More treasures of autumn



When walking off the roast dinner on Sunday we stumbled upon a crab apple tree in the woods, I immediately began to fill my pockets wit
h these waxy jewels. It was unexpected, we were looking for conkers, and in today's grey light these little bursts of colour give me huge pleasure.

Their simmering scent filled the kitchen while I made myself comfortable at the kitchen table yesterday morning and welcomed Jane into my kitchen (by way of radio). It was wonderful to listen to Jane talk about and defend her book on Woman's Hour, it felt as though she was defending me and my own life views and choices. I sat at the table and enjoyed the thought that other women like me were sitting in kitchens around the country (actually, the world I guess, given Jane's wide audience), perhaps drinking tea, perhaps some knitting or sewing to hand, and listening. All of us united for a moment. I often have to defend my decisions, my lifestyle, so listening to Jane yesterday and thinking about who else might be listening was a wonderful, comforting thought.

Comments

Anonymous said…
it is amazing isnt it - all these good women doing there truly liberated best and it has to be other women who do the criticism!! lovely though to know how many mothers daughters sisters and friends were listening together - great stuff
all the best - anne
kim said…
I love coming to your site because it evokes such feelings of warmth and cozy kitchens and rolling countrysides. That last apple photo makes me want to break out the rolling pin and have at it.

I'm not familiar with Jane's work, but you can be sure I'll be taking a peek at her site now too. Thanks!
Astoria said…
What were you making with the crab apples? I don't know what to do with them. There's a tree nearby and they aren't eating apples, but they must be good for something. Jelly?

I'll follow your link. I'm tired of defending anything in my life, and simply refuse to admit critics into my mental space anymore. I trust the balance that my life finds -- enough cleaning to feel comfortable in my space, but less than others do for sure (okay, way less), crafting, mothering, writing my dissertation, lazing about. I trust myself to find my own balance and just refuse to listen to "oughts" and "shoulds" from anyone. What a good life is or the meaning we should find in it is highly contested, we all live in our own "worlds" and should offer each other only compassion.
Charity said…
There's a lot of talk out and about right now of stay at home mums, after Jane's interview. I feel so fortunate to be able to make the choice - not to have one way or the other forced upon me. :0)
Flavaknits said…
My dad collects crab apples from the nearby woods. His house is built in what used to be Lord Inverclydes estate (House and gardens all gone, mostly built on, with the exception of the woods) . Im so disappointed I missed Janes broadcast - don't listen to radio in the house due to the bad reception we get - I'll look over at her blog. Thanks for the comment - am getting very tempted by ebay!
Willow said…
I didn't realized that what Jane has stated is so revolutionary. It's just life, just choice.
I'm hope you're all feeling better by now. I'm on the mend. Echinacea is my friend.
Lovely crab apples, are you making jelly? I ordered Janes book today so I can't wait to sit with it , a cup of tea and my sock knitting!
Vivienne said…
I'm envying you finds. Crab apple jelly is one of my favourite things, and I can't find crab apples - this far eastern corner of Norfolk is somewhat lacking in trees in general, although if I looked hard enough I could possibly find samphire at the right time of year.

I'm not sure the debate is wholly about stay-at-home women making things versus the wage-earners who are assumed to do nothing more than light microwaving. Those of us who do have a paid job still get criticised for what we choose to spend our free time on. If knitting really were threatening to subjugate women again I'd be the first to burn my needles, but as it blatantly isn't, why can't the critics learn to value activities even if they have traditionally been associated with women!
Ali said…
Aaaargh - why didn't I know about this? Thank goodness for podcasts.
Oh, yum. How I love your phrase "waxy jewels" for your lovely crab apples.

And thank you so much for your wonderful comments on my mile upon mile of ribbing--someday, I'll have something finished and pretty to show you. :)
Cherry Rolfe said…
Gorgeous pics! The nicest edible I made with crab apples was a mint jelly that was delicious with grilled Haloumi!
I have yet to listen to Jane via the interwebnet, but I am glad she has the strength of character to ride the storm that is this strange offshoot of true feminism, which attempts to deride those of us who choose to work hard at home.
Bethany Hissong said…
I don't know this broadcast but was having a similiar email conversation with Anna Maria this morning... As moms, do we put aside our art while being home to do the mothering thing or continue to create...easy answer to that! We both agree that being at home with the children is part of the sacrifice you make as a mom. We both believe that we have a calling to be more selfless in doing things for others. It's all about how much you can balance and what kind of job you can do. I strive to be excellent...and I can't balance a life of too many things at once and achieve that.
Nora said…
I listened to that podcast also. [I wonder if we were listening together, from opposite sides of the globe?] All I can say is: who would've thought that a little book about crafting would evoke such strong opinions?!
Karen said…
So many interesting and excellent comments above, so I'll just say "beautiful apples"!
heather said…
Such beautiful autumn colours :0) It does so annoy me when women are asked to defend their life choices.

I bet if it was a domesticated house husband being interviewed there would be interest and wonder at his choice but not the same implied criticism.

I work in an all female team but am the only who works part-time - as only one other member of the team even has children and hers are adults.I frequently feel there is an undercurrent of criticism that I am somehow less committed than they. And frankly, yes I am :0) I am committed to my children and family - my work, I do well and don't let the team down but it's most certainly not my life ! Some women are so hard on other women.

Heather x
Elizabeth said…
Enjoy your day and let other, obviously dissatisfied woman get their knickers in a knot.
I want to see what became of the crab apples! I could stare at them forever in the bowl. So gorgeous.
i listened to the podcast also....
just loved how jane sounded....and i wanted to just shout at that woman and defend jane (and myself)! :)
Arianwen said…
Those of us who stay home - we are liberated because we chose this life! When my children are older I will want to go to work but in the meantime I love being at home with them. I don't know Jane's stuff but I will definately be giving it a look. Enjoy your crab apples your photo's as always are beautiful.
Jane said…
What are conkers Rebecca? I had never heard of Jane, but then I would imagine we wouldn't be able to listen in here in Canada.

What did you make with your crabapples?
Kathleen said…
Yum yum, what a treat to find. And on the other subject, this review has backfired - I am now MORE likely to buy this book. x K

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