Thursday, September 22, 2005

No Time to Relax


I was struck by this picture the other day. It is by the Dutch painter Jan Zoeterlief Tromp and called "The Sunday Stroll". A picture of pastoral innocence harking back to a golden age when life was less hectic.
Or was it?
If you look closely at the elements in the picture you will see the woman is knitting as she walks with her children. They [children] are enjoying the cornfield but mother is not relaxing. she is working at her knitting as she goes along. She has no time for the innocent purity of pastoral life. She wears her clogs, working shoes. Then again she'd probably need them for walking across a field. Note the pet lamb in tow. Now I can remeber the days up at Halton-Lea -Gate when keeping a pet lamb was commonplace. It was reared until an adult sheep then became mutton to feed the family.
Nowadays poeple work all hours, usually both partners. The children are in nursery or school followed by so-called "afterschool" until their parents can collect them on the way home from work. Then its time to prepare for the next day.
Its called living. Nowt's changed really, has it?
We don't keep pet lambs for food any more, we spend a large part of our time in the shops instead. The actions may be different but the urgency's the same.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The urgency is greater now. Life is running at such a pace there's no time to 'stop and stare'. I so wish there was. Now, mother not only does her knitting as she walks along, if she isn't knitting, she's closing that deal on the phone or catching up with family and friends while the children play. This is often after a gruelling week of deadlines, decisions and a weekend filled with all those household chores that used to take all week. Men have made some wonderful inventions to free up our time, but what do we do with that time? More work. Who are the thick ones? Hmmmmmmmmmm. Cath