Not long ago, in a place not far away and directly connected to you, something like this was happening, little by little:
It’s London in 1930. Ethel has left her work as a lady’s maid; Ernest is a milkman.
Raymond Briggs’ Ethel and Ernest is a brilliant book – very funny, very poignant.
I share it here as an example of how development happens, and how easy it is to forget the material progress we’ve made. A generation or two ago Ethel and Ernest lived below the poverty line at a time when an indoors bathroom was a luxury and a mother might bring a few lumps of coal and a couple of bottles of beer as a gift to celebrate the arrival of a baby. Were they poor? They didn’t seem to think so. Little by little, they built a life.
The story is full of revealing scenes like these as we witness the ebb and flow of prosperity and politics, of lives and relationships, over time as the world changes.