Monday, 8 October 2012

Revisiting the Good Old Days

'It's not like it used to be in the good old days,' is a phase we hear wistfully uttered by the older generation and I must confess I sometimes find myself saying the same thing.
In the old days, the sun always shone, there was freshly baked bread from the oven, and carefree children played  in the fields.  In reality, however, life was not better or happier than it is now, and work was certainly much harder, especially for those who made their living on the farm.
These thoughts came to mind when I attended the Knockbridge Vintage Club's Annual Show yesterday.  The show normally takes place in early September but had to be postponed this year due to the bad weather. This was probably a blessing in disguise as yesterday was one of those perfect autumn days, bright and crisp.
The Show is one of the biggest vintage events in these parts, with an impressive display of vintage farm machinery and vehicles, from steam engines to the famous Heinkel Bubble Car which was made in Dundalk in the post-War years.
There were four teams of horses ploughing,  threshing machines, and a blacksmith on hand to show how farming was carried out in the good old days. It might look romantic but it was without doubt back-breaking hard work.
Likewise, the recreated farm kitchen with its turf fire and wooden dresser seemed charming until I remembered growing up without those luxuries which we now take for granted - central heating and hot running water.
It's easy to get carried away by nostalgia but a dose of reality helps us see through those rose tinted glasses.
And I wonder what the farmers of those by-gone years would have made of sheep racing?

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