Sunday, 11 November 2007

English Thanksgiving?

Pumpkin Pie! Or the remains of it! Today we had a roast chicken dinner (I don't always do a roast dinner on a Sunday at all) and our three daughters who no longer live at home came for lunch. It was great to see them all and to hear all about what they are up to. They don't live far away and we are often in touch during the week but it's been a while since they were all here together for lunch. So I thought today was the perfect day to have pumpkin pie which I have wanted to make for a few weeks now. I have made it before with fresh pumpkin and I remember hubby didn't like it! He didn't like this one either which was made with canned pumpkin (Waitrose!) and had lots of spice in it. I think it is the texture he doesn't particularly like. But the girls loved it and took a piece home with them each. Daughter no. 4 was working all day today in Bond Street so we've saved her plenty!

It is good to be thankful. We have SO much in this country to be grateful for and much we take for granted. I think the American Thanksgiving tradition is a fun one (and the Canadian one too which is in October) and a sobering one as time is taken to be thankful for family, friends, food, nation, gifts, skills and talents, peace and freedom.

On another note, what is it about crafts that just somehow doesn't connect with folk here? I was speaking to some people I know reasonably well today and they were asking me how I was. I said I was having a great time at the moment being able (because I am not in full time employment) to devote time to what I really love to do in the way of crafting, sewing, crocheting, papercrafting etc. You can see the sort of glazed look that comes over as if you are some alien who likes to do this thing that surely nobody does anymore. "Oh, I used to do that but I now just buy something in Primark" was one response I got!!! Yes, it is tempting to buy at such low prices (but at what cost to others is the question and I have absolutely no idea what the answer is to this) but how much more fun to produce something handmade.

Yet there is something else that bothers me. It is as if 'crafting' and I use the term in a general sense, is more inferior to other occupations; a sheer luxury perhaps in this high activity, define-me-by-job culture. I do also think that in the UK we have lost some of that respect there has been the past for crafts and crafting. It is no longer really seen as cool and whereas my mum's generation all learned to knit (socks and other things for the war) and sew and this was seen as a key set of skills, it seems somewhat 'flaky' now and unless you are with likeminded people, you don't actually get your knitting out!! This of course doesn't apply to all those wonderful people all over the UK who are now part of knitting and crochet groups and whose interest has been rekindled by Debbie Stroller and others. I get the impression (as I have been in the US on a few occasions and have a number of North American friends) that things are different in the US and crafting is just more acceptable, expected as part of what you might do and catered for by the wonderful outlet stores like Michaels. Enough from me! I'd be interested in what others think on this topic.

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