Saturday, June 11, 2011

1900 House and 1910 House.. Hmmm

Tighsolas Floor Plan

As I am writing Flora in the City, I have the BIG PICTURE down pretty good, I have my plan, but I have to backtrack to get the details right.

The washing. THe plumbing. I asked my husband, who visited Tighsolas in the 60's to describe the house. Lots of doors separating all the rooms. The back stairs I describe were narrow and steep and had a sharp turn. Big kitchen. Dark oak mouldings. A couple of vasisdasses (whatever) over the doors to the dining room.

Very dark in the house. Yes, despite being House of Light.

A bathroom upstairs, but did the WC exist back then in 1910, upstairs? Probably, standard plumbing.

I then found a 1999 program from BBC Four Television (and PBS) called the 1900 house, a reality show where a modern British family lived for 3 months like 'Victorians',..well, almost Edwardians, in a retrofitted row house in Greenwich, the kind worth about 2000000 gazillion pounds today on Foxton's.

I watched quite a few episodes of the 1900 House on YouTube.

All very interesting. My first thought was that the family was moving their 2000 era 'privatized' existence to 1900 England.

They were all stuck in the house, on top of each other, like a modern family, but without the modern technologies that precipitated this state of affairs.

The mom, an education pro, is totally deskilled.. so a maid is hired. Luckily, in London, the family gets bread delivered. Margaret made her own, mostly.

There are three girls in the family, but none help the mom, I suspect this is because they are underage and it is too dangerous for the producers to let them literally play with fire. In really life they would have helped.

The WC is outside, Chamber pots are used inside. But in Canada, I doubt the WC was outside at Tighsolas.

But I did figure out from the program, how the wood stove in the kitchen had a boiler and sent hot water up to the bath. (My husband and I had tried to figure that out earlier.)

In the 1900 house, washing takes a full day just as it did in Tighsolas. But they boiled the linens and underwear in a copper pot furnace thingy. I'll have Margaret transfer hot water from the stove boiler to a washtub, the kind found in Eaton's catalogue.

It's funny, this show as made in 1999 and oddly, when they show the modern family in their modern home, the computer looks ancient. So much has changed in just this 10 years. SO SO much.