
Greetings, Wenchlings! (That’s a picture of Charlie with me at the wedding. My hair was tidy before the wind.)

As for blogging, don’t mind me if I’m giddy. I’m in that submersion phase of a book when any form of coherence is remarkable. I have the book, more or less – that means Lady Beware is more or less in the form of words. Unusually for me, it’s rather fragmented. Rather in the English sense, ie very. I’m a linear writer. I’m a fly-into-the-mist writer. But early on, fragments kept coming to me. Plus, this interleaves a little with To Rescue A Rogue. I hate having another, fixed-in-print reality to have to work around, even though I’m sure it’s good for me. I’m also sure I’ve vowed never, ever to do this again. More than once.

Lbfrontsm

Enough of that, but thank you, thank you, thank you, Nina-Wenchling, for another great idea for a blog topic. What would we most miss if we lived in the past?

I’ve never wanted to be tossed back into the past. I can see way too many problems in that. Now being a time-tourist and sliding back in a cushion of security to see what it was really like, that I’d pay very good money for, but we’re going to play the other game.

DentistrySo, my question: what three specific things would you most miss and why if you were thrown back to 1806 for a year? I’m going to exclude all things medical. Or rather, take it for granted that you’d miss them. 1806 dentistry or surgery. ::scream!!!!!!!!!!!!::

Without deep thought – remember where my mind is – here’s my three.
Rapid communication with scattered family and friends. I don’t mind whether it’s phone, e-mail, or mind-meld, but being without that would feel like being put in isolation. (Remember, I’m an immigrant. A lot of my family and friends are far, far away.)

Complex music. I’m not deeply musical, but we have such access now through technology to the best of music. Being limited to what someone local can play or sing would be a deprivation.

Artificial light. Check this out. I love these cards and I sent this one to a few people last year.*

Every time there’s a power cut, I think of this. I know I can knit or do something else with my hands – though I find most of those activities need good sight now and then. I have played board or card games with family, which is fun. I could always meditate. But I think not having really good light in the darkness hours would steal a large part of my life, especially in winter.

Over to you. 2006. What would you most miss?

*I made a couple of annotated pictures myself last Christmas. As I’ll be changing my 2005 Christmas page sometime soon, check them out here before they go.

And Nina, you get a prize for a great topic suggested and used. E-mail me and tell me what book of mine you’d like. If I have a spare copy, it’ll be on its way to you,

Cheers,

Jo — plunging back into the mip.

33 thoughts on “To Time Travel or not to Time Travel….”

  1. I’ll second Jo on the rapid communication thing. How did I get through college without the internet and email?
    I’d also miss the food. I’m a major foodie, and since I live in the Bay Area I take it for granted that I can walk out my door any day of the week and have an amazing 4-star meal, or grab a killer curry.
    And I think I’d miss the ease of travel. I love to ride, but not being able to fly? Not being able to jaunt off to parts unknown on a whim? I’d dearly miss that freedom.
    (I’m not getting into the whole lack of women’s rights thing, cause like medicine, I think we’d all miss the right to self-determination!).

    Reply
  2. I’ll second Jo on the rapid communication thing. How did I get through college without the internet and email?
    I’d also miss the food. I’m a major foodie, and since I live in the Bay Area I take it for granted that I can walk out my door any day of the week and have an amazing 4-star meal, or grab a killer curry.
    And I think I’d miss the ease of travel. I love to ride, but not being able to fly? Not being able to jaunt off to parts unknown on a whim? I’d dearly miss that freedom.
    (I’m not getting into the whole lack of women’s rights thing, cause like medicine, I think we’d all miss the right to self-determination!).

    Reply
  3. I’ll second Jo on the rapid communication thing. How did I get through college without the internet and email?
    I’d also miss the food. I’m a major foodie, and since I live in the Bay Area I take it for granted that I can walk out my door any day of the week and have an amazing 4-star meal, or grab a killer curry.
    And I think I’d miss the ease of travel. I love to ride, but not being able to fly? Not being able to jaunt off to parts unknown on a whim? I’d dearly miss that freedom.
    (I’m not getting into the whole lack of women’s rights thing, cause like medicine, I think we’d all miss the right to self-determination!).

    Reply
  4. I’m well suited to answer this, since I was raised by the insane and therefore have some experience with sub-modern living conditions.
    Warm water on demand. Seriously. When you’re cold, or miserable, or really, really, dirty there’s a massively huge amount to be said for not having to find clean water, lug clean water, heat clean water and then dispose of dirty cold water without getting all nasty. And for being the first in the tub.
    Medical – moot point, I’d be dead. Good exemption. Artificial lighting – I found that you can do anything you need to do with lamps or candles. Actually, it cracked me up post hurricanes to listen to people talk about ‘living like we did a hundred years ago’ because they all ate tinned food and went to sleep at five pm. Not.
    Food – not so much. I like what I like and while I enjoy trying odd things, it’s not a big one for me. Access to mass media is important – it would suck not to get any books as often as one likes – but I suppose that would be offset by the prolfiic letter writing one did then.
    The internet is lovely – but again with the prolific and the letters. Wearing pants – I think wearing the fashion of 1806 would appeal to me not at all, nor would the whole role as chattel. Civil Rights for women would be missed a great deal.

    Reply
  5. I’m well suited to answer this, since I was raised by the insane and therefore have some experience with sub-modern living conditions.
    Warm water on demand. Seriously. When you’re cold, or miserable, or really, really, dirty there’s a massively huge amount to be said for not having to find clean water, lug clean water, heat clean water and then dispose of dirty cold water without getting all nasty. And for being the first in the tub.
    Medical – moot point, I’d be dead. Good exemption. Artificial lighting – I found that you can do anything you need to do with lamps or candles. Actually, it cracked me up post hurricanes to listen to people talk about ‘living like we did a hundred years ago’ because they all ate tinned food and went to sleep at five pm. Not.
    Food – not so much. I like what I like and while I enjoy trying odd things, it’s not a big one for me. Access to mass media is important – it would suck not to get any books as often as one likes – but I suppose that would be offset by the prolfiic letter writing one did then.
    The internet is lovely – but again with the prolific and the letters. Wearing pants – I think wearing the fashion of 1806 would appeal to me not at all, nor would the whole role as chattel. Civil Rights for women would be missed a great deal.

    Reply
  6. I’m well suited to answer this, since I was raised by the insane and therefore have some experience with sub-modern living conditions.
    Warm water on demand. Seriously. When you’re cold, or miserable, or really, really, dirty there’s a massively huge amount to be said for not having to find clean water, lug clean water, heat clean water and then dispose of dirty cold water without getting all nasty. And for being the first in the tub.
    Medical – moot point, I’d be dead. Good exemption. Artificial lighting – I found that you can do anything you need to do with lamps or candles. Actually, it cracked me up post hurricanes to listen to people talk about ‘living like we did a hundred years ago’ because they all ate tinned food and went to sleep at five pm. Not.
    Food – not so much. I like what I like and while I enjoy trying odd things, it’s not a big one for me. Access to mass media is important – it would suck not to get any books as often as one likes – but I suppose that would be offset by the prolfiic letter writing one did then.
    The internet is lovely – but again with the prolific and the letters. Wearing pants – I think wearing the fashion of 1806 would appeal to me not at all, nor would the whole role as chattel. Civil Rights for women would be missed a great deal.

    Reply
  7. Hmmm, the three things that I would miss most:
    1. Furnace: We now have Winter in all it’s coldness and 3 or 4 feet of snow already. I sure would hate to have to use wood stoves, fireplaces and the like ~ and still be cold!
    2. Personal computer: ’nuff said!
    3. ….Personally I’m not a fan of the telephone, but it sure beats having to wait weeks or months for communication with family members overseas!
    I’m pretty easy to please and very much a homebody…I’d miss movies too and they’re probably on the same level as the phone.
    Really interesting topic Nina and Jo!
    And to all my southern neighbours [unless you’re in Alaska – then you’re NW], a very Happy Thanksgiving to you all tomorrow!
    Kathy

    Reply
  8. Hmmm, the three things that I would miss most:
    1. Furnace: We now have Winter in all it’s coldness and 3 or 4 feet of snow already. I sure would hate to have to use wood stoves, fireplaces and the like ~ and still be cold!
    2. Personal computer: ’nuff said!
    3. ….Personally I’m not a fan of the telephone, but it sure beats having to wait weeks or months for communication with family members overseas!
    I’m pretty easy to please and very much a homebody…I’d miss movies too and they’re probably on the same level as the phone.
    Really interesting topic Nina and Jo!
    And to all my southern neighbours [unless you’re in Alaska – then you’re NW], a very Happy Thanksgiving to you all tomorrow!
    Kathy

    Reply
  9. Hmmm, the three things that I would miss most:
    1. Furnace: We now have Winter in all it’s coldness and 3 or 4 feet of snow already. I sure would hate to have to use wood stoves, fireplaces and the like ~ and still be cold!
    2. Personal computer: ’nuff said!
    3. ….Personally I’m not a fan of the telephone, but it sure beats having to wait weeks or months for communication with family members overseas!
    I’m pretty easy to please and very much a homebody…I’d miss movies too and they’re probably on the same level as the phone.
    Really interesting topic Nina and Jo!
    And to all my southern neighbours [unless you’re in Alaska – then you’re NW], a very Happy Thanksgiving to you all tomorrow!
    Kathy

    Reply
  10. Well, besides the obvious stuff that’s already been mentioned. . . I’d miss science. I mean, imagine all the times I’d have to keep quiet because someone’s saying something so incredibly wrong or such and I know plenty different from all my science classes. Well, at least we’d still have Newton in common, but there is plenty such as Einstein that boy, I’d be in trouble! LOL 🙂
    Lois

    Reply
  11. Well, besides the obvious stuff that’s already been mentioned. . . I’d miss science. I mean, imagine all the times I’d have to keep quiet because someone’s saying something so incredibly wrong or such and I know plenty different from all my science classes. Well, at least we’d still have Newton in common, but there is plenty such as Einstein that boy, I’d be in trouble! LOL 🙂
    Lois

    Reply
  12. Well, besides the obvious stuff that’s already been mentioned. . . I’d miss science. I mean, imagine all the times I’d have to keep quiet because someone’s saying something so incredibly wrong or such and I know plenty different from all my science classes. Well, at least we’d still have Newton in common, but there is plenty such as Einstein that boy, I’d be in trouble! LOL 🙂
    Lois

    Reply
  13. Really, really hard to keep things I’d missed to three! 🙂 But the basic home comforts–electricity, central heating, hot and cold running water–are way high on the list. I grew up in an old northern farmhouse that was way underheated and didn’t have hot running water (and was generally skimpy on plumbing), and it’s no accident that my sibs and I all live in newish houses with full mod cons.
    I’d much rather read and write about the past than live in it. 🙂
    Mary Jo, remembering the snow that drifted in the cracks around the windows and didn’t melt….

    Reply
  14. Really, really hard to keep things I’d missed to three! 🙂 But the basic home comforts–electricity, central heating, hot and cold running water–are way high on the list. I grew up in an old northern farmhouse that was way underheated and didn’t have hot running water (and was generally skimpy on plumbing), and it’s no accident that my sibs and I all live in newish houses with full mod cons.
    I’d much rather read and write about the past than live in it. 🙂
    Mary Jo, remembering the snow that drifted in the cracks around the windows and didn’t melt….

    Reply
  15. Really, really hard to keep things I’d missed to three! 🙂 But the basic home comforts–electricity, central heating, hot and cold running water–are way high on the list. I grew up in an old northern farmhouse that was way underheated and didn’t have hot running water (and was generally skimpy on plumbing), and it’s no accident that my sibs and I all live in newish houses with full mod cons.
    I’d much rather read and write about the past than live in it. 🙂
    Mary Jo, remembering the snow that drifted in the cracks around the windows and didn’t melt….

    Reply
  16. 1. Chocolate. Enough said.
    2. My microwave! And the ease of modern cookery (with or without using the microwave).
    3. My PC. I can’t even begin to imagine life without it anymore. And all the wonderful people I’ve “met” through various online groups.
    Hope everyone who celebrates it has an absolutely fantastic Thanksgiving!

    Reply
  17. 1. Chocolate. Enough said.
    2. My microwave! And the ease of modern cookery (with or without using the microwave).
    3. My PC. I can’t even begin to imagine life without it anymore. And all the wonderful people I’ve “met” through various online groups.
    Hope everyone who celebrates it has an absolutely fantastic Thanksgiving!

    Reply
  18. 1. Chocolate. Enough said.
    2. My microwave! And the ease of modern cookery (with or without using the microwave).
    3. My PC. I can’t even begin to imagine life without it anymore. And all the wonderful people I’ve “met” through various online groups.
    Hope everyone who celebrates it has an absolutely fantastic Thanksgiving!

    Reply
  19. Great comments.
    With American Thanksgiving tomorrow, we should all turn this into a moment of thanks for the many things we’d not like to live without.
    Including books. Lots and lots and lots of books. Most people even in in the past would have felt rich to own a few.
    Which leads me to public libraries. Truly, one of the best things people have created.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  20. Great comments.
    With American Thanksgiving tomorrow, we should all turn this into a moment of thanks for the many things we’d not like to live without.
    Including books. Lots and lots and lots of books. Most people even in in the past would have felt rich to own a few.
    Which leads me to public libraries. Truly, one of the best things people have created.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  21. Great comments.
    With American Thanksgiving tomorrow, we should all turn this into a moment of thanks for the many things we’d not like to live without.
    Including books. Lots and lots and lots of books. Most people even in in the past would have felt rich to own a few.
    Which leads me to public libraries. Truly, one of the best things people have created.
    Jo 🙂

    Reply
  22. Hi All!
    Thank you, Jo for using my idea. I love playing these kinds of games.
    What would I miss if I lived in 1806… daily showers and hot water, the ability to contact loved ones on a whim, underwear (the Victoria Secret kind) and disposable feminine products.
    What I would not miss… the incessant hum of electronics, the city lights that dim the glorious night sky and TV.
    Happy Thanksgiving to All. My life is brighter for having each of you in it.
    Hugs,
    Nina

    Reply
  23. Hi All!
    Thank you, Jo for using my idea. I love playing these kinds of games.
    What would I miss if I lived in 1806… daily showers and hot water, the ability to contact loved ones on a whim, underwear (the Victoria Secret kind) and disposable feminine products.
    What I would not miss… the incessant hum of electronics, the city lights that dim the glorious night sky and TV.
    Happy Thanksgiving to All. My life is brighter for having each of you in it.
    Hugs,
    Nina

    Reply
  24. Hi All!
    Thank you, Jo for using my idea. I love playing these kinds of games.
    What would I miss if I lived in 1806… daily showers and hot water, the ability to contact loved ones on a whim, underwear (the Victoria Secret kind) and disposable feminine products.
    What I would not miss… the incessant hum of electronics, the city lights that dim the glorious night sky and TV.
    Happy Thanksgiving to All. My life is brighter for having each of you in it.
    Hugs,
    Nina

    Reply
  25. From Sherrie:
    I’d probably miss my computer the most. As a writer, I love the ability to storm away on a keyboard, with the resultant increase in productivity over handwriting. I wouldn’t miss e-mail, though. I was a great letter writer most of my life, and loved exchanging letters with friends and relatives. My grandmother and I exchanged letters for over 30 years. Americans have lost the art of letter writing.
    The second thing I’d miss is pictures– both the photography kind and the movie kind. Cameras give us the ability to capture priceless moments with a click of a shutter. I adore movies, and I’m an avid shutterbug. I have albums and albums full of treasured pictures of special moments in my life. I also have a big box of photos I inherited from my mom. Some of the pictures are over 100 years old, of relatives who had died before I was born.
    And don’t laugh, but I would really miss the convenience of indoor flush toilets. I can remember traipsing out to the smelly privy on bitterly cold winter nights as a child. Brrrr!!! And anyway, privies had monsters down below who at any moment might grab an unsuspecting butt and pull you through.

    Reply
  26. From Sherrie:
    I’d probably miss my computer the most. As a writer, I love the ability to storm away on a keyboard, with the resultant increase in productivity over handwriting. I wouldn’t miss e-mail, though. I was a great letter writer most of my life, and loved exchanging letters with friends and relatives. My grandmother and I exchanged letters for over 30 years. Americans have lost the art of letter writing.
    The second thing I’d miss is pictures– both the photography kind and the movie kind. Cameras give us the ability to capture priceless moments with a click of a shutter. I adore movies, and I’m an avid shutterbug. I have albums and albums full of treasured pictures of special moments in my life. I also have a big box of photos I inherited from my mom. Some of the pictures are over 100 years old, of relatives who had died before I was born.
    And don’t laugh, but I would really miss the convenience of indoor flush toilets. I can remember traipsing out to the smelly privy on bitterly cold winter nights as a child. Brrrr!!! And anyway, privies had monsters down below who at any moment might grab an unsuspecting butt and pull you through.

    Reply
  27. From Sherrie:
    I’d probably miss my computer the most. As a writer, I love the ability to storm away on a keyboard, with the resultant increase in productivity over handwriting. I wouldn’t miss e-mail, though. I was a great letter writer most of my life, and loved exchanging letters with friends and relatives. My grandmother and I exchanged letters for over 30 years. Americans have lost the art of letter writing.
    The second thing I’d miss is pictures– both the photography kind and the movie kind. Cameras give us the ability to capture priceless moments with a click of a shutter. I adore movies, and I’m an avid shutterbug. I have albums and albums full of treasured pictures of special moments in my life. I also have a big box of photos I inherited from my mom. Some of the pictures are over 100 years old, of relatives who had died before I was born.
    And don’t laugh, but I would really miss the convenience of indoor flush toilets. I can remember traipsing out to the smelly privy on bitterly cold winter nights as a child. Brrrr!!! And anyway, privies had monsters down below who at any moment might grab an unsuspecting butt and pull you through.

    Reply
  28. I’m not trying to be all noble or anything, but honestly I’d miss my freedom and independence I have as a contemporary woman, and I’d *really* miss my freedom of religion, such as it is.
    That and I repeat what’s been said about hot water heaters and indoor plumbing. I am addicted to my bathtub.
    Happy Turkey Day to all who celebrate it. (I have British friends who are making a traditional English roast dinner and inviting a Japanese family) 🙂
    Jane

    Reply
  29. I’m not trying to be all noble or anything, but honestly I’d miss my freedom and independence I have as a contemporary woman, and I’d *really* miss my freedom of religion, such as it is.
    That and I repeat what’s been said about hot water heaters and indoor plumbing. I am addicted to my bathtub.
    Happy Turkey Day to all who celebrate it. (I have British friends who are making a traditional English roast dinner and inviting a Japanese family) 🙂
    Jane

    Reply
  30. I’m not trying to be all noble or anything, but honestly I’d miss my freedom and independence I have as a contemporary woman, and I’d *really* miss my freedom of religion, such as it is.
    That and I repeat what’s been said about hot water heaters and indoor plumbing. I am addicted to my bathtub.
    Happy Turkey Day to all who celebrate it. (I have British friends who are making a traditional English roast dinner and inviting a Japanese family) 🙂
    Jane

    Reply
  31. Well, my first thought, Jo, was for the marvels of communication as well. I’d have a tough time dealing with the world. Like you, I’m also an immigrant and still have a lot of family left in “the old country”. Some emigrated even further away: to Australia and the west coast from B.C. to Oregon.
    Electricity would definitely be another one: from cooking to reading and anything in between.
    The other I guess is really tied to the first: our ability to easily visit other parts of the world thanks to the marvels of airplanes–all part of our communication and transportation system.
    And yes, toilets too. When my parents went to MN in 1957 to visit a professor friend and his family, other friends were invited to meet my parents. One of the burning questions these supposedly educated people had was: Isn’t it awful when you have to go to the outhouse in the middle of a snowstorm? And this from people who were less than 500 miles from Winnipeg, where we then lived.
    I was very grateful that outhouses were confined to camps and a few farms.
    Even the last 50 years have totally changed our world. It’s remarkable how many strange things we find and don’t remember the use of.

    Reply
  32. Well, my first thought, Jo, was for the marvels of communication as well. I’d have a tough time dealing with the world. Like you, I’m also an immigrant and still have a lot of family left in “the old country”. Some emigrated even further away: to Australia and the west coast from B.C. to Oregon.
    Electricity would definitely be another one: from cooking to reading and anything in between.
    The other I guess is really tied to the first: our ability to easily visit other parts of the world thanks to the marvels of airplanes–all part of our communication and transportation system.
    And yes, toilets too. When my parents went to MN in 1957 to visit a professor friend and his family, other friends were invited to meet my parents. One of the burning questions these supposedly educated people had was: Isn’t it awful when you have to go to the outhouse in the middle of a snowstorm? And this from people who were less than 500 miles from Winnipeg, where we then lived.
    I was very grateful that outhouses were confined to camps and a few farms.
    Even the last 50 years have totally changed our world. It’s remarkable how many strange things we find and don’t remember the use of.

    Reply
  33. Well, my first thought, Jo, was for the marvels of communication as well. I’d have a tough time dealing with the world. Like you, I’m also an immigrant and still have a lot of family left in “the old country”. Some emigrated even further away: to Australia and the west coast from B.C. to Oregon.
    Electricity would definitely be another one: from cooking to reading and anything in between.
    The other I guess is really tied to the first: our ability to easily visit other parts of the world thanks to the marvels of airplanes–all part of our communication and transportation system.
    And yes, toilets too. When my parents went to MN in 1957 to visit a professor friend and his family, other friends were invited to meet my parents. One of the burning questions these supposedly educated people had was: Isn’t it awful when you have to go to the outhouse in the middle of a snowstorm? And this from people who were less than 500 miles from Winnipeg, where we then lived.
    I was very grateful that outhouses were confined to camps and a few farms.
    Even the last 50 years have totally changed our world. It’s remarkable how many strange things we find and don’t remember the use of.

    Reply

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