Tuesday, 30 April 2013


I’m writing a series of blog posts exploring the books “How to be free” and “The Idle Parent” written by Tom Hodgkinson.   I enjoyed a lot of the ideas expressed in these books, and think that exploring them further will help me to explore further the principles behind my own way of living and parenting.

Chapter 16 – Submit no more to the machine, Use your hands – USE A SCYTHE
The great dream of machines doing all the dirty work, leaving us to pursue pleasure has never materialised.  Machines still need tending, but tending a machine is more boring than the original job!  Plus, owning and maintaining them costs more money, which means that we have to work harder.  Not only do modern machines in the workplace make people look bad (they never arrive late or call in sick), but they now invade our personal and rest time as well.  The dreaded Blackberry and i-phone mean that you are now expected to be available to work all the time, even when you are on holiday or in the pub.  So machines have made life more lonely and more boring, and harder work.  Go back in time a little.  Instead of thinking about what you want, think about what you can do without.  Enjoy the use of tools rather than machines, and take back control of your life.

How does this match up to the Ink-Spots-and-Grass-Stains Life?
I’ve been hankering after an i-phone just lately.  Everybody else seems to have one, and I quite like the idea of checking my e-mails on the move, and even using twitter.  I still don’t really know what appeal that has though.  Tom’s right – it takes away the opportunity to sit and stare, to people watch, or even to be aware of your surroundings.  Heaven forbid the phone becomes a permanent extension of your right hand, and you sit surrounded by loved ones but still tapping away on the phone and focused only on that.  Perhaps I’ll leave the i-phone after all!

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