Travelling through a wet, bleak and cold Wensleydale yesterday on our way to Hawes for lunch, we passed Addlebrough -a flat- topped hill which was once home to an Iceni tribe.
The top of the hill was obscured by mist and it really did look the last place on earth anyone would choose to set up home. But, of course, it did give the tribe a good view of any possible trouble approaching from any direction. (although in those days much of the dale would have been covered in forest too).
I remarked to the farmer what an awful day it was and suggested that the tribe would have been wet and cold in such awful conditions.
But of course it doesn't work like that does it? They would no doubt be clad in warm clothing made from skins or something and they would have had great, warming fires and presumably plenty of meat to eat from game they had caught in the surrounding area.
We can speculate on what previous generations have done to keep warm, happy and well-fed, but really each age has its own problems and deals with them. There would always be poor and needy who would battle hard with the elements, just as there are now.
We then began to chat about our own lives and what has changed. Of course there are the major things like health care and medical discoveries. There is the access to foreign holidays whereas in our day a week's trip from Lincoln to Skeggie (Skegness) on the train was a treat to be looked forward to and enjoyed. There is the availability of vehicles - and the fact that today few even run an old car. When I was a child only the vicar, the doctor and our neighbour had cars and our neighbour drove so slowly that my brother once passed him on his bike!
Then there are the things that we eat and drink. I never remember drinking 'proper' coffee - all we drank was Camp coffee (a mixture of coffee and chicory) and as for Olive Oil, which I now buy in large bottles of extra virgin - if you wanted olive oil you went and bought a little bottle from the chemist and usually put it in your ears!
So called 'foreign' foods were almost unheard of. I remember my mother and father being rather suspicious of my cooking when we were first married because I used things they had never heard of. Pasta? Well if you were really adventurous you might make macaroni cheese, or macaroni pudding - but my father preferred rice pudding cooked long and slow in the fire oven so that it came out rich and creamy. And semi-skimmed milk? No thank-you.
What changes can you think of to add to this list? There are no doubt hundreds - some for the better and some not.
One change I have thought about as I typed that last sentence is the way our own native eating apples gradually dwindled in the greengrocers until they were overtaken by foreign imports - all the delicious native varieties seemed to disappear - they are beginning to make a comeback at long last.
And without all aspects of social media I wouldn't even be asking the question would I?