The Emperor of Last Year

Posted Sat 21 Jul
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Let’s try and not rant for this post, eh? How about I throw a little family info in, mix it around with a bit of nostalgia, then sprinkle with a wry-yet-oh-so-true look at modern cotton-wool childcare culture? With no ranting. Honestly. I shall try my hardest.

As it happens, my eldest (aha! a picture on flickr that isn’t Friend-and-Family-ed. Hmm, why is that? Mayhap I shall add such a state to it later.) has got a job! Just turned thirteen, the youngest you can be to legally hold a job down (not going to rant, no) and he has wangled it. A paper round, natch. Good for him! He went down, applied, and got it. (I am reminded of a Calvin and Hobbes strip, where Dad is telling Calvin of his allowancepocket money increase. To which you see the young lad rubbing his hands with glee, muttering something along the lines of Heheheheh, imagine the people I can buy off, the influence I can wield…, and the Dad shouts Honey! I think I blew it again!.)

But even so. Should teach him the unfairness of how the socialists want to steal your money, and set him up as a good capitalist. Learn the meaning of money, responsibility and all the other guff people always say when children get jobs. Me, I am happy for him to be happy.

Then we have our little cricketing sesh this morn. All good fun, but leads me in to a point I was making to Tony last week, and to others before that, and to myself ever since way back when. Roundabouts. No, not the ones the road-going natives of Norn Iron can’t use, the ones what we used to spin on, with our feet tucked in the centre, hanging off the end, when we were childer.

Look on the very left of this picture, taken when I still lived up the road from that park. There is a circular piece of tarmac (heh, you don’t even get such unsafe surfaces in parks these days) where there used to be a roundabout. It was, I think, taken out that year, not many months before. Because, you know, they are dangerous. Childers can get hurt, poor wee things. Ignoring the decades (of decades) prior that younguns played on them, the laughs we used to have on them, the pivotal role they had in understanding basic physical concepts. Of course, we did all sorts of insane things, but no fingers were lost. Sure, bruises, bumps, scrapes, but all limbs intact. Did I put my children on them? Yup, I did. And me, the fool, got to run in a circular motion making it go faster! faster! faster! But we can’t have them anymore, it seems. No doubt an insurance thing, local councils (nnnnnn, not going to rant) doing what is best for their balance sheet and claim deterring. But it seems a shame to me. I used to love them. I must ask, but I am sure they are but a distant memory to my children. Is there anywhere in England with one left? Over there in the colonies? Is it just this country, and its liberty sapping collectivists…no, stop, now, I did say at the start…

So what are future generations going to think when they hear the phrase ‘swings and roundabouts’, with no idea what it means, and why it should apply to physics? Dumbing down of even children’s play areas.

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