For the past three days I've been stuck, numb-bummed, on the sofa watching Cbeebies with a poorly five year old. Wrapped in blankets, snuggling up, commenting on Mr Maker and Big Cook, Little Cook. I've enjoyed myself, not just because now she's growing up my baby rarely wants to snuggle with mummy and watch the telly, but because it has given me a bit of an excuse to de-busy and catch up with some reading. My husband laughs at my proclivity towards popular philosophy, asking if I've got the Beano stuffed between the pages of Consolations of Philosophy or (his personal favourite) "won't that hurt your brain, Pooh Bear?" However, I'm of a philosophical nature, which doesn't make me one of the world's great thinkers, but does mean I am inclined to be interested in the human condition, and indeed does mean that I'm inclined to stare into space deep in thought over the minutiae of every day life. Needless to say, my mother calls me "dolly daydream."
For years now I've been trying to get to grips with a personal philosophy of the home: the home's function, both on an individual level, a familial level and a societal level: and it seems to me that a philosophy of the home would be a many stranded affair, encompassing ideas on psychology, child psychology, sociology, politics, practicality and faith. And, for me, this philosophy would be a matter of deep, personal conviction. It also seems to me to be a large, long-term task, one in which I must live and learn. I feel very unsure about making sweeping, public proclamations about what constitutes a good home, as one thing I do know is that home is as finely nuanced and individual as the people who contribute to it, but I do think I have some reasonably well-formed ideas, and I'd like to share them with you, as I hope a discussion with my readers will help me clarify my thoughts and could help any younger people out in the ether who need to get to grips with the intricacies of the occupation which will take up most of their time: homemaking.
I feel slightly like George Eliot's Edward Casaubon when I talk like this, the poor man from Middlemarch whose life's work, A Key to all Mythologies, was an impossible attempt at Christian syncretism, a failed epic and a disappointment. However, my task is less grandiose and complex, and I hope not to be doing it alone. So over the next few weeks I shall be posting on home philosophies and I do hope that you will join in. Until then, anon, gentle reader!