bygone days

“Well folks I’m dipping my toe in so to speak … most of you will know that I pretend to be a poet and try a bit of photography but story telling is definitely not my strength! So about to spin a yarn and asking for your rating out of ten in my comments section please?

10 = not bad, I’d read some more; 5 = sitting on the fence; 0 = stick with the poetry!

This tale is set in the sixteenth century. Why sixteen? Just seemed like a time so far away none of us could remember. Best lower your expectations coz I ain’t into research like the our resident historians Roberta and MB. This is more a hit and miss trail to be read in a colourful accent that appeals.”

About four hundred years ago folk did it tough … no devices, media, running water, planes train or automobiles. They had to fetch their water supply from the local well or stream hoping it was relatively clean. They shopped almost daily, cooked and scrubbed coz there were no white goods available. Yep washed everything by hand, even their sheets. BUT they didn’t whine!

Travel usually meant walking or riding a few miles to a neighbouring village. Holidays meant a day off work, and they were real rare. Fighting was unfortunately a regular pastime, whether it was fisticuffs or tenants against their landlords. BUT they didn’t whine!

Clothes had to be hand made, so it was tedious but they used strong materials to make sure they’d last the harsh hand washing treatment. Wood had to be collected and chopped to heat water for a weekly bath. The youngest bathed first and then each had their turn until the water was a thick stew-like texture. BUT nobody whined!

Imagine no cosmetics; healing herbs no pharmas; no hospitals or nurses just a few quack apotheke’s; hand made shoes and clothes; little material goods or luxury items. The only news was the usual gossip, some things never change; or the town crier walking around the castle with his bell calling out “8pm and all is well”. So only those nearby or who came to look could hear him. The tower bell clanged out warning when those pesky Vikings were invading to rape and pillage once again. … but you got it, they didn’t whine!

 It was just their way of life with no other known or dreamt about. And frankly they had no time or energy to whine as daily survival kept them fully occupied. Conditions were harsh but life was simple and folk seemed far more content. 

… further episodes might explore more detailed personal lives of this era
and are bound to include a ‘subtle’ moral …


  1. I enjoyed it and would read more for sure. I think as you grow in writing stories and feel more comfortable your stories will only get better. Only negative..accuracy is important. Babies were bathed last…;-) Love to ya


  2. Rating? 16.455729032.

    Oh, oh, out of 10? OK, I was wondering why I was basing things on 17. Seems like such an odd number. If we’re using 10, then…

    First, though, a general observation. Every generation’s conceit is that it has reached civilization’s pinnacle. If society is functioning as it should be, each generation has. That isn’t the last word, though. Successive reforms, ideas and improvements allow those who come next to climb higher yet.

    Consider what descendants will think of us. “You mean, they just sat there, in their own sweat? If someone ate something spicy, you actually could smell it on his breath? Wait, they made babies HOW? Oh God, that’s hideous!”

    As for your story (more a vignette, really), well done. I like how you conclude each paragraph with the same reminder (either explicitly or by inference), thus bolstering the theme. Quite lyrical of you. Poetry in prose form.

    Now, for the story’s final rating. Um, in keeping with your 16th-century theme, I never learned how to count.

    See, if you had advanced thigs a couple hundred years more, to the 18th century (my favorite historical period), the Enlightenment would’ve provided that skill. Instead, the final rating will be a mystery for the ages.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think I will be unfair and give you a 20 😀
    I am a sucker for stories any given day. Besides I am an anachronistic person and I would any given day leave everything to dwell in the early centuries, cooped up in my little hut surrounded by mile of nothingness!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I enjoy your poems immensely! But, I really enjoy your stories, too!
    I give this a 10 because it kept my interest, got me pondering, “played” like a movie in my head, and left me wanting more. The signs of a good story to me! 🙂

    I’ve been thinking a lot about tthose people lately…and how hard they worked and how they didn’t whine and they found the joys. So many lived through economic depressions, world wars, food shortages, horrible weather and natural disasters, etc.

    I’ve been “channeling” my great grandparents lately and trying to deal with our world situation as they would have. Make today count. Do what we must, and can, today. Be grateful for what we have. Be content. And find the joys.

    (((HUGS))) 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • yes I think love and respect for community gives the isolation more purpose. Then knowing that those before suffered much more hardship helps us cope.

      But then I often wonder if we have more MH issues because we have so much … our washing is a few sprays add detergent and push a button. Leaving us too free to indulge our fear and stress … be active mentally and physically is probably very wise right now ❤ xx

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I was goin to stick with your 10, 5, 0…but well others took the other road so i might as well join them.
    I’ll give you an 8.
    I read some of your previous short stories and even your running stories and they were really interesting.
    This one too got my interest…your a good story teller Kate..

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Ahh the good old days…. the moral being… be thankful for what we’ve got… and don’t ‘whine’… I’m not a good reader of longer articles, but I read yours all the way through… so I’ll give you an ‘8’….

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Kate.

    You give us an imbalanced & unfair voting structure. Why can’t 10 be excellent instead of ‘not bad’. Five should be ‘not bad’ and not ‘fence sitting’ and 0 = stick to (‘pretend’) poetry?? It doesn’t make sense to me. Zero should be rubbish, surely?

    You should always write your poetry. It is clearly in your heart. But poetry is a lifelong lesson, as is photography and, by dint, writing. Keep chipping away at all of these arts. Fuck knows, I hope to live to be 150 and then I might be vaguely adept at any one of these skills.

    As to the above. Yeah, cool (4?). I don’t think I can agree with much of it at all: in the twenty first century we still have to struggle with most of the things you list. Do we whine? Hell, yeah! Did they whine in the sixteenth century? Definitely!

    Keep on keeping on.
    Great site/sight.
    Nick x

    Liked by 3 people

      • 🙂 8. Kate, you’ve made a mean old man very happy! Do what you do. What do I know anyway – I still got almost 100 years to go if I’m (impossibly) lucky!

        You still gotta cool site anyway. Good to meet you. x

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve always been intrigued by allegory. I rate a 8.5. Inaccuracies aside (babes were bathed last, hence the saying don’t throw out the baby with the bath water), I want to know more about the “no-whine zone”.

    Liked by 1 person

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