Mishmash of crochet, forceful vegans, ISIS brides, and made in China

I’ve been a little quiet recently which does not mean I haven’t had a lot to say. I’ve just been busy. All my spare time lately has been spent crocheting. I’ve become obsessed with socks and have made so many now and even designed my own pattern for crochet socks which I’ve put up for sale on Etsy. It’s only had 2 views so far so I don’t plan to quit my day job. It was harder than I was expecting but perhaps that’s simply because it’s the first time I’ve ever written a proper pattern. I’d like to design more.

I went for my annual haircut last weekend. I haven’t had my haircut since April 2018 so it has been almost a year. I cut a lot off to tide me over for the next year.

Photo on 20-02-2019 at 10.33 #3.jpg

In the news this week was the story of a NatWest employee who told a customer over the phone that “all vegans should be punched in the face”. Apparently someone had chalked the road near his home with pro-vegan messages and he felt that vegans shouldn’t be forcing their beliefs on him. I hear sentiment like that a lot. When vegans protest or share vegan messages they’re not forcing others to stop eating animals. They’re not actually forcing them to do anything. Vegans don’t have the power to do that. They’re just speaking openly and frankly about the vegan philosophy. We live in a free and democratic society and if someone wants to stand on the corner of a busy road and proclaim the existence of an alien race they are perfectly allowed to do so. It doesn’t mean they’re forcing anyone else to also believe in aliens. The fact that people get so angry and upset with vegans explaining why they are vegan says more about them than about vegans.

Also in the news this week is the story of Shamima Begum, the ISIS school girl runaway, who is stuck in a refugee camp in Syria and wants to return to Britain. Yesterday it was announced that the home office has revoked her British citizenship. I was quite surprised by this announcement. Shamima Begum hasn’t exactly evoked sympathy in the interviews she’s had with journalists where she talks of heads in bins not fazing her but I question the legality of removing her citizenship. Here’s a good summary of the legal situation – Can the Home Secretary prevent Shamima Begum returning to the UK? It’s my view that people should be held to account for their actions and that we tolerate too much violence in war. If Ben decided to behead a few civilians and bury them in our backyard with my knowledge, I would go to jail for a very long time even though I hadn’t wielded the knife myself. I think Shamima Begum should be allowed back in the UK to face trial and prison. Perhaps the UK is longing for a colony in a far-flung corner of the world to send all its criminals …

Lately I’ve been wondering whether I could set a challenge for myself to not buy anything made in China. I think I could almost manage. I buy most of my clothing from charity shops now with the exception of underpants. Clothes for the children would be harder because I rarely see suitable clothes for them in charity shops. I think I’ll give it a try.

I hereby declare that starting on this day, 20th February 2019, I will cease to buy products that are made in China for the next 12 months, ending on 20th February 2020. 

I will buy second-hand products that a made in China since I don’t think they count. They’ve already been manufactured and purchased so I would be recycling. But I won’t buy anything new.

4 thoughts on “Mishmash of crochet, forceful vegans, ISIS brides, and made in China

  1. Joe Bennett, a journalist from Lyttleton Christchurch wrote a book called ‘where underpants come from’, about all the products that are made in China, and his embargo on those products. He writes eloquently. I have a copy of the book myself, which I picked up from a Red Cross bookshop. People buying things from charity shops is actually better for the local economy than buying new stuff in the High Street. As far as I know, Ben is unlikely to have beheaded anyone in his younger years… He was occupied playing chess and knocking off blocks in that way!

  2. Our local Oxfam bookshop recently shut – everything good always vanishes from towns eventually – replaced by boutique coffee shops, cafes, and clothes shops that nobody can afford. It’s insane. Good luck with the China project though – I think it might be harder than you think.

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