Thursday, 22 May 2014

Thursday and Miss Alcott

Here we are at Thursday, plenty of week behind us and lots of weekend a little way ahead.  Work's been eventful with a bit of accidental team bonding, a suspected heart attack (all was ok in the end), a project looking fit to collapse but pulling through and the usual smattering of things breaking unexpectedly and general headless chickenry.

I've done hardly any writing or making this week, I've mostly been reading; an input week rather than an output week.  After a weekend when I pushed my own nerves to the limit it's been a welcome come down, and talking to a couple of friends who are absolute bricks has helped a great deal.  I've been reading letters and journals of Louisa May Alcott and some of her shorter stories.  I've loved 'Little Women' for years so it's interesting reading some of her other work.  Her 'pot boilers' are dramatic and over the top but with cunning twists.  I prefer the stories she wrote about everyday people and everyday things and believe that's where her humour and wisdom came out most strongly.  Such a shame that she lived in an age when as a single, childless woman she had to continually justifying herself.  Has much changed though?  We still live in a culture focussed on pairing off and having children and I think the stigma of being an 'old maid' is, unfortunately, alive and prospering, as is disbelief at a woman choosing not to have children.  It would be good to see things move on from these Victorian values!  If you like 'Little Women' I highly recommend 'Work' and 'Hospital Sketches' as both are based on her own experiences and are full of the flavour of real life, with a lively sense of fun as well as touching sadness.  They're both available to read for free online here or to download to Kindle for free on Amazon ('Work' is here and 'Hospital Sketches' is here).

Reading, eating strawberries, watching the rain and letting my imagination wander...ah, wonderful, wonderful laziness, and a happy Thursday evening.

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