Five Things To Read And Look At And Watch And Marvel At This Weekend


Hallo! Just a quick pop in to share some excellent and interesting things!

1/ Elderly women in Japan are shoplifting their way to jail, in a bid to find friendship and be better cared-for. This article is very sad, but it again raises the issue of how we value and care for older people – and also it’s a quiet celebration of the importance of companionship.

The things they have stolen: croquettes, a fan, a paperback book, seeds, strawberries will make you weep a little, possibly through a sad sort of laugh. It’s really worth a read and a ponder.

Japan’s prisons are a haven for elderly women

2/ Molly Ringwald just published a piece on her conflicted feelings about some of the films she starred in, during the eighties.

“John’s movies convey the anger and fear of isolation that adolescents feel, and seeing that others might feel the same way is a balm for the trauma that teen-agers experience. Whether that’s enough to make up for the impropriety of the films is hard to say—even criticizing them makes me feel like I’m divesting a generation of some of its fondest memories, or being ungrateful since they helped to establish my career. And yet embracing them entirely feels hypocritical. And yet, and yet. . . . “

I think this idea that those of us who grew up with John Hughes were thrilled to see ourselves in the media finally – even if it was just glimpses of our own fragility in these characters – is such an important one. This  applies to lots of things we love sentimentally (like DOLLY MAGAZINE!)

Until this, there was NOTHING for us/about us as teenagers, which is (as Molly says) hard to understand. But it’s true. Even the books we were reading were not really reflecting our teenage lives. Thank goodness this has changed, and honestly, you can see the benefits of this in today’s young adults. They are so clever and self-aware and emotionally intelligent – and their command of language is brilliant because they are always soaking up information and ideas that are relevant to them. (Because they can! Because progress! And the internet!)

And as I also wrote elsewhere “And maybe that’s why we loved to read Go Ask Alice and Judy Blume’s work. They are obviously vastly different and STILL not about our lives, but they gave us a glimpse of teenagers messing things up and having complex feelings, for the first time, on the page. And so interesting that many of us felt a bit embarrassed that we read Alice and Judy – because they made us feel vulnerable, in a way …”

Molly Ringwald revisits The Breakfast Club

3/ I also just read an amazing and very hard to fathom piece about a woman called Hannah Upp who has a condition that makes her “disappear”.

I won’t say too much, and while it is a really long piece, it needs to be and is worth a read. Very perplexing and I hope there is more to the story.

How a young woman lost her identity

(I found out about this via my favourite news and culture podcast, The HighLow. Thanks The HighLow!)

Bald Eagle

4/ I am obsessed with watching two bald eagles caring for their three fluffy chicks. The chicks just hatched a few days ago and there is a webcam trained on their nest, so you can see them feeding and grooming their babies, and flying off to get food. They fly back with their kill and then instantly begin depositing little bits of it into the chicks hungry beaks. They are awesome parents and it’s very life-affirming!

Also, it is pure delight to watch them settle on top of their babies and snuggle them safely down, deep in the nest.

The link below has lots of detail on how the next came to be (HUMANS built it!) – as well as a chat feature where you can talk (and learn) about eagles.

Decorah Bald Eagles live camera


5/ Pickles! Yes! I loved reading Rachel Roddy’s piece about making quick pickles, especially because there is often so much boring virtue and policing of this kind of thing (can you even believe it?!)

Rachel Roddy’s pickled garden vegetables

Have a great weekend, peaches! See you back here very soon! Please do share your thoughts on any or all of these things in the comments below!!

x pip


Top image via Bloomberg / PHOTOGRAPHER: SHIHO FUKADA


  1. The post about elderly women stealing to get to gaol! Oh my! Firstly, I had no idea that Japan had the world’s oldest population, which makes sense. The elderly are economically vulnerable right here in Australia, but to see how it is affecting Japan at the moment is perhaps learning for us in what is creeping up on us here super fast.

  2. A related topic to #1 is lonely deaths. There’s a good article about in New York Times.

  3. Thanks for the interesting thoughts/ideas on your blog post. There is some symmetry in relation to adolescents having conflicted feelings and the article on the older women in prison who are experiencing a lack of belonging and identity in their community/families.

  4. I can’t stop watching the eagles too!!!!!!! Thank you for putting us onto this!!!!! 🙂 And the Japanese women, gosh that article says a lot.

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