Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Charles Darwin And Marriage

Charles Darwin is known for his theory of evolution which many Christians disagree with. While he was a religious liberal of his age (even though in the beginning he believed that the Scriptures were literally true), his marriage was pretty conventional, and exactly according to the prevailing morals of the Victorian age, something which modern progressives who appear to somewhat worship him, often fail to mention.

The girl who he married was his first cousin by the name of Emma Wedgwood (yes, both she and Charles were grandchildren of that Josiah Wedgwood, the one who founded the famous Wedgwood company) and at the time of their marriage she was nearly 31 years old. Now, I often read stories how women's uteruses all fall out at the age of 25 and then they become barren yet Emma Darwin went on to produce 10 (!) children (the last one at the age of 48.5), 7 of whom lived to adulthood.

It probably has something to do with the fact that she married as a virgin and we can presume that Charles did, too, since nothing is known about any affairs he could have had before he met her. Emma lived the life of a typical middle class Victorian housewife, taking care of her frequently ill husband, nursing and caring for her children, helping the parish poor and being ready to assist her husband if the need arises.

(In one of his letters, her husband entrusted her with publishing his works, if he died suddenly. I should add that before her marriage she was quite content to stay home, play the piano and take care of her handicapped mother and sister, though she did have a decent education and had traveled through Europe with her father. She also taught Sunday school to village children. Despite the famous Victorian oppression of all things female, she somehow practiced outdoor sports and became quite proficient at archery).

Darwin wasn't initially convinced whether he should marry at all (he was nearly a year younger than his wife, by the way) since he was afraid that marriage would hinder his career, restrict his freedom, reduce his financial circumstances and make him visit relatives. On the other hand, a married man would have a companion in his old age ("better than a dog anyhow":), children ("if it Please God" - somehow folks back then did understand that children were something you get, not something you take), and "a nice soft wife on a sofa with good fire and books and music."

In other words, even though he was top intellectual and stuff, his ideas about marriage included the traditional Victorian domestic bliss, not equal partnership with two breadwinners and shared housework (one of the reasons to marry for him was to have someone to take care of the house) and he basically acquired it, too; despite all the problems he and his wife had to live through, their marriage lasted 43 years. His wife survived him for 14 more years and died at the age of 88.Unlike many of our contemporary cultural icons, she wasn't remembered for her debauchery, but rather for "her patience and fortitude."

Monday, August 28, 2017

A New Dress

There is something vaguely Victorian about it, don't you think? Since the selfie wasn't particularly successful, I thought I'd ask my husband to take another picture:

Though now the weather is much more like summer than autumn so it'll have to wait a bit more in the wardrobe:)

Friday, August 25, 2017

(Don't) Drink!

OK, I realise some folks will probably find it offensive but I happen to find it rather funny, especially this line:

But I'd rather live my life in rags than chained to a desk with a wife that's a hag...

You've got to admire the spirit:)

DISCLAIMER: I hope all my readers are mature enough to understand that alcohol abuse can lead to serious health problems and even death. Nobody should overindulge, but especially women of child-bearing age. That said, I still find it funny:

P.S. Also note what happens to girls who get drunk - that's why you don't do it:) In the end, they all nicely sit at the dinner table again, so that was probably just a dream anyway...

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

A Sense Of Community

is what so many people miss nowadays. A real, organic community of the sort you read about in mid-20th century mysteries, when people living in villages and small town had time to drink a cup of tea with their neighbours and the family all came together for Christmas and kept in touch in between.

And when you get down to it, it's usually women who created it since men, even of the wealthier kind still had to provide a living or were busy with other pursuits of non-domestic nature. Women kept the home fires burning and the families and communities together and once the majority left home, the whole traditional system came down with a crash.

Domestic pursuits nowadays are considered boring and something for elderly folks and stay-at-home wives and mothers often feel marginalised with nobody to talk to during the day. I guess it's worse in the USA, from the stories I hear about my relatives living there since here we still do our daily shopping in nearby stores and women who bring kids to school have an opportunity to chat with other mothers. We also keep in touch with the neighbours more and it's not uncommon for parents and their grown-up kids to live in the same city their whole life.

Yet the nuclear family is under heavy assault from the forces of darkness modernity and extended family has deteriorated even further. I think it's a common problem in the West. Houses are getting bigger yet fewer people live in them. People only socialise at work and have no time for each other outside of it.

Luckily, on the other hand, we have a new sort of movement where people reject the debt-fueled life style, cut on their working hours and just try to enjoy their life and teach their children that there is more to it than being a serf for a big corporation. There are lots of encouraging videos on YouTube  dealing with it. I think it'll do us all good to always keep in mind that people are more important than stuff. Materialism is soo last century...

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Importance Of Manners

It dawned on me recently. Though nowadays most people live either on their own or with their spouse and/or a couple of minor children, and the houses are big and spacious, not so long ago even wealthier among us often had to share their house with relatives and servants, and the children were often quite numerous and stayed at home much longer than now.

In books like those about Miss Silver you can see that this Victorian habit of living all together survived even into late fifties and it was not uncommon for childless couples and singles to share a small family type hotel where each would have his separate room/s but would share meals and bathrooms.

In a situation like this it's of crucial importance that people don't become too familiar with each other and keep some privacy while on the other hand, they always stay polite and neighbourly, otherwise you can expect all sorts of nasty fights and general unpleasantness. It also helps when folks share some common concepts like the hour at which they eat their meals, for instance, otherwise you have a chaos when each household member eats at his own time and the kitchen is always a mess.

Another thing that helps is tolerance of others. It's strange that though our society supposedly increases in tolerance each day, people actually hardly tolerate each other any more. They prefer to socialise with their computer or TV set, they seldom talk to their neighbours, they drop their friends whenever it suits them and hardly even care about their own blood relatives, when they can't extract any profit out of them.

It has become fashionable to criticise egoistic baby-boomers who spend their time and money going on luxurious vacations now they are retiring yet nobody asks why they should keep the inheritance for their children and nephews/nieces when they hardly get any attention from them, either. There used to be a time when people hanged out with their second and third cousins, now they probably don't even know their names. So may be, we don't need manners, after all?

Thursday, August 17, 2017

I'm Back Again (Sort Of:)

Well, my visitors are gone and life is slowly coming back to normal. I'll try to put up a new post soon!

Monday, August 14, 2017

From The Home Front

I'm still here, sort of, just incredibly busy. Our visitors will stay with us till Wednesday so I'll try to write a normal post after they leave. Still recovering from a nasty flu and driving around with fever certainly doesn't help:)

See you all later!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Do People Overuse Prescription Drugs?

I've been reading about the abuse of legal opioids such as fentanyl which are apparently freely available in some countries and prescribed for even minor pain issues. Here it's more difficult to get a prescription for this sort of thing, unless you are over certain age or have serious health problems, such as cancer.

Yet I've heard of someone who was very old and had persistent back pain, but was otherwise overall healthy. The person got hooked on morphine for pain issues, developed some nasty complications and died quickly afterwards. I know that at this person's age it was hardly a surprise, but there still appears a connection to me.

In general though, doctors seem to dole out certain medications like candy. There are folks out there who use one medication to go to bed, another to wake up, and yet another to deal with anxiety issues. I'm not talking war veterans over here, but young people in their twenties. Of course, I'm not a doctor, but it looks excessive to me.

Antibiotics abuse has got so bad, with resistant strains which keep popping up, that the doctors here hesitate to give it even for pneumonia sometimes. There are many home remedies available yet we've seemed to develop a culture which tells us to look for easy solutions to our problems, as in fixing everything with pills.

I will freely admit that I'm probably biased since I can badly tolerate even simple medications and prefer not to use them if at all possible, so I'd like to hear other opinions. You are all welcome to comment!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

What's The Use Of Crafting?

An embroidery set I bought in Germany.

Women nowadays are often taught that crafting is basically a waste of time (as opposed to the fine arts of facebooking, twittering, and other forms of attention-wh*ring online) and something for old women. A friend was ashamed once that a repairman came and saw her through the window engaged in (gasp) crocheting. Yet, doing things with your hands, like knitting or cross-stitching (or drawing or playing a musical instrument) is good for your nerves. It makes you more relaxed and helps you fight depression and even dementia.

Don't believe me? Here is what science says:
Crafting: A Cure For Depression

I can testify to the fact that I recently cured a splitting headache by just engaging in cross-stitching:)

Here is a British lady who gives you 9 reasons to start crafting:
9 reasons crafting is good for you

As for me, I'm off to tend to my guests, so see you later!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

A Short Note

I'm sick. Like in having flu. Plus, I'm getting some visitors who'll stay with us for a couple of weeks so posting will be scarce.

Here are a couple of videos to entertain you:

How to make pine needle tea

Why you don't need a huge mortgage (the one thing which keeps so many wives in the workforce):

Living in an 8m2 apartment in Japan

Canadian homeschoolers living off the grid

Well, maybe it's too extreme, but you get my point:)