A message from Brigid ....

I have been a blogger since 2005. At the height of my blogging busy-ness, I had "a small stable" of blogs on different topics: social and political commentary; desert spirituality; food; waste and ....

A few years ago I called time and ceased blogging altogether - although there was an occasional post. I had called it quits. I am an aged woman these days with a couple of serious illnesses. I am not allowed to drive. I am no longer active in organisations. I think it fair to say that I am housebound. I am active on Facebook, although I am not there as often as once I was. I have decided to embark on a re-entry into the blogging world ... beginning with The Trad Pad and, possibly, a return to my food blog, Oz Tucker. I have always used a lot of photographs on my blogs ... and I miss not being out and about with my camera.

The Trad Pad has been my blog for the lovely things of life. The controversial or political has seldom intruded. Occasionally, the spiritual has found its way in, but I kept spirituality for the blog, Desert. I don't yet know if I will revive that. I will stick pretty much to food and the lovely things of life. If I have some regularity with those two categories, I feel that I will be doing well. I hope that, with this blog new friendships can be formed and old friendships renewed; new lovelies discovered; new reflections can enter into the meaning of modern life. I would love to hear from you - particularly if you have suggestions for new topics to enter into the conversation. So, it is a new year. Let's see what it has in store, what it can bring to us. And I hope that those who share the spirit of The Trad Pad can spread the message of a world of beauty, the creativity of humanity, and the joys of simplicity and tradition. ~~~ February, 2017

Friday, October 19, 2007

Controversial crafts and feminist foibles

Miss Eagle has the glisten of a tear or two on her cheek. You see, I have just been reading Jane Brocket's latest post over at yarnstorm.

If there was only one blog I was allowed to read out of the whole blogosphere, it would be yarnstorm. Apologies to friends and fellow bloggers but that is how it is. I admire Jane's layout, her beautiful photographs, her interests, and her writing. Over the last twelve months, Jane's readers have lived with her the writing of her first book, The Gentle Art of Domesticity. The book has only recently been released and Jane has had to embark on the usual media round to talk about herself and the book. You can listen to Jane being interviewed on October 9, 2007, on BBC4 here.

Jane's post, linked above, brings a tear because there has been so much comment that has been questionable and invasive to the extent that Jane has had to go beyond her usual privacy boundaries to clarify a few things. For those of us who admire Jane, this was wonderful to enhance and round out our view of her. But those of us who admire Jane have also felt her pain - and we think why the h#ll should she feel compelled to do this if she does not want to.

Clearly, fulfilling one's creative instincts by knitting, quilting and making rock buns is controversial stuff.

  • It clearly is not enough to have come from limited financial circumstances and earned a first class education by using one's intellectual capacity to win scholarships and grants.
  • It is clearly not enough to have become a Master of Wine.
  • It is not enough to be able to capably review both wine and fine English lit.
  • It is not enough to have the tenacity to have won through difficult personal circumstances to build a secure and enjoyable family life - and to use your income to invest in the materials of your creativity.
  • It is not enough to have one of the most popular blogs of its genre on the net and to have spun it into a published book.

Miss Eagle has earned long ago her stripes as a feminist but some of the thought processes of those who claim feminist instincts and leanings is stunning.

Some of us remember when girls were advised not to learn to type in high school. The 'wisdom' was that if you could type you would only ever be treated as a secretary and never make your way to management.

Well, didn't they get that wrong.

We now have droves of women in their middle years who wish they had first rate keyboard skills for the computer age - like being able to touch type.

Fortunately, Miss E's mother, Phyll, who spent years in the workforce as a secretary believed that office skills are something a woman could always fall back on - so not only can Miss E touch type at pretty phenomenal speeds she can also do Pitman's Shorthand at such a level that she can do verbatim minutes of meetings. Miss Eagle left school at 15 with these skills. Later came the degree. Later came management experience.

These days I see women like Jane and Di over at Clementine's Shoes and Suse over at Pea Soup - who are professional and academically qualified women - taking the traditional domestic crafts to new and imaginative levels. They combine careeers and professional demands with family life and personal creativity.

Duh! What is wrong with that! What sort of female oppression is that!

None of these women are forcing others into their mold - but plenty of women are queuing up to join in their conversation!

And isn't that what we feminists are about first and foremost - choice: choice in our personal lives, choice in our working lives, choice in our family lives; choice in the public sphere, choice in the private sphere.

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