It's very zeitgeist: M and I had been chatting in the car on the way to Leeds about the breakdown of family life and the farming out of the care of society's young and old people. We were commenting on the recent increase in the number of laws being passed and the extent of police powers, and I said we should be looking at the causes of the problems rather than seeking to force people to behave themselves. We agreed that the breakdown of family life was to blame.
I think we disagreed on the blame for that. I tend to hold social and financial pressures (including compulsory schooling) to blame for keeping the generations apart. M, ever the Prussian, is still in favour of social institutions and blames feckless selfish parents for the situation instead. I was roundly told off at the end of the evening, for not being sufficiently cheerful or flexible ;-) In the 1930s East Prussia of M's childhood, there were strict rules about conversations and social niceties - as there probably were in this country at that time. Not too much politics, no religion. No saying things like they are. We must all appear to be cheerful and happy in case we depress the other person.
I suppose I have changed. (She says I have.) At one time I would have thought one thing and said another. Nowadays I tend to think one thing and say it. I prefer the more genuine me. She obviously doesn't ;-)