From childhood, I remember some ancient bit of literary British domestic detail from that decade when the whole country, as I understood it, looked like an episode of On the Buses. That thing, a coin-operated space heater in a lodger's room seemed bad enough. The Secret Diaries of Adrian Mole exposed it as ann arcane joke about small horizons and diminished expectations behind it, akin to the notion of seaside holidays in Britain. The island of Britain is the largest fragment of the Old Red Sandstone Continent of the Devonian forests, and yet we are to imagine it as permanently damp and cold. No fires warmed its people, though it is green verdure stretched over a submerged mountain of coal. As I say, a vague age. I had no idea what was going on. I though, instinctively, of the 1950s. That is a drear and dingy age, at least in Britain, right? But On the Buses and Doctors in the House, the shows that formed that impression, actually ran from 1969. There's still a story of a distressed island behind it, I suspect. The CBC picked the shows up and ran them in after-school slots because they were cheap. (And not-American.) Whatever. At least it saved us from the Mother Corp's smothering desire to make us better people, or, worse an even heavier rotation of King of Kensington.
Second-rate, diminished, small, dark, close. Cold. That's what I want to dwell on at the head. It's an age with origins in war, the last small victory of the Wehrmacht. Welcome to the winter of 1945.