This year a friend and I are spending part of this year living like it’s 1942. We are incorporating aspects of life on the home front of war time Britain into our everyday lives through a series of monthly challenges. We acknowledge that we cannot fully understand what it was like to live with rations and air raids, but we truly want to learn from the hard-won experiences of our foremothers and apply those lessons to our lives here in 2018.
We will begin by examining some of the more glamorous and well-known aspects of living in the 1940s to set the mood as it were. During the month of February, we will explore the fashions and entertainment of the 1940s to see what these lighter pursuits can tell us about getting through hard times. `
In March 1942, gas and electricity were rationed in Britain. In March 2018, we will be keeping a watchful eye on our household resources and energy consumption. Follow along to see if the recommendations made by the government reduced our household consumption and if we realize any cash savings. This challenge starts March 1 and it will continue for the duration of the challenge.
April is said to be the cruelest month. This may be true as it is during April that we will be on the ration in terms of clothing. Like the resource challenge in March, this challenge will continue until November.
In May we dig for Victory. We want to ensure that our families will remain fed during next month’s rationing challenge. One way to do that is to start growing lots of off ration fruits and vegetables.
June sees the beginning of food rationing. We will spend this month with our ration books in hand as we attempt to feed ourselves like its 1942.
In July, we honour our foremothers by volunteering. In addition to taking over the jobs done by men and working long hours, many women also spent many hours engaged in volunteer activities.
Going from the home to the factory would be a learning curve for anyone. In August we simulate the 1942 experience by learning a learn a new skill to help with the war effort. We could learn how to fix or maintain machinery or a new skill such as welding, or operating a chain saw.
Women in 1942 were prepared for air raids, evacuation, and invasion. In 2018, we face blizzards, power outages, and forest or grass fires. In September we focus on getting ready to evacuate by creating our own 72-hour emergency kits and we will prepare our homes and families to shelter in place in the event of a natural disaster.
Part of keeping the home fires burning during the war included protecting their homes from fire, no easy task in the face of the Luftwaffe. During the month of October, which is also fire safety moth, we will focus on keeping our homes and families safe.
Before taking time to observe Remembrance Day, we will end our challenge by reflecting on what we learnt from taking part in this challenge and how those lessons have improved our lives here in 2018.
If you want to join in, please do! We would love to hear about your experiences. If you have a wartime story to tell, please leave a comment. Stories are an important way to keep the memories of our mothers and grandmothers alive. And one more request, if you enjoy or find value in any of our posts, please consider making a donation to Sheepdog Lodge to support those for whom the horrors of war are not in the past.