View Full Version : The old way
I have been thinking how much I enjoy doing things without the help of modern machinery....this morning I crushed linseed for my breakfast in my little wooden mortar and remembered the large pestle-and-mortar arrangements in Nigeria (and all over Africa, I believe).
Before that I sawed logs from a branch of the bay tree in front.
Even clearing the path wasn't unpleasant....no flame throwers or growling motors.
It makes me feel part of a long tradition. Why do all the electrical gadgets sell so well?
Remember the soft rustle of a street sweeper methodically harvesting autumn leaves or the snip snip snip of a gardener cutting a hedge, both of these now replaced by very noisome and noisy machines.
We are being deafened by the modern world.
Remember corn husk brooms ? I do and I had to search and search to buy one recently. It is soothing in comparison to those blasted leaf blowers. It is aerobic for our agricultural bodies of a mere 60 years ago and then slammed into all this modern. Anyways the broom has now been relegated not to sweeping but to rowdy games of quidditch chez moi.
aka Calum Da Jazbo
..er ahem, how is your arthritis? ... there is a benefit to the gadgetry although i still feel a thrill whipping a spoon very fast in a bowl of whatever goo needs blending my elbow then can twinge a bit ..... people don't cook very much any more ... i look in horror at the trolleys full of prepared meals leaving the local supermarket ... [read the label etc versus don't put salt in the pan]
and i must say that after living in rural bliss, with two solid fuel, wood and coke, heating appliances, moving to urban serenity [town gas] a yard but no garden [mowing, weeding, raking etc] has been bliss for decades now ... [the sheer physical work required by wood to get it, store it, chop, burn and clean up after is horrendous]
... and since i do my own laundry i will stay with the washing machine thanks, i can still remember my mother hand washing our clothes ...
the snip snip snip of a gardener cutting a hedge
if I just went snip snip snip it would take me blinkin' weeks to do my hedges!:sadface:
Sorry to spoil your pleasure but the answer to your question is very simple. Electric gadgets reduce the time you have to spend on doing things other than those that you happen to enjoy doing. In short, they allow you to be selective.
I love digging my own carrots for supper and collecting firewood for my boiler but it would be a very different matter if I had no choice but to live this way. Especially if I had children to feed and to keep warm.
Now we have the snip, snip, snip of local and national government progressively cutting back on public services. We've just learned that our local firefighting service is to be downgraded, so perhaps we shall soon be able to welcome back the sound of water slopping out of buckets as they're passed from hand to hand.
I'm reminded of my Dublin childhood and our gardener, Mr.Bow. He was nearly eighty, with a big, bulbous nose and large round glasses, who, on his break would puff away at a large pipe.
Mr.Bow was a veteran of the Boer War having served with the Royal Dublin Fusileers. Now there's history!
Of course Doversoul is right and I am lucky to be able to choose.
But people do get into habits and use machines without thinking about it...
Having snapped at you, I know exactly what you mean. When I go out on a sunny, cold winter day to collect kindling wood for the fire, which I don’t really need that urgently, I often think how long it took those early Man (and Woman) before they learned what would burn and why, and how to build and keep the fire. I am doing exactly the same thing as those who lived millions of year ago (not sure about the figure). It gives me, well, a kind of primordial sense of being human. I feel sorry for those who have no chance of or interest in living a life that has some old ways of doing things in it. When I am no longer able to enjoy these primitive pleasures, then I’ll think about it.
Well the modern CD player is a great improvement on the wind up gramophone, don't you think? :smiley:
For those of us with no mains gas as in many rural parts of the UK, the old way, viz wood fuel, remains a front runner unless one is willing to rely on the electric supply or burn oil. Open wood fires have their attractions but having had an oil delivery this morning (60.2 p per litre) and bought another load of logs (£85) last Saturday - I expect I'll need another before Christmas - I am getting increasingly interested in some of the newer, cheaper ways of heating a house. Wood pellet boilers though expensive look attractive and are apparently highly efficient and I wondered if anyone has any experience with them.
Chopping and sawing wood is a healthy and cheap way to keep warm these days. I collected some wood from a skip down the road this morning (small shelf will just go between my kitchen window and the door). Saves on landfill too. One reason to look forward to winter is the heating arrangements (open fires, w/burning stove), saucepan of coffee on the trivet (it has four legs - is it still a trivet?). I have been experimenting making bricks out of the fly ash from the solid fuel - not very successfully as yet as it takes about a fortnight to make one unusable brick.
My husband takes great pride in chopping wood from our own trees, an oak and an apple tree, to provide fuel for the three fireplaces we use in our house. Sometimes we burn coal in the living room fireplace which has been modified for coal burning. Handsome Husband grew up in the north of England where a coal fire heated only the front room and the hot water boiler. When I first went to visit his family in the 70s, the coal fire had been replaced by gas but there still was no central heating. The bedrooms were frigid and hot water bottles were quite necessary. Needless to say, as a soft Yank I was quite daunted by this at first but became accustomed to the bone-chilling cold over time. Wooly jumpers helped!:biggrin:
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