Corney it may seem, themes running through two of my favourite programs on UK Television, Lark Rise to Candleford & Cranford have spookily being reflecting my thoughts over the last month. Change, progress, loss, and regret. Yep, midlife contemplation. In the wee village of Candleford there has been change afoot, an established somewhat late blooming female resident leaves the business she ran with her elder sister, to meet and likely marry a stranger they have corresponded with, and a young gentleman moves into town bringing with him his views and opinions of the world in the form of his trade - journalism, and all the good & evil that goes with it. Likewise, Cranford have been strongly opposed to the coming of railway to their area, but seeing younger towns folk leave for employment in other towns, makes the elders rethink their bias against modernity. Their resistance crumbles after a number of key neysayers take a ride on a steam train, and are bitten so to speak by the train bug. The speed at which they can travel between points excites them, the resemblance to the flight-like experienc, moving faster than a horse etc.
I am not ashamed to say that hearing the pearls of wisdom from the characters of these shows about how they contemplated the changes, and the agents of change, along with the things they felt they had to give up, and reasons for this -were all comforting. For people like myself, who grew up knowing what a party-line was, knowing that debate with our elders was considered disrespectful, and used an adding machine with a gianormous roll of tape as a calculator, and used carbon paper before photocopiers, scanners, computers became commonplace - these two villages have given some comfort in knowing that it is not all bad, but we still need to be circumspect in choosing from the myriad of changes we are faced with - and yes there is a choice.