Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Excuse the poorly formulated rantiness

hole in my wall
obligatory photo

I've been curling up under the covers with a big pile of books for the last few days and it's made me think about the books that I would like to see published, that don't seem to be out there yet. Whilst I love to drool over beautiful interiors, yummy cakes and well crafted projects i'm starting to want to see something that I can relate to more closely. I know the purpose of some of these books is nothing more than to fill your head with pretties and leave you feeling a bit like you've eaten too many sweets, but I want to see books written by people who are living artful lives whilst on benefit, or while being single parents, or while working a 9-5 job.

I'm a little fed up of seeing inside people's lovely homes, when I know full well that I would never be able to afford to live like that, I want to see inside the houses of people who rent their homes, or who are just clinging on to making their mortgage repayments, or who have compromised size for the chance to live in London, or who live in a caravan.

I'm a bit jaded from seeing the insides of houses that are populated by conveniently well-paid husbands and photogenic well behaved children. Where are the books by disabled bloggers, by people who swear blind they will never have kids, where are the books by black bloggers, by people who are crafting their lives, not just as a hobby, but because they really can't afford to do otherwise.

I know that in this day and age a lot of crafts are a luxury hobbies for people, which is possibly why i've never got into the knitting craziness that some people do- for me I can't imagine spending the kind of money some people do on yarn, so when I do knit it's with bargain basement yarn from a charity shop. However I do believe that there are a lot of people out there who are recycling out of necessity as well as the belief that they are doing good, there are people making gifts for friends and family because it actually can be cheaper. Case in point, my favourite gift this xmas was a basket filled with a fresh loaf of bread, some cheese and olives, along with a mug and some xmas tea bags. Nothing in the basket cost a huge amount, and in fact it was the bread, made by my Dad, that was the best part of the gift. I was given this gift, not just because we are a family of domestic gods and goddesses, but because it was cheap, because giving people gifts that you make yourself goes someway towards staying out of debt.

So bring on the glossy books that are adaptations of blogs by people that are in debt, that are working three jobs, that are living with mental illness, that are trying to work out why making art is so important, that aren't just one long list of back-patting for a select group of people. I'd read those books for sure, but i'd have to keep my collection of books to drool over too. Don't get me wrong, I like books full of photogenic dogs and husbands in aprons and recipes that call for ingredients you can only get in Waitrose but i'd like to read about something I recognise too, because after a while all this aspirational living starts to get you down a bit and you start to yearn for someone to slip up and say 'it was while I was waiting for my benefit cheque, and couldn't afford any heating, that I decided to make this lovely hot water bottle'.

ps- i'd kill for the ability to take lovely photos and write interesting blog posts, i'd do anything to publish a book, and I dream of the day I have a lovely home with a garden and an apron wearing husband. No kids though, or dogs.


Carina said...

Well said; I couldn't agree more! It's all just too pretty and sweet and perfect sometimes...

Persimmons Gal said...

Love that idea...I think it would be a great book/magazine.

Gaina said...

That's a great idea. I think there are no books about this because it's not 'pretty' enough. This is why I love reading blogs, because I've met some of the most fascinating people ever through them. I find it ironic that these ordinary people are far more interesting than 'twit girls' like Paris Hilton who the media are so obsessed with.

Eventually if there's enough of a 'buzz' about something online, it will get into the media (like You Tube) so I think you should definately run with this idea.

With regards to photography, you're not doing to bad at all as it is, and you know if you want some help I'll be very happy to do so.

The books used to confuse me terribly, so I just ended up taking photos every day for weeks on end, then when I came up with something I liked, I made a note of the settings. 'Digital Camera' magazine is excellent for plain-english tutorials.

Claudia said...

That is a very interesting concept!
I would like to read a book like that. I'm certain that I would learn a lot from their experiences. However, the pretty books with the pretty houses, the pretty people, the pretty kids and the pretty pets (etc.) are a soure of inspiration and since most of us can't get a lifestyle like that, those books are also a way to escape from our reality (that sound sad!). p.s. I love your blog because you talk about interesting yet unusual subjets!

Kirsty said...

You know, I think I can guess which book you've been reading.

I know exactly what you mean (says the girl with the big house and the rich partner!) and I totally agree.

Oi publishing people, Camilla has a good idea for a book!