Friday, 7 September 2018

The Bubble

I don't think there is such a thing as a Catholic bubble. The "bubble" is really popular culture, fashion, and the boring platitudes of modern life.

An illustration:

Two homeschooled girls  wanted so badly to go to school they were sent to an excellent, old-fashioned convent school in France where they read a lot of French poetry, play ping-pong, and shiver in winter.  Not a bubble.

Another girl, sent all her life to a "normal" "Catholic" schools, dropped English Lit when it was shoved into a Gender Theory straitjacket and now wants to drop French because it, too, is being taught according to the ideology du jour.  Bubble. 

It is easy to avoid the bubble if you see that it is a bubble and not "real life". It is easy if you are an adult, that is. If you were born inside the bubble, you may be stuck for at least a while.  

Another illustration:

I once went on a tour of the Lake District with my mother and some other Canadians who were mostly retired schoolteachers. They were very PC, and my mother shook them to their core by telling them I was her paid companion. This was not strictly true although my mother did indeed pay my way.  

One woman upbraided another for saying that she had been robbed, in Italy, by Gypsies. 

"You can't call them Gypsies," said the offended woman primly. "They're Roma."

"I think they're Roma when they're in a government office," I said, having worked in a Roma-serving government office. "When they've just robbed you, they're Gypsies." 

The prim lady didn't think this was amusing. She later asked me why her daughter's UK university addressed correspondence to her as "Miss" not "Ms."  

She was certainly living in a bubble. 

I grant you that it is a big bubble. In the UK it includes schools, universities, television, radio, most newspapers, art show openings and cocktail parties with Guardian readers. If your life revolves around those things, you may never realise that there is an enormous world outside them. 

For example, there are 20-somethings who live on half their income so that they can retire at 30. There are young parents of large families. There are people who forage in hedgerows for food. There are truffle hunters. There are zero-wasters. There are beer-brewing monks. There are 1940s re-enactors. There are women who sew mantillas and/or monastic habits for a living. There are homeschoolers who learn a gazillion things they would not have learned in normal school. There are small homesteaders. There are traditional walking pilgrimages from shrine to shrine. There is the local Hunt. There are cloistered nuns with apple orchards and bees. There are women who refuse ever to wear trousers. 

I could go on at great length, but I am tired from a long week of writing articles for so-called "alt media", fervent gardening, house-moving, grocery shopping, rosehip-picking, reading Podróż "Wędrowca w świtu", and pricking myself with pins while repairing my denim maxi-skirt.  I have also made two batches of carrot soup and an a Polish apple pie called "szarlotka". 


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  2. Forgive me for jumping on my soapbox on a barely-related topic, but your description of the "bubble" reminded me of a recent set of NPR articles by a woman named Michaeleen Doucleff (eg: Apparently she's a sociologist who spent some time living in Mexico and wrote about what she learned about motherhood from rural Mayan women. The articles are fine, but taken together, her clear bubble experience makes me laugh: she went to Mexico and discovered that mothers of five children aren't stressed! children can help with chores! children don't need their mother's attention at every moment!
    I think she could have met mothers like that much closer to home, if she had looked.

    1. I think mothers of 5 are less stressed than mothers of 2 or 3 because after generally, once you have Child 5, Child 1 and 2 can be trusted to keep an eye on Child 3 and 4. At least, that's how it worked for my mother. That said, there is a 12 year gap between her Child 1 and Child 5.

  3. What are you going to do with the rosehips? I had rosehip jam once -- just once! -- but I remember it very clearly because it tasted exactly like springtime.