24 November 2011

Are People the Real Home?

What is it about a place that makes it more like a home to you?  Where do you call home, if anywhere, and why?

There is no stereotype of a home, just as there are no stereotypical emotional responses.  Each of us has a unique origin and life experiences, even when born of the same mother on the same day.  Our awareness of, and interest in, past connections differs.  Our hopes and expectations for the future differ.

Having lived in Australia for over twenty years now, I am just starting to feel at home here.  I do not understand why the BBC still reports that Australia is a British nation.  It has never been British, and it never will be.  A few thousand people from Britain have been transplanted here over the past couple of hundred years or so, intermingling with the original inhabitants, the wider environment, the wider world, and a few thousand refugees and other migrants from many lands.

BBC - Why are so many Britons leaving Australia?

Having spent several of my teenage years at school in the Highlands of Scotland, I know that I will probably never feel at home in Scotland.  I never had a sense of belonging there.  Nor would I ever feel at home in London, though I did live there for several years in my early adult days.

I never felt at home in North Wales, though I had several weeks of holiday there each summer during childhood, and I am still drawn to certain places there for reasons of nostalgia.  Until recently, I felt that the countryside and cultural heritage of central England gave me a sense of home, and especially of belonging, but now that has disappeared.  Maybe it is because the last of my grandparents died there last year.

Perhaps you find that a desire to be with certain people draws you back to a place.  Perhaps it is a sense of obligation rather than a feeling of desire, especially with an older relative who is growing more dependent on others.  Sometimes it is an economic necessity rather than any coherent longing for a sense of home.

How, then, do we create a feeling of home and belonging wherever we happen to be?

21 October 2011

New Names

If you have ever changed your name, or some other aspect of your identity, do you feel better about yourself now?  As "Via" I do not really have a surname or family name at all, though I do sometimes use "Peace" as a sort of surname when sending emails.

09 September 2011

08 September 2011

Dear Via

Whenever I receive an email or a letter from someone I don't know, I usually look for two words before deciding to read further:  Dear Via (or whoever else I may be at the time).

07 September 2011

Mind Your Language

Have you ever thought about the undemocratic ways in which language is often used? 

06 September 2011

In Blog We Trust

Do you reveal a great deal about yourself in your own blog(s)?  It is so easy to find out all sorts of things about a person by discovering if they write a blog, use online social networking tools/toys, and let down their guard when it comes to the security of their personal information (and that of others).

01 September 2011

Storing Yourself

I tend to be annoyed whenever I can't find something around the house.  It is not that the thing is a part of me, but that objects can help me to define the useful and healthy routines of my life, and help to jog my rather poor memory.  Most of the books I own are reference books because I am not very good at remembering facts.
BBC article on owning and storing items

12 August 2011

Sense and Censuses

As a family historian, as a social scientist, and as an independent scholar, I find census information very interesting.  Yet I am the sort of person who is sensitive about issues of privacy, for myself and others.  

19 April 2011

What Sort Of Image You Are Projecting?

If your image is important to you, especially if you are currently looking for a job or seeking to expand a business, then it may be wise to think of how others may see you - and how they imagine you to be through your online presence.

28 March 2011

All Sorts of Names

I wonder if a society where people have all sorts of creative, non-traditional names would be one where there is no embarrassment about being known by a name that in another society might sound funny, silly or even shocking.

25 March 2011

Who Do You Trust?

Have you noticed that many of the most important issues that make the news (or at least reach the attention of the mass media) are, in one way or another, about breaches of trust?

11 March 2011

Your Creativity in Society

Have you ever wondered how to engage with people through your creativity, and perhaps even in your creativity?  

10 March 2011

For a Living

Do you sometimes feel annoyed when someone asks you what you do "for a living"?  

08 March 2011

Opinions and Good Manners

There are many different points of view in the world on many different subjects.  Opinions can be well-informed and useful, or they can be ill-informed and detrimental.

07 March 2011

Suitable Activities

One of the features I have noticed when reading biographies of historically significant figures is that many were, in adolescence and early adulthood, forced by their fathers to train as lawyers.

21 February 2011

Difficult Words Can Be Unhealthy

Would you be more likely to look after your health better if important words were clearly explained to you in a commonly understood language?

17 February 2011

The Ethics of Writing Biographies

One of the most popular topics of literature, whether non-fiction or fiction, is human life.  The lives of famous individuals are frequently of most interest, as the contents of many bestseller lists may indicate. But how truthful and authentic are those biographical works?

20 January 2011

Happy and Normal Seclusion

You may be wondering why I am writing on this topic on my By Any Other Name blog rather than the Quieter Living one.  How do you label people who enjoy having time alone?  Do you sometimes need time alone yourself?

15 January 2011


Having an unusual name for the time and place in which you live can have some adverse social consequences.

04 January 2011

Multiple Identities and Social Media

How do you maintain internal identity integrity when expressing yourself in both the external and online worlds?

03 January 2011

Emotions and Growing Older

You may have read in the media in recent weeks about older people and emotional intelligence.