Today would have been my mother's 100th birthday, had she lived that long.
1918 seems so very far away from 2018 in terms of changes. Even when I was a child, in the 1960s, 1918 seemed very far away. The most obvious agent of change was the second world war: science and technology changed to meet new demands, but also the semi-rigid class structure of pre-war Britain began crumbling. Whilst there were many changes between an urban childhood in 1818 and 1918 - running water, indoor plumbing and such like - a child would still have occupied himself with similar games and hobbies. Today's children wouldn't know what to do with themselves if they were sent back one hundred years.
Huge advances in medicine have occurred in the last one hundred years; modern hygiene had become accepted by 1918, but antibiotics were still to come. Life expectancy was in the mid-50s; now it is in the early 80s. My father will soon be 96. But despite these advances, the human body is still the same and wasn't built to last so long. If previously major causes of death had been infectious diseases or malnutrition, today people die of cancer and heart failure. No one had Altzheimer's disease because no one lived long enough to suffer degenerative diseases.
I'm sorry for the sad tone of this blog. I think that it would have been written differently had I written it yesterday. Today my father came for his weekly visit and there seemed to be a massive deterioration in his condition; he seems to be wasting away, losing the will to live. It may be just the very hot weather of the past week which is causing this, but it may be permanent.