How to be Free – Tom Hodgkinson

How to be Free So this was a re-read. I think I was looking for a bit of lighter reading after some big thought reads.

Not that this doesn’t have plenty of thoughts in it, and it’s especially topical now that those greedy bankers (grrr) have had to admit that all the money they pretended to have in the banks didn’t exist (although I’m pretty sure the money they all have stuffed under the mattress is still real). Anyway, that’s slightly beside the point.

This book is about how to live a life where you are not beholden to anyone or anything, where pleasures are simple and not 40″ plasma-screened and where things are done better. And basically, that’s it. It’s full of suggestions for things to do. Learn the ukulele (it’s on my list, once I’ve nailed Sweet Child on the electric guitar). Bake bread (I have a loaf proofing/proving now). Grow your own food (I’m planning to plant my chilli pepper seeds this weekend – I know you’d struggle to live on chilli peppers, but I do get through quite a lot of them, and I’ve only really got a windowsill).

Some parts I’m not so sure about. I don’t think Mr. Hodkinson is entirely correct to suggest that life was much better during the middle ages – a little bit too much premature death, a little bit too little intellectual freedom for my liking, from what I’ve read of it. But there are certainly a lot of ways to improve the way we live, even in a stinky city like London, and they are both cheaper and cheerfuller.

See also:

a park: go outside and play, or something

How to be Idle: the prequel


2 thoughts on “How to be Free – Tom Hodgkinson”

  1. My latest act of creativity was to hand sew a little teddy bear for my friends’ new born baby. It’s rustic to say the least, but there is not a sweatshop in the world that could match the unique overwhelming cuteness of this little bear.

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