Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Anne de Courcy’s “The Fishing Fleet: Husband Hunting in the Raj"

Here is a review by Carol Herman that I liked very much.

On May 12, we faced the wind and the rain to gather in Jonna’s lovely home to discuss the heat and the dust described in Anne de Courcy’s “The Fishing Fleet: Husband Hunting in the Raj”. Opinions were divided: once we had recovered from the shock of realisation that we were not to be treated to a cosy, Barbara Cartland-style romantic novel, we put on our social historian hats and settled down to read this rather exhaustive – and, it has to be admitted, at times rather exhausting – account of the marriage market in colonial India. Often repetitive and deliberately anecdotal, the book concentrates upon recounting the stories of a socially-speaking somewhat limited sample of women who travelled to India, married and settled there over a period from the end of the seventeenth century to the middle of the twentieth and India’s independence. Some of the insights are fascinating, some horrifying; the unremitting boredom of the life of a planter’s wife making do in the middle of nowhere, living from one gathering at “The Club” to another, is well described as is the contrast between the wealth and display of ceremonial festivities with the sicknesses and dangers of life in India and the heart-breaking separation from children sent “home” to be educated. Several of the novels we have read have featured the lives of these “Raj” children and it was interesting to reflect on these. A mixed review for de Courcy’s book: like the Curate’s egg, “Good in parts!”

Friday, 13 June 2014

Gina Ford "The contented baby" and Tracy Hogg "Secrets of the baby whisperer"

I read somewhere that men are programmed for one age. They do not change internally. Some are fifty years old in their passport and twenty five years old in reality - they still rush to become the alpha male, they try to chase the most females and to mark the widest territory. Some are forty-five and what you observe is the eve of puberty - they tend to play musketeers and will be playing until their death, such a program runs in them. Some are stuck at age seven forever- they have not yet come out of the age of infant cruelty :)))

Everything is different with women. They change over the years internally: girl- young woman - woman- old woman, from the family perspective: daughter - wife - mother - grandmother. This is due to childbirth and meno-cycle.

As for me, at the age of .....I finally reached the stage of being a Mother .

I am a mom of a beautiful daughter!!!

Therefore I tend to read specific literature, for example books on how to handle babies. Two I found helpful: "The contented baby" by Gina Ford and "Secrets of the baby whisperer" by Tracy Hogg.

One promises a contented baby and contented parents provided you strictly follow a schedule, the other one promises the same by following much more relaxed routine. I found truth in between.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Bodo Schaefer and Carola Ferstl "Money is beneficial to women"*

Bodo Schaefer says that there is a big difference in how men and women respond to the theme "money." Prior to writing his book Bodo Schaefer conducted a survey in which more than 1,000 women participated. The results surprised him.

Apparently, women tend to shift all responsibility for important matters. They rely on their partners. Almost no woman thinks seriously about her retirement. Most of them do not even know what retirement to expect. In fact, 80 % do not have a clue as to what will be their pension. And it seems they do not care . Most women start thinking about money only when their life situation changes , for example, after a divorce. Bodo Schaefer does not think that such extreme measures are needed to bring order into a woman's financial situation.

Most women accumulate money for large purchases, but not for creating material prosperity or they save for children. More than 50% of all their money are on deposits. That is how women struggle against poverty. Hardly any woman dares to buy shares or invest into some funds. Women are much more cautious than men. They invest more conservatively. This means that a good income avoids women.

There is a good side - women are more economical than men, however the bad side is that women do not save for the future well-being , rather, they have these very different motives. They set aside money for a "rainy day", save for large purchases (furniture, car) , for a holiday home and for their children. They do not think about themselves and the future richness.This is due to the fact that many women are more family oriented. They attach great importance to education and childcare, as well as to a cozy home. Men, on the contrary, focus on status. This leads to the fact that women often spend money on new acquisitions that are impaired during the year and are out of fashion.

And what is the result? Most women have little money.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Amy Chua "Battle Hymn of The Tiger Mother"

They say that behind every outstanding person there stands his/her mother. Today it is rather a marketing team, sometimes a farther or both parents. However mothers still play a significant role in childrens' upbringing.

If you think one should be born a genius and the parents do not play any role, Amy Chua will prove that you can make a genius through  a Chinese way of education.

I read the book  Battle Hymn of the Tiger Motherbecause I heard it had caused a public outcry in a sense that Amy Chua, the mother of two daughters, killed their childhood in pursuit of making them high achievers. Did I find her way of bringing up kids totally unacceptable?...

I would like to cite Tolstoy who said about education approximately the following:

Pedagogy is a science of how living badly we can have a good influence on children. The same goes for our medicine - how living contrary to the laws of nature yet to be healthy.

Artful and empty sciences, never reaching their goal. All parenting difficulties arise from the fact that parents do not want to correct their own deficiencies, even justify them in themselves, and at the same time do not want to see their shortcomings in children.