Sunday, 5 July 2015

Clothing and culture

I have copied this photo from Roman's blog
that I am writing about here.
I really enjoy learning about other cultures and years ago I started a degree in Anthropology. I also enjoy dressmaking and a little embroidery. Blogs can sometimes bring those interests into my home. Let me send some to your home via Roman's blog, Folk Costume and Embroidery.

If you follow this link   you will read about the traditional embroidered clothing of men from the regions of Poland, Slovakia, and Ukraine. The author, Roman, is a diligent researcher and his posts are quite detailed. He writes about different groups of people each time and the posts are occasional rather than weekly. I read and re-read.

I believe that traditional customs should be recorded and made available as much as possible because of the current trend of globalisation. We may become computer literate, use mobile phones, watch films from other countries, and all learn English but the price might be that we show disrespect to all those who are our history. I think we need to walk both ways. To do this we need to know what the old ways were, why they worked, and why we changed.

Roman's blog, Folk Costume and Embroidery, challenges my thinking and questions my values. I ask myself, "Why did I not know this already? Was I too self-centred? Why did they do that? Do I do it too?" When I read about other peoples I think about my own people and our ways of living. That has value, great value.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Relaxing and reading

I will never be a famous photographer
but you get the idea.
Home alone, except for the cat. Super relaxing. And to fill this luscious time I am reading, sewing, knitting and watching favorite DVDs. Bet you wish it was you!
So I read The Charming Quirks of Others, by Alexander McCall Smith. Did I like it? Yes, indeed, I enjoyed this book. It made me think carefully. The plot is quite straightforward with just a small twist. The characters are realistic, and never uni-dimensional. The conversations are believable. There is much to enjoy. But the best part is the philosophical thread that stitches everything together. The heroine must consider the motives of each person she encounters, rather like a detective show but in a different context. No violence or Police in this story. No shades of Grey either.

The heroine is Isabel who edits an academic journal on philosophy. She lives in Edinburgh which adds to the attraction for me, because it seems so far away and exotic. Isabel is asked to check on the applicants for a job, but other minor stories run alongside this purpose.

I do not always enjoy novels by this author. Alexander McCall Smith is very learned and clever. He has had a career in academia and has written papers and novels galore. I know he has lived and worked in a number of countries and somehow that generosity of spirit shines through in this particular novel. It is an easy read.

Very relaxing. If you see it in your library, borrow it and shut out the daily onslaught of violent news.