Annotations and comments

Awanthi Vardaraj has posted 11 annotations/comments since 21 November 2023.

The most recent first…


Third Reading

About Friday 18 January 1660/61

Awanthi Vardaraj  •  Link

Distressing to read of a poor animal beaten until it was 'almost dead' and then to read the history of exotic animals and monkeys as pets. As we know, there are far too many animals, from mice to primates, languishing in prisons around the world, whether they are cages in zoos or cages in laboratories, enduring all manner of tortures. Humans can be compassionate, wonderful creatures, but also terrible.

About Saturday 12 January 1660/61

Awanthi Vardaraj  •  Link

What a gorgeous entry! The deaf gentleman who is despairing in love. I wonder whatever became of him. Did he get his lady? I hope so. Also, I love being able to peek back into Sam's life and times, the people he met and spoke and drank and ate with, the places he went to, the things he did, the way he spent his free time. I agree with Helena Murphy from the first reading; Sam's diary entries make people real for us, and give us an honest, open glimpse into the lives of Londoners living in the seventeenth century. I enjoy starting my day with Sam's diary entry for the day, a cup of coffee, and with all of you via the annotations.

About Friday 11 January 1660/61

Awanthi Vardaraj  •  Link

I'm a bit staggered at the 2004 discussions that resulted in Elizabeth being called a slut, wives 'shrews', and men being the only ones who want to get ahead in life. I beg to differ; women want to get ahead just as well. Perhaps women's ambitions were different during Elizabeth's time, but women -had- ambitions, as we have always done.

As for Elizabeth's being a slut, not only do I object to the word, but I see no evidence of slutty behaviour from Sam's diaries. She was still young, in her late teens, in fact, and I can speak from personal experience that I was absolutely not ready to be someone's wife or keep house when I was in my late teens. I'd have been absolutely terrible at it. I have to implore that people be treated as individuals, and not as a collective whole. Sweeping generalisations are tiresome, and false.

Finally, Sam is certainly not without fault, but which of us are? I have kept journals since my early teens, and I cringe at the thought of any of them being public consumption as Sam's journals are. We see Sam in his entirety, portraying himself with complete honesty, and I too would not be amiss with spending several evenings in his company, talking with him about art, literature, theatre, music, food, drink, and life! Sam is fascinating, and his utter honesty as he writes to himself in his journal is truly appreciated.

About Monday 31 December 1660

Awanthi Vardaraj  •  Link

A very happy new year to everyone, as it is well and truly the 1st in India.

With regards to mice and cats, cats do keep mice away, even if they are not particularly good at hunting. Mice can smell them and stay away from them.

About Tuesday 27 November 1660

Awanthi Vardaraj  •  Link

With regards to the meek inheriting the earth, as per both Tonyel and Nate, I present, for your consideration, a quote:

“What a mess the world was in, Vimes reflected. Constable Visit had told him the meek would inherit it, and what had the poor devils done to deserve that?” ― Terry Pratchett, Feet of Clay

About Tuesday 20 November 1660

Awanthi Vardaraj  •  Link

Louise, not everyone grows up in wherever you grew up. Living in India, growing up in the eighties, we still didn't have washing machines at the time and washing was done by hand. It wasn't as much of a production as Bruce describes it, but it was still cumbersome, and took the better part of half a day. It was done every week, with the soaking and washing done in big copper andas, or tubs, and then wrung by hand, and dried in the sun. The iron used to iron the clothes was enormous, and incredibly heavy, filled with heated hot coals, and was done by a specialised dhobi who would arrive in great state once a week and iron all our clothes. I still remember putting on clothes that were warm from the iron after my nightly bath.