Punting, Oxford UK


See? We did everything! Even punting on the Thames (really the Isis river w/in Oxford) I have a nice picture of Walter I can post tomorrow, the computer is acting up a bit today. This weekend will be very festive and restful- I have all my xmas cards to write and present hunting to do. This year my family holidays are nicely spaced so I will enjoy a long season and can spread out the preparation.

Yesterday at work we had a panel that discussed grit and thriving in a culture of discomfort as necessary for growth. Surviving difficult circumstances is one way to develop skills that I have experienced. The hardest path is the one Americans often favor, I think it fits with our self image (ie the Appalachian Trail.) I’m very proud of the mental toughness I acquired learning to manage at lightning pace in NYC. But what about a middle way?

My patient, self scheduled, decades long engagement with skills like knitting, cooking, writing, and taking photos is another approach to work I learned from my parents. My father is currently sewing a sail by hand for the boat he built by hand- work over the course of ten years that is both a model of industry and intrinsically valuable for the joy he experiences in the time spent on the activity and the related research and mistakes.

Everything is bound up in culture and culture can be almost invisible when you are within it. Workplace culture versus craft/freeman culture. City culture versus country culture.


Author: Emily

Writer/ Librarian

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