These are a few of my favourite things…

Life is too short to focus on the negative.  I started writing a post about some things that I now seldom use, because they annoy me so much (TV & news) but I decided it was a bit of a turn off.  (It was also a total opinion-rant with no evidence to back up my claims.)  So I thought I would switch things around and focus on some things I like instead.

art artistic blank book
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

And here they are…

  • Books.  You can pick them up and put them down whenever you want and they (usually) have a high content-to-advertising ratio, that is, most of it is content and very little of it is advertising.  To me, that is a sign of a quality product!
  • e-books and e-readers.  You can carry a whole library of books around on one small device.   Also, many devices allow you to purchase a book any where, any time.
  • Beautiful gardens.  I own many books about gardens, not because I like gardening (I find it a chore) but because I love beautiful gardens.  Books allow me to travel to these gardens in my arm-chair, without the expense of actual travel.  Having said that, I do travel to beautiful gardens that I can get to easily.  (So, I have revealed that I am not a travel buff!)
  • Minimalism and decluttering.  I subscribe to the kind of minimalism espoused by Francine Jay and The Minimalists.  I must have read Francine Jay’s The Joy of Less a dozen times or more.  I discovered it before Marie Kondo published her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  Both books are pretty radical when it comes to dealing with your stuff.  Instead of getting you to focus on what to get rid of, they focus on what you find essential; the things you cannot do without.
  • Simplicity.  The minimalism and simplicity movements overlap.  The bits I like that overlap are usually related to saving the planet and doing away with goods and services that exacerbate the complexities of life.  For example: I got rid of my car because (a) driving it contributed significantly to my carbon footprint, (b) it was a significant financial burden to maintain and (c) walking to the bus stop or train station is significantly cheaper than a gym membership and boosts vitamin D, i.e. getting rid of the car improved my health.  I used to think driving a car was convenient but now I think, “Is rotating tires convenient?  Is changing oil convenient? Is paying $800+ for registration and $200+ for insurance every year convenient?  Is paying tolls and for parking convenient?  Is finding parking in congested areas convenient?”  (Hint: The answer is, “No.”)
  • Working part-time.  The truth is, working part-time was not a choice for me.  My employer more or less “forced” me into it.  (It was a choice of work fewer hours or look for a new job.  I love my job so I decided to stay.)  Financially, I am much worse off but what I have more of now is time.  Because I finish the day early, I can run errands after work that would have been impossible to do when I worked longer hours.  And I get to spend more time with my cat (who is another favourite of mine!)

As you can see, books are an important contributor to my favourites and I suspect I will mention more books in future posts!

The surprising result of fast fashion on fashion

photo of a woman holding shopping bags
Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

There has been a lot mentioned about the negative effects of fast fashion on the environment but has anyone noticed the effect it’s having on fashion itself?  Most people who comment on this mention the faster fashion cycles.  But is a fashion cycle that lasts only a week even meaningful?  Maybe fashion victims can be bothered with checking what’s ‘in’ every week, but for most of us, we look at what others around us are wearing or at what’s in the shops.  Before fast fashion took hold, this meant that after a few weeks of the season starting, you might notice that a lot of women are wearing skirts decorated with English lace and that quite a few shops are selling English lace items, so you might think you’d like to wear some English lace too.  However, with fast fashion, the cycles are faster than a few weeks, maybe even as short as one week.  So those of us who observe fashion on the street can no longer spot the fashions emerging.  One week maybe a fashion victim here or there is wearing it, the next week it’s gone.  Sally, who bought her skirt two weeks ago is wearing a short leather number but Jane who bought her skirt the week before is wearing a cotton maxi skirt.  The skirt that is ‘in’ this week is no more visible on the street than Sally’s or Jane’s skirt because it hasn’t had time to saturate the market.  What this means for the average person on the street is surprising: You can wear anything you damn well please and no one except the fashion victims checking this week’s ‘trend’ is going to know whether your clothes are ‘in’ or ‘out’.  This became evident to me when my elderly mother called me and asked me what is ‘in’ this season.  “Mum, it’s all fast fashion now.  The trends change each week so no one keeps up with what’s ‘in’ any more.  Just wear what makes you feel comfortable,” was my advice to her.  And that’s my advice to you too.

A bit about leftofcentre

Hi and welcome to leftofcentre.

I have set up this blog as a place where I can share my thoughts with others.  As you read posts in this blog, you will begin to notice that my values lean towards the left, which is why I have called the blog “leftofcentre.”  So, if your own values lean to the right, you are still welcome and you have been warned!

Feel free to leave comments and feedback.  Any trolling or flaming that I identify will be deleted.  I want to keep the atmosphere friendly so I hope you will too.

Hope you enjoy the content.  There will be more as time goes on.

Lucy Lefty