Month: January 2011

Cash in the attic?

Well, I thought so. Maybe. Perhaps? But no! Still, can’t say it wasn’t fun.

My 9-year-old has decided she wants to play the oboe. Having a piano, a clarinet, a guitar, a saxophone, a djembe, a recorder, a flute, a bassoon and a drum kit in the house wasn’t enough! No! She wants to learn the oboe!

So ………… great excuse to dig out my dad’s old oboe and finally see if I can get something done about it. Shame I wasn’t in a position to make the trip to Oboe Heaven (i.e. Howarth’s in Worthing) myself, so sent Karim along instead.

Now – ‘old’ was quite a generous word to use there, when referring to my dad’s oboe. The case is barely still standing, but the oboe is intact – or so I thought.

Well – it was! Just. Karim laughed as he told me the expert ‘bent’ all the keys back into their correct places. I’ve had my dad’s oboe for about 20 years now and figured he maybe had it for about 40? Just guessing – but I’d thought it was probably around 80 years old. Ha! Circa 1870, I believe!!! Wahay!! Excellent, I thought. So, tell me, ‘what’s it worth, then?’

Unfortunately, bugger all. Ah well, ’twas worth a try – and how interesting to have such an old oboe. Most interesting of all, though, is that the keys and gadgets, I believe, have changed somewhat – and Dad’s oboe seems to have a ‘gadget’ that no longer exists but that the experts in Worthing were drooling over, they thought it was such a brilliant idea. Drawing pads were extracted from drawers and sketches were frantically taken of this ‘piece’ on my oboe. I suspect it might appear again on future oboes!!! Funny, eh?

Oh – to top it all, it’s not even playable any more. Did I say that already? Ha ha! The tone of oboes has changed somewhat since 1870 and it would now play sharp!

Still – I think I love this oboe even more now.

Rebecca? She’ll be getting a rental. Shame – but that’s life!

Death by parenting

When did we all become so damned precious? I mean, at what particular point did it all start to go so horribly wrong? Wrong in the sense that we are determined to kill our own children! You know what? For all that the third world countries DON’T have what we do, they are going to end up thriving in one way or another and we – supposedly the wealthier and more knowledgeable countries – will have killed off our offspring to the extent that we will obliterate ourselves. But we’ve known that forever, you say? Ah yes, but YOU are talking about war, perhaps. I, on the other hand, am talking about parenting. Modern day parenting is killing our kids!!! What is going on?

Three examples … or this would be a novel, not a blog:

Example 1: We’ve denied our children vital knowledge in the field of basic survival. Our poor little darlings are no longer allowed to play conkers in case they hurt their little selves. And God forbid that they should fall off a swing … Oh no, wait! That’s OK because the surface beneath modern day swings is soft and squidgy – just in case! So let’s see … childhood bragging rights have been taken away (I defy you ‘not’ to have a story about the hardest conker, the massive bruise, not being able to hold a pen for a week, the best match ever …….). Childhood really is no more. And falling off swings, tumbling out of trees and falling off walls is NECESSARY for survival. How else do you learn to ‘relax’ when you hit the ground, how to land softly on your knees (because cement is NOT bouncy!), how to know the difference between ‘hurt’ and ‘pain’ … It makes no sense. Cotton-wool-clad kids, bubble-wrapped, molly-coddled – and for who? For the kids? No! The kids don’t give a damn. This is all about the parents. Yes – YOU GUYS! For crying out loud, what is your problem that you can’t let your kids be kids – let them fall and yelp and hurt themselves like ‘real’ children should? This is not about protecting your children. This is about denying them everything that childhood is about – and taking away vital survival knowledge, too! Since when did parenting become so idiotic?

Example 2: Hunter Gatherers? Only if it’s fast food! So don’t take your kids to the goddamned fast food restaurants. Your little darlings will live. Gosh, they might even live longer! How scary is that, eh? What IS the problem with parents force-feeding their children crap? Oh, they won’t eat anything else? Well, I’ve got news for you. They’ll eat vegetables when they’re hungry – and they won’t eat burgers and chips if you don’t bloody well put it in front of them! Who is killing who, here? It’s blatant child abuse. Stop making excuses for yourself because YOU are responsible!

Example 3: Rickets. Yep! Isn’t that just the last straw? That children in WESTERN EUROPE are being diagnosed with rickets? And you know why? Because parents have become so lazy and ignorant that they’d rather risk their children’s lives than have to wash their clothes and mop up a dirty floor after some trampling with wellies! No. God forbid that our children should get wet. Wet days are for staying indoors and watching endless television. Children mustn’t get wet, oh no, because they might get sick! (since when did rain water cause illness???) Children should be kept indoors in the warmth of our bacteria-infested houses rather than be outside breathing fresh air, running around, leaping in puddles, getting completely saturated and, Heaven help us, having fun!! And because today’s parents can’t be bothered kicking those little butts out the door in the rain and/or the cold (think of the state of the kitchen floor afterwards, oh my!), the poor things are showing deficiencies in Vitamin D and being diagnosed with rickets.

Oh, you know what? Poor things will be better off dead in the end. None of them deserve this kind of parenting. Death by parenting, that’s what it is – or coming close to it!


New 17-year-old

And what a scary thought that is! Forget about his own enthusiasm today, I’m still recovering from the shock. Wasn’t it only yesterday that I found him hanging upside down out of his electric swing – smiling away and quite obviously enjoying an alternative view of his world? Wasn’t it just last week that I stood in front of him and said ‘Ten seconds to warp core breach’ – and laughed delightedly when he then threw his hands up in the air and made rocket noises – and wasn’t it this morning that I stood him up on his changing table, stood back and waited for him to scream ‘BANZAI’ and launch himself 2 feet into the air (with absolute confident that I’d catch him) lol

Oh – those were the days. What fun! Happily, he’s still loads of fun. It’s just slightly more sophisticated these days (although the same could probably not be said for his puns …)

His bedroom is lot more untidy. Definitely smellier. His shoes are way, way, wa-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-y too large – and unfortunately he can also reach the chocolate in the fridge, no matter what shelf it’s on!

Still … can’t complain. What a wonderful 17-year-old. I’ve been blessed. Definitely leaning towards 97% luck and 3% parenting (that much, I hear you say?) Yeah, well …… I have to live in the belief that I contributed something somewhere.

Now – if his siblings are equally wonderful and easy at 17, you’re going to hear me shouting from the rooftops. Oh, I’m sure they will be! They’re doing pretty well so far. I just hope they slow down a little and don’t reach 17 quite so quickly as Chris did! Nappies, though. I don’t miss nappies! …

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