Links to Inspire

A couple of things across the world wide web that have inspired me this week.

A question of identity

Coming from quite a checkered background myself, I’m fascinated and torn by questions of identity in equal measures. I’m often asked where I’m from but don’t have a simple answer. Where am I from? Well…I was born in Germany to a German dad and a mum who was born in Germany to a Polish father and a German-born mother whose parents were Polish. I spent most of my formative years in the Midlands. I went to secondary school in Germany and then I moved to Wales. I have positive and negative experiences of many places, but out of all the places I’ve been, I feel most at home in Scotland. So, where am I from? I don’t really know myself! Nowadays I sidestep the question and say “I grew up in the Midlands”, as that seems to be what most people can relate to, and when probed further I acknowledge that I’m half German and half Polish. This TedX talk by Taiye Selasi has been really helpful to me in understanding what lies behind this loaded question and how I can answer it for myself. What would you say if asked where you were local?

Chopping wood is good for your soul

Stacked wooden logs
There’s a lot of wood to chop there…

It seems that Lars Mytting and his book Norwegian Wood: Chopping, stacking and drying wood the Scandinavian way have been in all the online and print magazines I’ve read recently, including this article fron The Pool. From all the articles on the subject, I’ve garnered that there is an inherent peacefulness and deep-rooted sense of contentment as you chop the wood, pile it up for seasoning and take it inside in a basket. It’s about providing for your loved ones and knowing that whatever may come, you will at least be warm and have fuel to cook food. Aren’t those the simplest human needs?

A load of ballcocks

Female plumbers
Stopcocks plumbers – Image from Standard Issue Magazine

Have you ever noticed that there aren’t many female builders, plasterers, electricians, plumbers or even decorators (I don’t count anyone calling themselves an interior decorator)? Reading this article made me quite angry. It’s disturbing that this is such a male-dominated industry, especially because it’s made so difficult for women who are interested in pursuing a trade to gain the knowledge and experience they need, mostly due to men barring the way to education. I find Mica May and her Stopcocks so very inspiring because they’re paving the way for equality. Maybe next time you need a plumber you could give Stopcocks a go?

The best bookshops this side of the Seine

Book stalls along the Seine
Book stalls along the Seine – Image from Vintage Books

There no one I’ve ever met who hasn’t loved Paris (if they’ve been). It’s such an inspiring city to me because it seems that art is everywhere and pervading everything, down to the dirty alleys and street sweepers. Paris’ literary history has a lot to do with that. There’s not a time when, strolling down the boulevards, I don’t think of Henry Miller, Oscar Wilde or Ernest Hemingway and other literary expats who made Paris their home for a time. It isn’t surprising that there are so many bookshops selling English language books. This article selects a few of the best. You should definitely visit next time you go.

 Friday cuddles

I came across this video after I described where the name of my blog came from otherwise I would have added it to that post. Who wouldn’t love cuddles from a spider monkey?!

 

What’s inspired you this week? Share your links below!

 

 

 

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