woensdag 1 oktober 2014

The Results Of An Afternoon Walk

We've got some nice weather again, so last Saturday we went for a walk in the country:

And visited some farms:

Where we bought these free range eggs:

We visited an antique store where I was fortunate enough to find this tea set:

(an imitation of Royal Albert, made in Germany). Doesn't it look pretty on a cupboard shelf?

I decided to use it every day and put my old tea set away. The price was only 12.50, and as a bonus we got these pears from the lady who owned the shop:

So I decided to use them to make jam:

Here is the end result (it is delicious!):

I'm afraid my jam jars aren't glamorous, but they didn't cost me anything as I recycled them:)
Next time I'll try to write something more intellectual, so stay tuned:)

dinsdag 30 september 2014

zaterdag 27 september 2014

The Man in The Gray Flannel Suit

It took me some time but I finally watched this movie (thanks to Mark from Upon Hope for the recommendation). I actually had to watch it two times before I was able to more or less determine my attitude to the characters depicted in the story.

It's a movie which is rather difficult to review without spoilers, so be warned:) The main character Tom Rath, played by Gregory Peck works at a dead-end job which barely allows him to support his family at a middle class standard and has three children and a nagging wife called Betsy. He served in the army during  WWII and is unable to forget the things he went through, including an affair with an Italian woman he picked up in Rome.

His wife's demands finally push him to apply for a better-paid job at a major corporate network but as he tries to adjust to his new working environment he must face some ethical and moral issues, which present a challenge to him. There is not much "action" in the movie, but it is a powerful drama with some good acting, which could be recommended to anyone interested in the mid-20th century American way of life. 

When I first watched the film I was very much annoyed with his wife's behaviour until the last ten minutes or so. She came across as an ungrateful woman who couldn't appreciate her husband's hard work or sympathise with him and his problems, and constantly wanted more. However, after I watched it again I started understanding her better. The movie is an adaptation of a novel which possibly provided more details, but as far as I could get it, both Tom and his wife came from an affluent background (judging by the house he inherited from his Grandma) and then it makes sense that  Betsy expected him to do better.

Tom's problems seemed  to have come from the fact that he was inherently a decent man. Someone else probably wouldn't be half bothered by the fact that he had to lie to his wife or kill men during the war and certainly wouldn't be worried about the possibility of having a child with a woman who was basically a prostitute.

While being a decent man with a conscience is certainly a positive trait, on the other hand, Tom was too much of what they call nowadays a "beta provider." He allowed his wife to nag and push him around. He hesitated to confront his colleagues and wouldn't take action to confront his Grandma's servant who basically robbed him of half his inheritance until forced to (by his wife, no less). Heck, even his children disrespected him. In the end, he found courage to face his personal demons  risking something which was very important to him - his family, in the process, which was shown as a positive development in the movie.

There is another, minor plot line about his new boss Ralph Hopkins, the network owner, and his family problems, which perfectly illustrates that (some) women are never happy, as my husband informed me:) They complain when the husband brings too little money, but they are also unhappy when he spends his whole time at work. (BTW, Susan, the daughter, was a spoiled brat who deserved to be disinherited).

The movie is true to life in depicting two basic types of men: "the 9 to 5" guys who lack ambition and go back to their family, and those who like Hopkins are driven by their ambition to reach the top of the ladder, whether in business or in politics. In the times past, wives were taught to accept it as the benefits of being married to such a man outweighed the drawbacks. However, as the film shows, mid-20th century wives were rebelling against this arrangement, which probably contributed to the success of the second wave feminism.

It's interesting that Helen Andelin addresses the very same problem in "Fascinating Womanhood" (Bantam Books, 1992, p.96): "It is not always possible or even right for a man to make his wife number one in his life...In addition to making the living, men have always shouldered the responsibility of making the world a better place.They have largely been the builders of society, have solved world problems, and developed new ideas for the benefit of all...If you examine the life of these noble public servants, you usually find a wife...content to take a second place. President and Mrs Dwight D. Eisenhower are a good example of this. Mrs Eisenhower recalls that...her husband drew her aside one evening and said, `...My country comes first, and you second`...and that is the way they lived."

I think the idea behind the story was that you can´t live with lies with which I agree wholeheartedly and also that family is more important than all other things (with which I agree but partly, see above.) Anyway, it was a great movie, and I can recommend it to everyone. 

Watch The Man In The Gray Flannel Suit on YouTube:

vrijdag 26 september 2014

The Beginning Of Autumn Links

Some thoughts on modesty with examples of outfits for older women (h/t to Lady Lydia):
Put Some Clothes On, Granny

Mark Moncrieff on the morality of capital punishment:
Why Capital Punishment is Moral

Gavin McInnes shares his opinion on volunteering in danger zones (warning: language):
America's Martyrs

The real life example of which men not to get involved with romantically:
Homeless drunkard doesn't sleep on the street every night

 Vox Day writes about women in combat and the fact that we are ruled by cowards:
The beginning of the end

Another victim of the emancipation of women:
A College Girl Disappears

Lady Lydia gives advice on how to deal with rude people:
Summer Sky Roses

Matt Walsh expresses his frustrations with liberal progressivism:
You are born a man or a woman. You don't get to choose.

For my new readers, the usual disclaimer: my linking to certain sites/blogs doesn't mean that I agree with everything they publish, it's just that I find some of their articles interesting/worth discussing.

donderdag 25 september 2014

Summer Is Over

Summer is officially over, according to my calendar the 23rd of September was the first day of autumn (though I have always thought it must be September 21, but what do I know?) The weather changed dramatically and it became cold, rainy, windy practically overnight.

Last weekend we went to look for berries in the nearby forest, but found none, so there will be no jam made this year, which my husband finds a pity...We drank tea and coffee at a historical wine farm instead:

It was all very much in French style, and they had live music, too;

And self-made cake with grapes they grow at that farm. It had a rather unusual taste, but I liked it. In the meanwhile, I finally watched "The Man In The Gray Flannel Suit" and I'm planning to write a review of it one of these days.

I hope you are all doing fine and welcome to the new readers! I hardly expected that my post about the lost civilisation of Crete would be the most popular ever on this blog, beating even the one about the advantages of being a housewife.

I obviously must do more historical research:) At present though, duty calls and the sink is full of dirty dishes, so good-bye for now....

maandag 22 september 2014

How To Evaluate A Prospective Husband

Some time ago someone asked me this question, so here comes:

First of all, I'm not a marriage consultant and don't pretend to have all the answers. If you choose to follow my advice, you are doing it at your own risk. I'm not even going to follow the path of some other lady bloggers who spend a considerable amount of time bragging about what great marriages they have and how their husbands are all super alpha males and the like. I will only say that personally I think I did fairly well:)

One of the most perilous ideas of modernity, is, imo, the idea of a "soulmate" or one person specially designed for you, the only one who can make you happy. Some women keep waiting for their soulmates well into their forties and even fifties while their girlfriends get married and become mothers and grandmothers. Others hook up with total losers but can't separate from them being convinced that the said loser is really their soulmate. (Please notice that I'm not talking about divorce here!).

There is no such thing as a soulmate. Since I don't like gossiping, I'll give you an example from classic literature: Sense and Sensibility. Marianne Dashwood is convinced that the handsome cad Willoughby is her soulmate only to marry Colonel Brandon two years later. The author makes fun in the book of her romantic notions that you can only fall in love once in your life and if things don't work out there is no second chance.

While looking for a husband, there is one important thing to keep in mind: you are not just choosing a romantic partner, you are choosing the father of your children. Since many traits are inheritable, if you choose a guy who is stupid, lazy and violent, the chance is big that your children will be the same. That's why the choice of the marriage partner is one of the most important decisions of your life.

You also should have an idea in mind of what your future married life would look like. If you are ever planning on being a housewife/staying home with your children, you should evaluate the provider capacities of every potential suitor . I'm not saying you must become a gold-digger and marry a man for his income alone, however, the most important lesson I was taught in my youth was to avoid men who are not capable or willing to be breadwinners.

Avoid starving artists, eternal students, mama´s boys,  and lazy unemployed bums. Avoid men with serious financial problems, anyone involved in criminal activities, alcoholics, junkies and the like. Also avoid any man who is psychologically unstable and/or violent. Don´t imagine yourself a Mother Teresa and try and save these guys from themselves. It´s simply not worth it. Aim for a reliable if somewhat boring accountant.

This said, you must take a long look in the mirror and be realistic about yourself and your standards. If they are too high, the chance is that you will spend your life alone dreaming of your knight on a white horse. There are certain things which handicap women wishing to marry well, for instance, being overweight is certainly not a bonus. Another thing which often ruins your marital prospects, is having children outside wedlock, so please don´t do it. I´m not saying it is impossible for such a woman to marry at all, but her choice of marriage partners will likely be smaller (and of lower quality).

Another thing which is practically taboo nowadays is the idea that you should marry someone equal or slightly higher to you in social status/class. We are all supposed to pretend that class doesn´t exist, but unfortunately it does. Most people think that class chiefly refers to the amount of money the person makes, but it isn´t true. It´s much more than this. It´s education, the social position of your parents, your whole way of life, the books you read, the friends you have, the school you went to etc etc.

The problem is that when two people come from totally different backgrounds, their life together will have all sorts of problems, which are best avoided if you aim for your social equal as a marriage partner. The same is true about cultural, ethnic and religious differences. Again, I´m not saying that it couldn´t work, only that it will bring all sorts of difficulties. Ask yourself if you are ready to deal with them before you get `unequally yoked`.

The above relates more to the material side of things, if you are interested in how to evaluate a man´s character, check this post:

Choosing a Mate

And also this one:

Mrs Andelin On Men Who Won´t Earn The Living

Well, that´s about it, I hope it will be helpful!

zondag 21 september 2014

My Book's Review By Mark Moncrieff

Mark Moncrieff is an Australian who promotes traditional conservatism at his blog Upon Hope.  That's what he wrote:

Over at athriftyhomemaker Sanne Wijkers has been keeping busy not just with her website, but also with a short novel, The Long Way Home. I recently finished reading her book and quite enjoyed it. A swashbuckler set in a futuristic setting. Which probably made you think of Star Wars, but don't. The setting is very old fashioned with the space ships simply existing to makes things interesting...

Read the rest over here:

The Long Way Home - A Book Review