• About Farm School

    "There are obviously two educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live."
    James Adams, from his essay "To 'Be' or to 'Do': A Note on American Education", 1929

    We're a Canadian family of five, farming, home schooling, and building our own house. I'm nowhere near as regular a blogger as I used to be.

    The kids are 18/Grade 12, 16/Grade 11, and 14/Grade 10.

    Contact me at becky(dot)farmschool(at)gmail(dot)com

  • Notable Quotables

    "If you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
    William Morris, from his lecture "The Beauty of Life"

    "‘Never look at an ugly thing twice. It is fatally easy to get accustomed to corrupting influences."
    English architect CFA Voysey (1857-1941)

    "The world of books is the most remarkable creation of man. Nothing else that he builds ever lasts. Monuments fall, nations perish, civilizations grow old and die out; and, after an era of darkness, new races build others. But in the world of books are volumes that have seen this happen again and again, and yet live on, still young, still as fresh as the day they were written, still telling men’s hearts of the hearts of men centuries dead."
    Clarence Day

    "Anyone who has a library and a garden wants for nothing."

    "Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtile; natural philosophy, deep; moral, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend."
    Sir Francis Bacon, "Essays"

    "The chief aim of education is to show you, after you make a livelihood, how to enjoy living; and you can live longest and best and most rewardingly by attaining and preserving the happiness of learning."
    Gilbert Highet, "The Immortal Profession: The Joys of Teaching and Learning"

    "Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment."
    Walter Wriston

    "I'd like to give you a piece of my mind."
    "Oh, I couldn't take the last piece."
    Ginger Rogers to Frances Mercer in "Vivacious Lady" (1938)

    "No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem."
    Booker T. Washington

    "Please accept my resignation. I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member."
    Attributed to Groucho Marx in "The Groucho Letters" by Arthur Sheekman

    "If you can't say something good about someone, sit right here by me."
    Alice Roosevelt Longworth

    "If we bring a little joy into your humdrum lives, we feel all our hard work ain't been in vain for nothin'."
    Jean Hagen as "Lina Lamont" in "Singin' in the Rain" (1952)
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Happy birthday, Masterpiece Theatre

My parents adored Masterpiece Theatre, and some of my fondest memories and favorite shows came from those Sunday evenings together in the seventies and early eighties, until I went off to college, especially “Poldark”, “Last of the Mohicans”, “Upstairs, Downstairs”, and “The Duchess of Duke Street”. We were such big fans of “The Duchess of Duke Street” and Charlie that in 1979 my father took me to see Christopher Cazenove in Alan Ayckbourne’s “Joking Apart” at the Globe Theatre in London; what a treat that was, and how exciting.  In recent years, my father amassed quite the collection of period drama DVDs, so every day could be Sunday.

I am sure it would thoroughly annoy both my mother and my father — especially my mother — to be missing the newest shows, the latest “Upstairs, Downstairs” and the new “Downton Abbey”. I’m looking forward to “Downton Abbey” myself, and since I live in a PBS-free zone, I’ve ordered the DVD from Amazon.com, to be delivered to NYC when we arrive to sort out the apartment later this month (since the Canadian price, almost twice as much, is ridiculous). I plan to watch it, raising a drink to my mother, who, wherever she is, has doubtless tracked down Alistair Cooke to natter on about the rent control apartments in New York they each enjoyed, life behind the scenes at the Bentinck Hotel, and that usurper, Russell Baker. Happy times…


6 Responses

  1. I, Claudius and The Jewel in the Crown were (and are) my favorites.

  2. Cheers, Becky!

  3. Growing up in a very tiny farm town, Masterpiece Theater linked me with the world,, and started my lifelong love of anything British.

    Sigh… what a nice memory to have Becky.

  4. What a lovely memory of your parents, Becky.

  5. Margaret, I loved “Jewel”.

    Thanks, Lynne : ).

    Penny, I have very much the same thoughts. I remember how exciting it was when, in addition to Masterpiece Theater, PBS starting carrying Thames TV shows, especially all the “Britcoms” — the landmarks logo and fanfare still make me smile.

    Thank you, Rita. I keep thinking how nice it would be if they could just be here instead, to enjoy the shows for themselves : ).

  6. Wasn’t Christopher Cazenove married to Angharad Rees (Demelza Poldark)? I just remembered that — my brain clearly needs to be better occupied . . . .

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