So, what will it be today? Keep Calm, or Panic and Freak Out? We aim for calm in the expatrimummy household, but the majority of the time we are closer to freaking out. Three school appeals coming up sometime in May, looking for a new place to live, homesickness … well, you get the idea.
But what about this Keep Calm phenomenon? I discovered the slogan maybe three or four years ago, online, and purchased a poster for my husband. It’s got an interesting history: in 1939, the Ministry of Information was tasked with creating posters to keep morale up during the war years. “Keep Calm” was designed to be used only in the event of a German occupation of Britain, which never happened, so the posters never saw public light of day.
Most of the posters were destroyed after the war, but some 60 years later, a bookseller discovered a poster among a pile of old books bought from an auction house. A handful or two more were discovered around the same time and a decorating phenomenon was born. Posters, mugs, pillows, alternative slogans (“Keep Calm and Eat a Cupcake,” “Keep Calm and Buy Shoes” and even “Now Panic and Freak Out”) were born.
It’s a cool piece of history and I enjoy my morning coffee out of my “Keep Calm” mug on days when I am closer to “Now Panic and Freak Out.” I’d like to tell you it makes a difference, but, well … there’s only so much a cheery mug can do.