This blog will comprise a collection of ephemera, mess and miscellaneous artifacts reflecting on the writer's life.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

it is difficult not to get obsessed by

our new kittten who is now a boy.
Luckily lots of other bloggers are too.
here is one.
Flickr has millions of kitten pictures as here.
Molly of course is his favourite.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

The myths we live by

was one of the key themes I took from the wonderful Domesticity conference, held at Sheffield.
I have decided to go back to Raf Samuel and Paul Thompson's book, where we learn that,

We need as historicans to consider myth and memory not only as special clues to the past, but equally as windows on the making and remaking of individual and collective consciousness, in which both fact and fantasy, past and present, each has a part.

(Samuel and Thompson 1990: 210. )

I also learned abour ritual in house building and how inscription could be woven into the very fabric of the house. I liked thinking about how values and practices could be inscribed into the fabric of the house. Ritual mediated this experience.

I also learned about ritual by reviewing this book, which argues that we need to re-think the category of ritual as a sensitising concept for thinking about classroom discourse that falls into a regular pattern, such as the question and answers involved in learning German.

I was able to see how our data on 'knocking through' fell into the category of inscription. People re-made their own houses, and, in doing so, inscribed their identity into the fabric of the space.

I was also interested to note that tidiness is associated with Facism and also with South African Germans and their racist ideologies.

Very cheering as my house has been utterly turned upside down by the new kitten.

Dr Joolz' paper called 'Chilli - stylists' own' about Flickr and domesticity was particularly inspiring. I learned about fridge doors as a site for meaning.

I also did lots of thinking about my new research project, of which more in the future.

Thank you to Karen Harvey and Susan Reid who did all the work.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

today we went to collect

our new kitten, Sasha. This is her.
Martin wanted to call her taxi because then he could call 'taxi'! to the neighbours.
We felt after 2 weeks of silence and the sad demise of the hamster that our house was too silent.
We needed somebody else to cheer us up.
She is currently asleep by the fire.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Home is where the heart is

is our working title for our paper for this conference.
We hope you can all come.

Andy and I have realised that homes instantiate complex emotions.

This is how he puts it more eloquently than me:

The home and the house are at the centre of family life. Running from the family are these connecting identities between the family’s identity leading to these objects and artefacts which are imbued with special meanings of the family. They tell stories of intergenerational significance, which, if they can be deciphered, paint a picture of whole family and individual identities.

•These household items are visual triggers for oft-recounted tales which, through embellishment, over time, have taken on mythical status, with shared family legends, which, when unpicked, reveal a great deal about that particular family’s values and its individual members and the broader culture of which they are part.

•Narratives bound up in ornaments, d├ęcor, artwork, clothing, jewellery, reveal the traditions, values, mantras, passions, challenges, faith, that forms the basis of that family’s past present and future existence.

(Andy Pollard)

This is so good that I don't need to add anything.

I have however been reading Bachelard The Poetics of Space.

In there I read:

A house constitutes a body of images that give mankind proofs or illusions
of stability. We are constantly re-imagining its reality: to distinguish all
these images would be to describe the soul of the house; it would mean
developing a veritable psychology of the house. (Bachelard 1958:17)

I like that idea, that houses have souls.

At the moment, our house is in mourning for our cat, Lizzie, whose shadow is everywhere.

Even the fish is off its food. The hamster is quiet.

As Molly rather heartlessly said, 'One down, two to go!'

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Our cat

died today. She was 17 years old, same age as my daughter is going to be on Sunday.

Obviously I am very upset.

This is a picture of her.

She was, however, old and much loved.

Happy New Year!