Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Modern Vintage? The responses...

I found your comments on my 'Modern Vintage' questions really interesting. Thanks for taking the time to think about what I'd written!To recap, I'd been musing on the phrase 'Modern Vintage', as used on my blog title and various new books, and came up with the following questions:

  1. Is a love for vintage linked to looking at the past through rose-tinted spectacles?
  2. What are the good things from the past that we hope to hold on to?
  3. What are the distinct advantages of living in the here and now?
  4. So what does Modern Vintage Living mean to you?
I'm going to use these photos of my newly tidied and sorted kitchen (or at least the interesting bits of my otherwise rather dull kitchen!) to accompany my response to your thoughts and my own questions.One thing I noticed was that a lot of people see the appreciation of vintage things and living as being linked to simplicity and core values - a rejection of modern advertising and the pressure to conform. I like that. I also personally feel a link to the people who made or previously used a vintage object - my university degree was in archaeology and it was usually the business of daily living in the past that really appealed to me. To be able to see how our ancestors lived, and to even hold or perhaps use the same objects that they used, is really special.
Most of you agreed that there is a bit of 'rose tinted' viewing going on - this leads on to those things we really value about modern life. This really struck me when Laura at 52 Flea was given some vintage recipe cards that had belonged to a relative of her husband. One of them was a recipe for Blackberry Cordial for dysentry.Can any of you imagine having to cope with a family suffering from dysentry, without professional help or modern medicine? I know that people around the world still have to live (or sometimes die) like this, but it's one of the incredible blessings of our lives that we no longer have to. I felt very in tune with some of the things Andi wrote about modern life. She noted equal rights and the friendships possible through the internet as real advantages we would never want to lose. I love the fact that one of our best friends in France is from Ghana, and that in 'vintage' times I might never have met him, and might have severely mistrusted him or even feared him if I had! Lots of advantages in modern life... Miss Freddie described 'modern vintage' as 'all about individuality, comfort and memories'. That's a good combination. A lot of you commented that enjoying the simplicity of vintage living
gives the opportunity to focus on what really matters in life - family, community, creativity, spirituality - rather than materialism. That may be one reason why I prefer pre-1950s vintage - the materialistic 'thing' was going pretty strong by that decade.
For me, the other advantage of this 'vintage' living in modern life, is that the Make Do and Mend/don't get into debt ethos that Angela mentioned is really good in a time of on-going environmental pressure and economic crisis.It's possible to live thrifty, green lives without a 'vintage' twist, but the vintage element introduces fun, colour and individuality into what otherwise might seem a rather Puritan existence of rejecting many things rather than embracing alternatives.But don't leave me with the last word - tell us what you think!


summerfete said...

I would loved to have studied archaelogy, how cool!

Modern life certainly has an upside regarding health, I for one wouldnt be here if it werent for todays medical knowledge and neither would my brother, as he is diabetic.

Rose tinted glasses most definitely..

marble rose said...

I think - for me - and my house barely has anything modern in it - I just fill my house with things that make me smile - sometimes no one else gets it at all - sometimes others die to have the same - over the years I learned to buy just what makes me smile on the inside - and that is usually linked to my personal history - my life story told by the objects around me.

How are you old bloggy friend! xxxx

Joanna said...

Hi, what a lovely friendly blog you have. Thank you for dropping by mine - it was great to read that you'd enjoyed The Diary of A Farmer's Wife. I'll read it after I've finished the one I'm reading at the moment.

I'll be back later for a wander round your blog, but 'til then,



Carol said...

Excellent points Floss. I think a lot of people just want to get off the merry-go-round of a stressful, busy, often debt laden life. A desire to have time to just "live".
They look back at what seems to be a much slower, gentler pace of life with time for family and friends, not just work.
The whole the economic mess wasn't caused by ordinary people but it seems as if we are being blamed for it and if we don't spend on new consumer items then it is again our fault if the economy doesn't recover. (Trying hard not to get too political!)
Carol xx

Heidi said...

Momma vintage makes me happy and speaking of vintage I'm mad for your cannister set on top!!!they are Fabulous!!!

Catherine said...

What an interesting dialogue Floss, these two posts. I'm not quite sure that "modern vintage" equates to simplicity in my world though. By it's very style & the emotional connection (memory/attachment/sentimentality) modern vintage living is often highly involving & actually quite busy. Gathering walnuts & cracking them, harvesting & using produce from the garden, cleaning up a secondhand pair of shoes, thrift shopping & recycling, mending an old tablecloth or repurposing it as a bag, say, is all time consuming...consuming is the wrong word really because there is also such worth & richness involved, but what vintage style living does provide is a richness, texture & quality of life that simply cannot be garnered through modern living at any cost. (well my wee thoughts for today)
Have a lovely week. Much love Catherine x