suffrage day

Today is New Zealand women's Suffrage Day. For more details, see Deborah's post at The Hand Mirror. As I read Deborah's post today, I thought about my great great grandmother, whose name I wouldn't expect to find on the petition. I wouldn't expect to because she could not sign her name. If anyone knows whether illiterate women were allowed to sign the petition with an X to mark their name, I would be very interested.

Today I wondered about Annie, what she might have been doing when the petition people came down her street. She had three living children in 1893 and records suggest she had buried one more. Her husband was not on the electoral roll, neither then nor later on. I think of the whispers about Annie and alcohol, her husband not on the electoral roll and her not being able to sign her name. Did these factors mean that she kept the door shut when the temperance ladies came to call with their petition sheet?

I wonder about my other grandmothers in 1893. Great Grandma Q may well have signed the petition as she was very pro-temperance. I'm not sure to what extent the petition was circulated in rural areas. Now I am more aware of the names and locations of my other grandmothers at this time (they were all in New Zealand by 1893), I would like to look at the list of names in Wellington one day.

In other news, I celebrated suffrage day in the kitchen by making lemon capri cake from a recipe of Annabel Langbein in her book Savour Italy. It consists solely of ground almonds, sugar, lemons and eggs. It didn't come out looking perfect but it tasted fantastic. I also made hummous and caraway rye bread and chicken soup. Alas, I don't think bread is agreeing with me, not even slow risen sourdough. I guess that if gluten is the problem, then dense rye bread has a lot more in it per slice than airy shop white bread, or even a slice of vogels.

I planted some curly kale seedlings and cursed the slugs (I think they are the killers) who have eaten all of my coriander in the raised bed. Entirely. Vanished without trace and they've had a good chomp at my celery seedlings as well. This raised bed thing is all very well for drainage but the sides give such a haven for slugs.

I also slothed around, wallowing in the sheer loveliness of not having to go anywhere, of having us all home just mucking about. During the computerised part of my slothing, I found this blog on baby food across cultures. I thought of you, Mary, Mary who reflects so lovingly and intelligently on how her children grow and learn, that you might find it interesting. The post I have linked to nails a number of issues I have with the writing of Mrs Sally Fallon (it's not a post without Sally!).


Sharonnz said…
Thanks for the link to that interesting blog. It has long been a frustration of mine that mothers hold this romantic (the author says naive - I agree) notion of birthing, and now eating, practices of our African sisters. Good read.
Mary said…
Yes, a good read thanks. And thank you for your kind thoughts (I feel the sudden urge to write on my blog....! ;-)
Johanna said…
Does this mean you might visit Wgtn sometime?? I'm sure I'm not the only one who would love to say hi in person!

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