Without Electricity.

In most fantasy settings there is not electricity, which brings its own complications. Think about this for a few seconds. No power means no washers, no dryers, no stoves, no vacuums, no coffee makers, no furnaces, no hot water tanks, no hair dryers…the list goes on and on.

Suddenly, it is easy to see why women stayed home to look after the house and the kids after marriage in an average household. Now think about a fantasy setting. Cooking will need to be done over some sort of solid fuel range, or an open fire. Hot water for washing clothes will also come from the said range/open fire, as will any hot water for ablutions. Ever wondered how long it would take to do a weekly wash of clothes for two? I can attest that is pans out to three hours from initial scrubbing to hanging on the line as I had no washer or dryer when my dear husband and I first married.

What we have is affected with what we have to clean. Fitted carpets did not appear until after the advent of vacuum cleaners of the electric kind. Area rugs were taken out to be slung over a washing line and had the bejesus beaten out of them prior to this. Oh and washing clothes? Don’t forget the need to make your own detergent.

Eating happens three times a day, so prep time has to happen and everything has to be diced/grated by hand. Downtime? Well clothes are kind of essential, both in the making and the repair. See where I am going with this? Where has the leisure time gone? Right down the toilet that doesn’t exist as this requires indoor plumbing as well as gravitational infrastructure leading to a treatment plant outside for anaerobic processes. Okay, so we are into chamber pots and disappearing behind bushes for the necessary. Notice what is missing here? No time for hobbies that are not productive, like reading, writing and art. I guess this is why the dark ages were called precisely that.

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