This morning I sat down with my coffee and began Chapter 11 of Integralism, "The Two Swords". It is a long chapter, however, so I will not finish until tomorrow. Free time is as sweet and precious as it is rare to those in servitude.
I am still trying to download photos to my disdainful computer. It will be a pity if you can never see them because yesterday we came across a hedge with wonderful topiary cut into it: piglets, an enormous teddy bear or cuddly monkey, a locomotive, an elephant. We also saw yellow poppies flourishing wild and in gardens. In one garden a raised bed is home only to runner beans, and the cane frame for them is so elegant, it looks like a nave.
This morning I came across a Toronto Sun column about an Italian baker in Toronto who died just recently. The article is a wonderful tribute to a good man, and also an advertisement for localism. Here we have a craftsman, a tradesman, who owned and governed his own shop, had three children and a loving wife, was loved by his employees and customers, was known and respected by his neighbours. He also made excellent zeppole, which I know is a pleasure and an honour in itself.
As a teenager, I would have felt it beneath me to marry a baker, let alone become one, which just showed how very little I understood about anything. It's a pity that, choosing instead to harp on the ethnic groups we belonged to, my teachers never encouraged us to talk about our parents' trades and professions and learn to respect them all. "Smart" kids were funnelled into universities as if merely going to one was our golden ticket to prosperity. However, there is no point crying over the past or being overly romantic about the baking trade.
That said, I think it should be well rubbed into children from a young age that there is nothing shameful or low-class about learning a classic trade and, one day, beginning one's own business. I realise now that many tradeswomen--beauticians and hairdressers--are in serious trouble, thanks to the Vile Germ. However, under ordinary circumstances (and despite these ones), many of the trades thrive and thrive.