THE ORDINARY MANIFESTO
* We believe, as the Specials say, that nobody is special, which means that everybody is. Everybody is strange and surprising and capable of remarkable things.
* We believe that there’s great value in just being alive, staying alive, and keeping the ones you love alive, if you notice everything and question everything as you move through life.
* I joke a lot about championing mediocrity and lack of ambition, but I’m speaking of those things as they relate to our current definition of success. We believe that the way we define success, and the achievements that we value and reward in our society are skewed. Compassion, kindness and imagination deserve more recognition than wealth, fame, or salesmanship, and are worth passionately pursuing.
* We believe that there’s value in all jobs, if they’re done with love and care, and …
* … We believe that this includes the job of caring for a home and raising children. It’s a cliché to say that this is the hardest or most important job, but there is some truth to that old chestnut. We realize that it can seem like the most ordinary job at times, in its relentless everyday-ness, so it is important to notice everything, and to approach it with creativity.
* We believe that creativity is valuable – for each person and for all people in a society. This is true on a large scale – in the creation of books and films and music, (and the reception of those things), but it is true on the small scale of the ordinary as well. Day-to-day life can be elevated by the application of imagination and observation. Preparing meals, for instance, which seems like a tedious chore to many, can become a source of joy as well as sustenance. In all creative endeavors, as in life, soul, grace, and honesty are more important than cleverness or talent.
* We believe there’s great beauty in simple things, if they’re well-seasoned. This is true in art and food and life.
* We believe there’s beauty in economy – in using every part of something – in having what you need and using what you have.
* We believe there’s beauty in the every day – in things that you do every day. There’s beauty in the rhythm and the pattern and the expected, and in the times that the pattern changes, even for a moment, which can make you step outside of your expectations and seem very perfect.
* We believe that there’s beauty in art that celebrates the ordinary, and in ordinary life lived as art. When something is captured and observed, when it is noticed, it can become important.
* We believe it’s important to find balance in your life – to find a way that you’re comfortable taking things from the world and giving them back to the world.
So that’s it, for now! These observations are subject to change and open to discussion!!
Hi there from not very sunny England. I’ve just found your blog via the comment on todays Guardian and I would just like to say how much I love your writing and your taste in music. I’m a house husband to four boys and a very hard working wife. I’m going to try and start introducing some of your recipes to my family, I’m sure the boys will love the cakes especially.
Thank you so much for your kind words! We’re not having such a sunny day here, today, and I’m home with a sick boy – so you’ve cheered me up a good deal! And yes, the boys always love the cakes!
Me too. I shall follow. Food is about sharing. Thank you.
Spooky, I’ve been nursing one of my poorly twins today. nothing serious just a lingering winter cold. He’s autistic and can’t stand vegetables so we’re constantly fighting the good fight to get him to try new things (not much success so far) but I’m sure he’l get there eventually. Hope your little man feels better.
Thanks, he’s still got a fever (day three) but he’s pretty cheerful anyway. I hope your little one is feeling better! My Isaac is not a big fan of vegetables, either. It’s funny, because I’ll try to disguise them or hide them in other foods, but sometimes what he likes best is a plain carrot, or a piece of broccoli, all on its own!
I randomly came to your blog from a link while reading about socca, and maybe it’s because I’ve had a couple Leffe, but this manifesto brought tears to my eyes. I love it!
Thank you! I didn’t know what a leffe is, but I just looked it up and now I want a couple, too!
Thanks so much for your kind words.
Thanks you’ve spoken to my condition x