Web/Tech

Simple Things

There are some things in life we just take for granted, aren’t there?

Like picking up a spoon to eat our breakfast cereal.  Grabbing a knife when we need to cut something up?

Or how about a drinking straw with which to sip our cool beverages? 

Just simple things!

Straws have gone a bit out of fashion in recent times ... plastic straws having been identified as possible pollutants. These days, of course, we're encouraged to use the biodegradable kind and lots of different types of drinking straws are being created as alternatives.

But did you know that the modern drinking straw was patented today – Jan 3rd  in 1888 – by an American inventor called Marvin C. Stone?

He was originally in the cigar making industry but came up with an idea to wrap paper around a pencil and apply thick layers of glue to make a drinking straw.  Bit by bit, the process was refined to ensure the straws would survive even strong alcoholic beverages. He created an automated machine to produce the straws and they proved instantly popular. 

But drinking straws go back much further, and some take us back actually to more biodegradable options.

Over 5,000 years ago the ancient Sumerians used straws made from gold and lapis lazuli, a precious stone, to sip beer. Sumer was in Mesopotamia in modern-day Iraq and Kuwait,  and archaeologists have discovered drinking straws in the ruins of cities and tombs dating back to 3000 BC. And it appears that even earlier versions which preceded those had been crafted  in wood or from hollow plants.  Told you - biodegradable!

Meanwhile, in Argentina in South America, there’s evidence that natives also used drinking straws made from wood for several thousand years. Later they developed devices made from metal called "bombilla".

By the 1800s in the USA, the trend for drinking through cheap, easily produced rye grass straws took off, but they were prone to turning to mush when left in liquid for any length of time.  Cue Mr Marvin C Stone!

It’s easy to forget that sometimes even the simple things in life come after much hard work and testing by pioneers who have come before us.  We take for granted the freedoms that most of us enjoy, forgetting the sacrifices that might have been involved to get us to this point.

As we step out into a new year, let us stop to think about the people in our lives who have brought us to this point. Those who have shaped us, who perhaps gave up things and gave something of themselves, including talents, intellect, imagination and expertise, so that WE might have the lives we enjoy today.

Note - http://www.eatingutensils.net/history-of-other-eating-utensils/drinking-straws-history/


One Day At A Time

A little while ago, before the coronavirus pandemic took over our lives, I was rummaging through a pile of stuff in a charity shop when I came across a little pendant. 

It's not gold, or silver - worth practically nothing. But it carries a very special message, I think.

One day at a time

I've been thinking about trying to do a daily blog for a while now. Just a few thoughts to help me/us through the day maybe, or the week ... or the moment we're struggling in.

I'm a bit of a spiritual person, so this might be sometimes sort of religious, but not always. 

And when I found the pendant, I knew I had my title!

And as we move from 2020 into 2021 - with all the relief we can muster after the pandemic lockdown and disruption and with all the hopes and dreams for a better, healthier year ahead - for me this thought is engraved in my mind, and on my heart. 

Just this - I'm not going to get ahead of myself. I'm going to try to breathe into each moment, find joy in the simplest of things and satisfaction in the everyday. While planning and dreaming is the human condition, for me it sometimes stops me from just BEING in this moment.

S0, don't know about you but I'm going to try to live this year ... just One Day at a Time!

If you fancy it ... why not join me?