Category Archives: Uncategorized

Masterpiece, from Master Piece, Objet de Maîtrise,

Beautiful art, stitch by careful stitch. I am in awe.

And because WordPress didn’t include any of the beautiful pictures in the reblog – grrr – here’s the first one that made my jaw drop:

My Mazamet

Excerpt from Walter Cahn, Masterpieces: Chapters on the History of an Idea, Princeton, 1979

“The exercise of a profession during the Middle Ages necessitated admission to a guild or corporation, made manifest by the candidate’s recognition as a master. This step marked the end of a period of apprenticeship, often followed by a further stage of training as a journeyman. The ultimate moment in this process of qualification was obviously of the greatest importance to the young artisan and to the corporation alike. The former depended on its successful outcome for the possibility of earning his livelihood. For the latter, a number of contradictory pressures were involved. It was desirable for the collective prosperity and welfare that a sufficient number of new master be admitted. The new arrivals assured the continuity of an enterprise and the material security of the household following the death of the former head. In good…

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Congratulations, America!

I’d like to wish all Americans the very best for the future under the leadership of the 46th President of the United States.

You have a lot to be proud of. You’ve broken voting records despite Covid-19. You’ve elected a Woman as your Vice President, and that woman is Asian-African-American. Most importantly, however, you’ve shown that democracy is not dead. The rest of the democratic world salutes you.

The road ahead won’t be easy, but I hope that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris really will care for all Americans, not just those who voted for them. Americans of both persuasions have to learn to like each other again. Or at the very least, to show compassion and justice towards each other. Without compassion and justice, there is no glue to hold society together.

Kind regards from Australia,
Meeks


The US election

I’d just like to wish all the thoughtful, caring citizens of the United States of America a thoughtful and caring President. Humans are never perfect, but those given the greatest power should at least aspire to wield that power for the betterment of their people. All of their people, not just some.

Good luck, America. -hugs-

Meeks


Best Day Ever

Social media seems to be full of people asking why we should all be locked down during this pandemic. The answer is Sam, Sam and his wonderful, inspiring family who demonstrate each day what courage and love truly mean. Meeks

My OBT

Photo: Allyson Buck

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Power at last!

SP Ausnet had a planned power outage today from about 8:30am to 3:30pm, and it was not pleasant. The weather was grey and drizzly but thankfully not super cold otherwise I have no idea how we would have coped. It seems that electricity is needed for absolutely everything.

Did you know that without electricity the solar hotwater doesn’t work? Yup, because a small pump sends the water up to the solar thingie on the roof. No pump, no circulation, no hot water.

And heating is no better. We have gas heating but…a fan is required to blow the hot air around, and also to stop the heater from overheating. So again, no power, no heat.

But wait, there’s more! I knew the electric oven wouldn’t work, but I forgot that the gas cooktop has piezo electric ignition. Thank heavens I had matches! Actually, that’s one of the good things about living in Warrandyte; we have unplanned outages a lot so candles and matches are staples.

And finally, there are the solar panels on my roof. Great investment for my old age except…when the power goes out, they’re automatically switched off because we ‘feed in’ to the grid. I swear, if I ever win tattslotto, I am buying a battery and hooking the solar panels up to that so we have power even when we don’t have power.

But today wasn’t all doom and gloom. The Offspring and I got stuck into garden stuff. Still a work in progress, but we both feel super righteous. 🙂

Hope your day was productive but pleasant!
Meeks


Pentatonix ~ Mad World — The BUTHIDARS

Originally posted on By Hook Or By Book: https://youtu.be/Md8kADJwMQ0 ?

Pentatonix ~ Mad World — The BUTHIDARS

This is not my favourite song of all times but…hearing these amazing voices sing it may just change my mind. A capella at its best.

Meeks


Ruth Bader Ginsburg – Vale

I just heard on the news that Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, has died. She was the ethical pillar of the US Supreme Court, and despite not being an American, I thank her for her courage and tenacity.

In due course, President Donald J. Trump will appoint a Supreme Court Justice to take Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s place.

American will never be the same again.

Meeks
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If I could change the world… the Creche system

I was procrastinating today and stumbled upon a snippet of pie-in-the-sky I’d written back in 1998. In it, I was trying to work out how parenting could be ‘improved’ in the future:

The Creche System [child care of the future]

The creche system would provide living arrangements for guardian parents and their children in same sex communal living complexes where the guardians share both the nurturing, the domestic chores and often the professional jobs which they have in common. This would leave all guardians with at least some free time – via rostered “days off”  –  to maintain identities which are distinct from their roles as nurturers.

The creche system is based on three fundamental assumptions:

  1. that [usually] only one biological parent is suited to the type of nurturing required to raise happy, healthy and well adjusted children,
  2. that the guardian parent, in order to remain effective, requires a support network of similar guardians who are best suited to share the load and provide both physical and emotional support to each other,
  3. that the guardian parent, in order to stay sane and feel fulfilled requires adult relationships outside of the nurturing environment where they can experience those aspects of life which are not child related – e.g. sex, work, hobbies, studies etc.

The majority of creches would cater  for guardian mothers and children.

Some creches would be ‘father’ based for those men who have chosen to be the guardians for their children – whether from necessity i.e. the mother is dead, incapacitated or disinterested or because they have rejected the male stereotype and, like most mothers, are good at, and enjoy, the nurturing of children.

A guardian would be able to contribute to a Creche in a number of ways:

  • by trading goods and services/special skills etc.
  • by sharing the domestic chores of communal living 
  • by paying outsiders to do their share of chores etc.

The Creche would be a combination nursery/parents club/sanctuary.

Some Creches would be family based i.e. like old extended families but either all female or all male.

Some Creches would be ‘public’ i.e. any parent can gain a place either temporarily or permanently.

Some creches would be ‘skill’ based where a number of parents engaged in the same expert profession would band together and share both the nursery and the job. Skill based creches would usually be small, highly organized and employ outside help for the bulk of the domestic chores.

In fact the number and type of creches would be almost unlimited.

The only common rule amongst all creches would be that sex must occur outside the creche. This is to avoid a guardian feeling pressurized into having sex when she/he doesn’t feel like it.

The philosophy behind this rule is that sex is not just a physical release but also a complete physical and emotional experience. Sexual partners should always feel that the sex is special – something that both partners look forward to, work for and enjoy. i.e. sex should remain as interesting and exciting after children as it was before.

Most importantly, sex should never become a routine on a par with shaving or brushing your teeth. The only way to accomplish this would be to separate sex from everyday life, making it an ‘event’ rather than a habit.

In same sex creches, all parties would gain certain benefits.

Children

As nuclear families usually contain only one or at the most two children, a creche would provide the children with many other children – of varying ages, personalities etc – to socialize with. The children would also gain a sense of security from close contact with the guardian [mother/father] as well as a whole host of ‘aunts/uncles’.

guardians       

The guardian – i.e. the parent doing the nurturing – would be able to enjoy the bond with their children without the sense of physical, mental and emotional isolation that often occurs in the nuclear family.

They would have an instant support network :

  • to share the load of nurturing and domesticity,
  • to provide much needed time out and personal space.

For those in skill based creches, the creche would also provide the opportunity to continue their chosen profession AND enjoy watching their children grow.

And finally, a word about biologicals. Biologicals are mothers and fathers who do not perform the role of nurturer for their children. For them, the Creche system would allow them to pursue their own goals and aspirations without being made to feel guilty or selfish.

Biologicals would be able to interact with their children and/or partners for  short periods of time without having to cope – usually inadequately – with the demands of everyday family and domestic life.

The degree of interaction between biological parents and their families would not be determined by social expectations but rather by mutual liking and affection.

Apart from tidying up the format, and the text to make it ‘flow’, I’ve left these ideas uncensored because…I still think some of them have value.

Would the Creche system work?

In hindsight, I can see how getting along with many other adults might also be harder than getting along with just one other adult, especially if you’re not particularly sociable. And yet…I remember being awfully lonely for much of the time while the Offspring was growing up.

Were you lonely as a parent? Did you miss your friends, job, social interactions outside of parenting? If you had your ‘druthers’, would you change how families work, and if so, how?

There ya go, something to think about during the weekend. 😀

Meeks


Saturday Snippets from Carol Cooks

The reblog button didn’t work so I’m doing a manual one because I found this post so interesting. First up, sharks…NOT my favourite beast and yet…

Sharks…Feared by many but an essential part of our survival…the shark plays an important role within the eco-system…Classed as one of the top predators they are an essential part of the natural order of marine ecosystems.
Not all species of sharks attack humans and when they do sometimes it is a set of circumstances like a magpie is said to be attracted to bright shiny objects bright colours or blood from an open wound attracts some sharks …

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/08/15/saturday-snippets-11/comment-page-1/#comment-25381

As I wrote in the intro, sharks are not my favourite beasts. I live in Australia and we lose people to sharks all the time. But watching the following video on Carol’s post is making me rethink my attitude:

Please read the rest of Carol’s post because it includes an amazing video about a roof top farm. Not only productive and chemical free but…beautiful!

You can find Carol’s post here: https://carolcooks2.com/2020/08/15/saturday-snippets-11/comment-page-1/#comment-25381

Have a great weekend,
Meeks


Success and Plan B

I’ve admired Arnold Schwarzenegger for decades, literally. Not because he was the world’s best actor -rolls eyes- definitely not because of that. No, I admired him for making the American Dream work for him. For being smart enough to succeed at every impossible task he set for himself.

But…it was not until I saw this video that I realised how utterly driven he was and is:

I understand driven. My father was driven. My ex is still driven. Me? I guess I’ve always been driven too, but not to succeed in the accepted sense. All my life I’ve wanted to be the best person I am capable of being.

I won’t bore you with a whole lot of personal history, or philosophy for that matter, I’ll simply tell you about a Greek concept called ‘Eudaimonia’:

According to Aristotle, every living or human-made thing, including its parts, has a unique or characteristic function or activity that distinguishes it from all other things. The highest good of a thing consists of the good performance of its characteristic function, and the virtue or excellence of a thing consists of whatever traits or qualities enable it to perform that function well.

https://www.britannica.com/topic/eudaimonia

Having been brought up as a Catholic, my definition of Eudaimonia has to include ethics, so part of what I strive for is a kind of moral goodness. I don’t lie, I don’t cheat, I’ve never stolen anything in my life, and I try very hard never to hurt anyone, either physically or emotionally. But not doing something is not enough. I also try very hard to ‘right wrongs’ when I can. That’s why Twitter has become the forum where I try to counter false information. And because I have enough to live a modest, contented life, I try to give to the less fortunate, when I can. To be kind. To put others first, because that is my definition of love.

Another part of my Eudaimonia is to develop all the talents I was born with. That’s where my writing comes in. I love being told that someone enjoyed my writing, and I would love to be a best selling author. But…popular and financial success has to be according to my rules. No compromise. For me, writing has always and will always be ‘Plan B’.

I guess a lot of you are thinking that I’m trying to be some kind of latter day Mother Theresa. Believe me, I’m not. My reasons for all of the above are quite selfish, you see one of the things I discovered while doing a philosophy degree was that Eudaimonia can be measured…by the death bed test.

Morbid? Not really. The death bed test goes something like this: a man [or woman!] is dying. As they lie there, waiting to throw off this mortal coil, they think back over their lives, over everything they have ever done. Being Eudaimon is to find that you have no regrets.

That is my Plan A – to have no regrets. Much as I still admire Arnold Schwarzeneger, I wonder if he will have any. He’s accomplished most of what he set out to do, but what price did he have to pay for that success? And how clean are his hands?

I don’t believe Schwarzeneger would take what was not his, but I don’t think he gave much of himself either. Will he be remembered by those he leaves behind as a loving man, or as a self-centred, selfish one?

Someone once said that I was a ‘difficult woman’. That’s true. But I try very hard to be a good one.

I’d love to read your comments, but not about me. I’m simply the counter argument to Schwarzeneger’s view of life, and the meaning of success. Let’s talk instead about life, death and the meaning of the universe.

Hugs,
Meeks


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