Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Work-Life Balance In Medieval Europe

Talked to someone in Norway today. Their government basically gave everyone 3 months vacation, paid out of the emergency fund. Of course, they are an independent country and don't have to support their less well-to-do neighbours (the privilege of not being a part of the EU), but it's another topic:)

Apparently, some people would consider such a long hiatus immoral somehow, yet historically speaking, people in Middle Ages used to have a much better work-life balance than we do now:

In her essay, the professor revealed that records from 13th century England show many families only worked 150 days a year on their land and in the 14th century, even servants often only worked 175 days a year. 

Their working days, though technically longer, were much more leisurely, too:

A typical working day in the medieval period stretched from dawn to dusk work was intermittent - called to a halt for breakfast, lunch, the customary afternoon nap, and dinner. 

'Depending on time and place, there were also mid-morning and mid-afternoon refreshment breaks.'

While the article compares long medieval holidays with much shorter American ones, I should say that even in Europe, people typically don't enjoy 25 weeks vacations:

The medieval calendar was filled with holidays - official [church] holidays included not only long "vacations" at Christmas, Easter and midsummer but also numerous saints' and rest days. 
'In addition to official celebrations, there were often weeks' worth of ales - to mark important life events (bride ales or wake ales) as well as less momentous occasions (scot ale, lamb ale, and hock ale). 
'All told, holiday leisure time in medieval England took up probably about one-third of the year.' 

In light of this, 90 days off in Norway don't look like something really extraordinary, do they now?

Read the whole article over here.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Palm Sunday

File:Assisi-frescoes-entry-into-jerusalem-pietro lorenzetti.jpg

The image comes from Wiki Commons

It's Palm Sunday  today and the weather is beautiful. We watched the church sermon live online this morning and spent the rest of the day in our garden.

I'll post more tomorrow, have a blessed day!

Friday, April 3, 2020

Egg Cakes

I think the correct name for them would be scones, but that's how they were called in the original recipe which comes from a Dutch magazine, and I  cut it out so long ago (and never tried, shame on me!) that I actually forget which magazine it was and can't give a credit to anyone (I think it was some lady's invention  for her kids' breakfast but I'm not sure). I changed it slightly anyway, so I guess I can just share it with you:)

You will need:

200g flour (the recipe calls for almond of spelt, but since we still have flour shortages I used pancake mix: 20% buckwheat 80% white flour. It turned out fine but the scones were somewhat dry)
3TBSP honey (again, I used 3 tsp, as a result they weren't sweet, but we ate them with butter and jam anyway)
1 1/2tsp baking powder
a bit lemon juice, salt

Warm the oven to 180*C, and line the baking tray with baking paper. Mix all the ingredients, and form round cakes with a table spoon, you should get 8 - 10 cakes. Bake for 10 minutes, serve for breakfast, lunch, or just by a cup of tea. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Should We Blame Women For Everything?

There is a group of people online who habitually appears to engage in doublethink: on the one hand, the females of the species are the weaker vessel never progressing past a teenage stage in their mental development and should at all times defer to male judgement (ever heard of the woman being the most responsible teenager in the house?), while simultaneously all the troubles of modernity come solely from women and it's up to women to change the world for the better.

In other words, women at the same time lack agency completely AND are the only persons with agency who can produce real change.

Sounds schizophrenic, doesn't it? Like much of what passes for deep right wing commentary on the internet, actually, if you think of it.

Historically speaking, women have always been viewed as more passive and thus having less agency than men (but not totally lacking it, otherwise they couldn't be held responsible for any crime), and by the same principle, men were viewed as the guardians of society, not women, as the s8x which is more active, aggressive, and thus having more agency.

And if women have less agency, you can hardly blame them for all of the world's problems. Some time ago I did a series of historical articles about some 19th century personalities who fought and sometimes died for the new liberal world order, and guess what? They were all men. In every war and revolution, men are always the primary agents with women filling supportive roles, and those internet warriors expecting women to fight their battles for them against the said order, are well, delusional.

The funny thing is that many of the ardent antifeminists online espouse some variant of libertarian philosophy and have a deep-seated distrust of all authority, yet seem to think that women should obey them unconditionally. It just doesn't work this way. First, here is some news for you, guys: Anglo-libertarianism has never been a tradition in continental Europe or other parts of the world, it's something which the victors of the last war forced upon most countries. For thousands of years, tradition in the West didn't mean "limited government" and "human rights", but rather "blood and soil" and "throne and altar", liberalism and later libertarianism were the result of the Enlightenment.

Also, "rugged individualism" isn't necessarily "right-wing", and not all collective action is wicked communism, either. In fact, there are many countries in the world with a very weak central government, like Somalia or Afghanistan, and yet keyboard libertarians never want to move there, by some reason.

Well, how does it tie to women's question, you'll ask? Simply this: too many of self-professing online antifeminists apparently dream of something like Little House on the Prairie situation, with the nuclear family totally isolated in the wilderness with the wife and kids totally depending on the good will of the father (who doesn't have to be legally married to the mother of his children so that she will have no recourse at all should he abandon her  because government wedding licenses are evil communist statism).

So the woman is totally subjected to the man, who lives in some sort of libertarian paradise. Well, it may sound appealing, but it's hardly traditional. Every community had distinctions between legal marriage, concubinage and just sleeping around. It was Catholic (and later, national) churches which kept records of legal marriages, which were very important since bastards couldn't inherit. In fact, my husband was able to trace his family genealogy to 1400s and guess what? All his ancestors were legally married with church records proving it.

Married couples lived in communities with extended family often near by, and ready to jump in when a conflict arose, with parishioners and neighbours nosing around and laws protecting the vulnerable. Married women always had rights, not only duties and their role as mothers and housewives was viewed as important and revered in society.

You see, the key point is "society" and "community", something which most libertarians have no use for. Do whatever thou will seems to be a leading principle for many, yet this principle comes out of satanism, not Christianity. Feminism didn't arise on its own, because one day women just decided to rebel against their menfolk, it's a part of a much bigger rebellion against authority and God's order. You can't fight feminism while promoting rebellion on other fronts.

That is not to say that we should always automatically obey authorities, even when they are issuing wicked and unjust decrees. There is place for things like civil disobedience,  protests etc but the general attitude of rebellion isn't an exception nowadays, but rather the rule. And, as I have mentioned earlier, the same people who deeply mistrust any authority (especially church authorities because the pastor told them not to j88k off while watching p0rn  because all pastors are wicked feminists who always believe women) somehow change their tune when talking about female submission and obedience. Another example of wanting to have your cake and eat it too, I guess.

There is another trend online of constantly blaming working mothers for working. Yes, in an ideal situation, the wife and mother shouldn't work, but many women who work nowadays do it not because of general wickedness but because their husbands fully encourage and sometimes demand it, because of the general acceptance of the bugman consumerist lifestyle with its unending demands, and especially because some are in a fragile economic situation. In fact, those who are pro-family shouldn't favour economic libertarianism, but vice versa, a society which offers more protection to those less fortunate.

I know that my country does it, that's why I'm freer with my criticism but it's not the same everywhere. You hardly can blame all working women for the way the neoliberal system functions and constantly droning on how evil all those working mothers are while not trying to reform the system built on usury and debt is hardly helpful. To sum it up, if your life s*cks, it's not always because some woman is trying to get you. Instead of trying to change human female nature, may be try to change the society which values financial concerns above all?

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Is Quarantine Biblical?

I still disagree with this guy's doctrine, but he actually does make a lot of sense:

Here is an article dealing with the issue from a Reformed perspective:

Rebellion Is Rebellion

Rebellion without a cause, currently glamourised in the West, is the result of the Revolutionary Spirit in my opinion (feminism is a part of it, strangely enough many internet personalities spend a lot of time decrying it while having a generally rebellious attitude themselves).

BTW, in my country religious gatherings aren't officially prohibited, because our Constitution guarantees freedom of worship and the government doesn't have the authority to cancel church, but they had a meeting with representatives of different religious confessions, including Moslems and they all decided to voluntarily submit to government recommendations to save lives. So this Sunday we followed a live stream (with video) from our church with 4 people present in the building: our preacher, the organ player, an elder and a deacon.

Catholics and some Evangelicals cancelled church gatherings even before we did, though Catholic churches will stay open for prayer/burning candles. In general, every country will have its own approach to the situation which is fine, because we are all different. Up till this point, I'm generally content with the way our government has handled the situation. They made some mistakes in the beginning, but started taking measures early enough which apparently work fairly well. Tonight our Prime Minister will tell us more. I'm curious!

P.S. I guess I should explain why denialism triggers me so much. Imagine you just lost a beloved relative. Funeral is going on, people come in and say, "condolences", "we wish you strength", "we'll pray for you" etc. Then some person comes in and tells you: "Well, I don't get it why you are so upset! Your relative was older and not that healthy any more and anyway, people are dying every day!" I don't know how you would feel, but my first reaction would be to slap them. Whatever your thoughts are on the issue and how different countries are handling in, please have a bit of respect for our dead.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Friday Update: Your Friendly Neighbourhood Edition

We had a robbery in the next street a couple of days ago. It was the 4th in our town, but three others were supermarkets, not a family with small kids. The neighbours on WhatsApp expressed the opinion that the robbers should be summarily shot and I'm inclined to agree. Overall though it was less crime since people are staying home more. Less traffic jams, less accidents, cleaner air etc. I guess every cloud has a silver lining?

Well more than hundred deaths per day today (yesterday was 78), but still far cry from Italy and Spain. One of my overseas relatives got stuck in Spain, btw, but luckily was evacuated just in time. We still can go outside over here, but with no more than 2 at a time not counting kids. I guess we are lucky, since my husband hears from his Polish colleagues that in Poland you aren't allowed out at all, unless for essential shopping or work, with a fine of 1000 euro (the fine here is 400).

So I went to my garden yesterday and we went for a walk this evening, because I'm getting kinda crazy from sitting inside all the time, especially when you consider the fact that it's sunny and warm. Everybody was nicely keeping his distance and there were in general few people. I guess we are pretty disciplined in our town, unlike some other places:)

Of course, we also have a roof terrace and I spent quite a bit of time there this week. Overall, I sort of got accustomed to the new way of life, and since my social life got reduced to phone calls and messages I discovered I finally had time to clean the house. Since housekeeper doesn't come any more I kinda have to do everything myself and overall it's going better than I thought (though it's a bother, of course:)

In other news, Prince Charles of UK tested positive but as far as I know has no symptoms, but Boris Johnson is sick with virus and has fever and coughing. Cats are quarantined, too, not sure, if I allow them to go outside since now they are saying a cat can catch it from humans, but not transmit, but who knows??? When outside they come in contact with other cats, so...

Well, that's all our news for today.

How are you all doing?

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Heroes Among Us

An Italian priest who gave a respirator to a younger coronavirus patient he did not know has died of the disease.

Father Giuseppe Berardelli, 72, died in hospital in Lovere, Bergamo - one of the worst-hit cities in Italy.

Read the full story over here