So the Tory party leadership race has begun. Canny George (Osborne) is sitting it out. Not-so-Bumbling Boris evidently noticed the trap for the unwary and yesterday declared that he, too, is out of it. This time.
This leaves the party with a choice between Michael Gove (Justice Secretary) - who has been recorded as saying that he just doesn't have the patience, tact and charisma necessary to be PM, but has entered anyway, what with Boris stepping down and all that. Is it any wonder that Kenneth Clarke has called on Gove to stand down too? And that's without remembering that he was one of the leading lying Leave campaigners!
Then there is Home Secretary Theresa May - who seems to be regarded as a hard-working, fairly honest (!) MP. She is also fairly well regarded by her constituents as an MP who genuinely wants to know about them, their problems and what they think. Hmmm, might make a good leader, pity to 'waste' her this time.
Also standing are Minister Andrea Leadsom, MP LIam Fox and Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb. I don't know that much about any of them, except that they're willing to stand and haven't noticed the 'poisoned chalice' in the room.
The media seem to reckon it's a two horse race between Gove and May, with Leadsom, Fox and Crabb as 'interest'. We shall see.
Meanwhile, Aaaarrrggh. Aaaarrrggh. And Aaaarrrggh!!! You know how when you phone up some kind of business, say the local paper, they're going to put you through the hoops of,
'For such-and-such press 1, for something-else press 2' etc? Which leaves you wondering into quite which category your call should be put. Aaaarrrggh!
These days they also say, before they actually put you through,
'Would you mind answering a few quick questions, to help improve our service?' So you think WTH and press assent.
Finally you get through, make your arrangements then stay on the line for the first question, which you answer, only to have the stupid automated question thingy ask you the very same question again! No, they don't listen. Not having that much patience with this sort of silliness I hung up.
Yes, I have ideas about how they could 'improve their service' - not having one of those pre-recorded 'pick your number' would be favourite. Not having the 'to improve our service' thingy at the end might be another. Also not outsourcing your answering service to the Indian sub-continent. Oh I don't mind, too much, provided the accent isn't too thick. Just think, what's regarded as a basic wage, really frustrating job in the UK is a 'Graduate only' entry-level job in India.
Right, the July edition of The Knitting Goddess Blue Skies Sock Club has arrived. I still haven't finished knitting the January pair of socks, though I am well down the leg of the second sock. This month it's 'With Added Pink' and is lovely variegated mauve shades with the odd blue fleck. That's going into the stash until such time as I get the other three pairs knitted.
All this and it's the centenary of the start of the Battle of the Somme. How things change.
Y'all have a good day now!
We had another Church Women's Outing yesterday. This time it was to Artypotz in Southsea - a place where you can buy a piece of bisque-fired ceramic and decorate it yourself. They then glaze and fire the ceramics and, around a week later, if you went in a group, you can stand looking at a collection of brightly coloured ceramics trying to work out which is yours. The ceramic paints are so much paler when you paint your pot, they turn much brighter on firing.
I did a small jug in two shades of brown and a cereal bowl in several shades of green, blue and turquoise. It will be interesting to see how they turn out.
Hmmm, that's not much to write about 2 1/2 busy hours, but there we are. There were twenty to thirty of us in the group - Church regulars, friends, family members and a few others who'd heard about the evening and decided it might be interesting.
The room, which was biggish, soon got warm and we all chatted as we painted, then got totally absorbed, then chatted some more. All in all, a good evening. Only problem was it woke my brain so much I couldn't get off to sleep, so got up and wrote this, then did manage to sleep. I shall be tired tomorrow!
You know, Dear Reader, it's the kind of notice you see at the beginning of a cinema showing, it's probably in your programme at the theatre and it definitely comes up ahead of our Sunday morning services. "Please switch off your mobile phone"
Why? Because what we are doing here is more important. Because you don't have to immediately look to see that something you posted on Facetime or Twitgram or Instabook has been 'liked'. Because those around you want to watch the film or play or worship Almighty God undistracted.
It's bad enough having people who keep talking to each other, even if they have the courtesy to whisper. Look, if you wanted to chat, why didn't you go to a cafe? I know hipster coffees tend to the expensive, but they're cheaper than modern cinema or theatre tickets, and in Church you're supposed to be concentrating on God!
Then there are the compulsive sweet eaters - who have chosen something in a stiff plastic/shiny metallised plastic bag, which are also wrapped in stiff, and therefore 'rustly', wrappers. If you want to scoff sweeties, at least have the decency to bring something in quiet wrappers. If you're hungry - why didn't you eat before you came?
One musician, possibly Fed Up with people who thought they 'needed' to be contactable at concerts, has done something with those oh so intrusive ringtones.
Young musician, composer and general all-round musical prodigy Alma Deutscher has done something similar with the Nokia ring tone (she was 7 at the time and doesn't appreciate comparisons with Mozart!)
If you have never heard of Alma, (who, despite her name and accent, is British) Dear Reader, it could just be because the various British TV 'Talent' shows tend to be looking for 'the next pop soloist/band' so that someone can make a quick few thousand bucks on the back of their 'stardom'.
Alma is a 'classical' musician and apparently Britain doesn't do 'Classical Talent'. It's seen as 'elitist', or something silly and divisive. H is very impressed with her. I think she's pretty good too.
But please, if you're going to a concert/the theatre/the cinema/church do switch off your mobile. The rest of the world will go on very well without you monitoring it, Dear Reader, and those around you will be so glad you didn't distract them.
Come to think of it, if you switch off your phone, you might just find your mind switches on. Now there's a potential threat!
Y'all have a good day now!
BTW - the Trio (see Music, below) is here.
Another young girl who wants to progress in her chosen field, this time robotics. What a thoughtful response. Good. For. Them.
You may or may not have heard about Nazanin Ratcliffe, Dear Reader, the Iranian woman married to a British man. She's been living in the UK for quite a while. Wanting to keep in touch with her Iranian family she took her little daughter, Gabriella, with her to visit a while back.
She was at the airport about to leave when the Iranian government suddenly decided she was a danger to them, that she was 'supporting revolution' against them, and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard promptly arrested her. Gabriella was left, I think, with her Iranian grandparents.
Apparently the idea that Nazanin would be helping foment revolution is ridiculous, according to her husband. She is a charity worker and has never worked in Iran. She was being held in solitary confinement.
Immediately her husband, Richard, leapt into action calling on David Cameron to do something diplomatically. He (Richard) also started a petition on Change.org and has been sending updates to those interested ever since.
As part of his campaign to get his wife freed Richard organised candlelit vigils this Monday evening. That marked day 85 of Nazanin's imprisonment. Today it's day 87.
Apparently the Iranians have changed the charge of 'fomenting revolution' to one of 'encouraging soft revolution' - which seems basically to be any sort of talking or writing about how the present government isn't quite as good as it could/should be!
Honestly, those of us living in Western 'Democracies' just do not know quite how fortunate we are. We may (and do) moan about our governments, the political shenannigins of various MPs, we even write to them to tell them our views (whether they take any notice is another thing all together!) While in other countries their citizens are expected to be 100% behind every decsion their government takes and to have no other opinion. Almost to even think something even slightly different is taken as 'anti-government' and people are imprisonned*.
Richard says his wife has never expressed even 'soft revolutionary' views - she knows her family are in Iran and keeps quiet, lest the government 'jump on' them for something she might have said elsewhere!
Of course, it's difficult to know quite how much fuss to make about such a 'detention'. Yes, a protest should be registered and kept up, lest the detainers decide to detain the detainee, thinking they can do so with impunity - much as they treat their own citizens.
On the other hand one doesn't want to drive the Iranian government into a corner. Too much promulgation of the 'evils' they have done might only put their backs up and harden their resolve to keep the detainee. Heck, it might even provide them with 'evidence' that she actually was encouraging people to think revolutionary thoughts! It might also mean that the Iranian government couldn't let her go without appearing to lose face, and most governments are reluctant to do that. It's all a bit of a tightrope walk.
So there you are, Dear Reader, do bear Nazanin, Richard and Gabriella in mind and in your prayers. Let's hope the incarceration and separations are over soon.
And let's be grateful that, however bad we think they are, our governments are nowhere near as bad as some worldwide.
Y'all have a good day now!
*I'm not sure the Iranian government is quite this bad, but it is pretty 'touchy' - as can be seen from this incident.
You know the UK voted (mostly) to Leave the UK, Dear Reader. Understandably many of the other EU leaders are Fed Up with us, and even more Fed Up that we're hanging around not actually leaving yet. Apparently Nigel Farrage (who is an MEP for some part of England) turned up at the European Parliament as usual yesterday, only to have the guy in charge ask him why he was there!
More bothersome, in some ways, is the growing realisation among all concerned that, if we want to have trading agreements with the EU, we'll have to agree to their rules eg: all the import/export rules that applied when we were 'in'. Then, as part of the trade agreements will come the free movement of people (Immigrants!!!) And we'll have to pay annual subscriptions, which will cost the same as our contributions when we were 'in'.
Only we won't get the 'rebate' on our contributions, we won't get the Subsidies we got when we were 'in' (all those farmers who voted 'Leave', take note!) We won't have a veto on anything, in fact we'll have no say whatsoever in any new policies (we're 'out' remember). Well done 'Leave' campaigners and voters - we're getting all the disadvantages of being in the EU, all the things they were most objecting to and trying to scare us about (including the dreaded 'free movement of citizens' aka demonised as 'immigrants') and none of the benefits!
So much for taking back our sovereignty and control of our borders! Some of us did try to tell you, before the vote!
I suppose the amusing thing is that the major Leave campaigners are beginning to realise this. Those in the Conservative party, who might otherwise have leapt at the chance of being Prime Minister (and we're needing a new one) are all beginning to look around and wonder whether they actually want to be the next one after Cameron.
Oh we've decided to 'Leave', but they'll have to preside over the actual process of Leaving. They'll have to lead the country (and their party) through the post-leaving events (shan't write 'disasters', they might not be.) Whoever gets the job*, they'll be the one who gets all the hassle, the blame and ends up carrying the can - or in this case, the poisoned chalice.
And, of course, the parliamentary Labour party is in no position to provide any kind of Opposition, let alone a Credible Alternative. Quelle Surprise! They're still busily fighting each other, with various members calling for Jeremy Corbyn to go. All of which is more or less in direct opposition to the rest of the Labour party members countrywide; they think he's doing a Good Job and like him. Looks like it isn't just the Conservatives in government who are out of touch with the rest of the country!
So whoever becomes (Conservative) PM will be stuck with the job. Be careful what you wish for!
I don't know, under Mrs Thatcher we learned that 'Greed is Good'. Under Tony Blair we learned that one can sacrifice Principles and gain, and keep, Power. Under the recent Brexit campaign and results we've learned that the country is more than half peopled by voters who are scared, too many unthinking, racist Little Englanders. Oh. Dear. Proud to be British? Umm, not at the moment!
Harumph! Right, that's the last time I'll mention 'Brexit' and the fallout, unless something else pertinent occurs.
Meanwhile England also appears to be out of Euro 2016. Lost, 2-1, against Iceland, of all places! Hmmm, are any of the Home Nations still in the tournament? We beat Wales the other week, though due to some sort of reckoning they're still in, and I seem to remember (Northern) Ireland going out to someone else and Scotland going out early on. Ah well. Now it will just be wall-to-wall Wimbledon. Aaaarrrggh!
And Finally - did you know that every town in England is supposed to have a set of stocks**, working ones. No, Dear Reader, not the flower, nor collections of stuff, nor yet investment 'opportunities'. Stocks, the kind of Mediaeval punishment where your ankles were fastened between a couple of boards and you had to sit there and take what the locals dished out.
Apparently this wasn't always rotten cabbages (tomatoes were 16th century introductions). If you were popular you might be showered with flowers.
Of course these days stocks are more of a tourist attraction than a punishment, but just think, who, Dear Reader? Cameron? Johnson? Farrage? Hodgson? Rooney? Hart?
Y'all have a good day now!
*Looks like George Osborne is playing canny. He says he won't stand. This time!
**The Statute of Labours Act 1405, has never been abolished. Every town must have a set of stocks or risk being demoted to a hamlet and having its charter for holding markets revoked.
Oh dear. Just look at all these pigeons coming home to roost. It could get to the stage where even the most
Some Remain-ers are sore losers and have started up a petition for a another Leave/Remain referendum. Apparently millions have already signed it, so it will have to be debated in Parliament. Ummm, nice try but no cigar I think.
Many younger voters are really Fed Up with those (mostly older) who voted Leave. Something along the lines of, 'You've had all the benefits of the EU, etc for your lifetimes. Now you've voted us all out and WE are going to have to live with the results. You, being so much older, aren't going to be around that much longer. Gee, thanks!'
There's always been a bit of a generation gap, but these days it's getting much wider, and maybe with reason. So many divisions, so many parties. . .
But 'let other pens dwell on misery', as Jane Austin wrote. D'you think she'd have 'written' using a keyboard today, Dear Reader? Apparently there are a lot of authors 'out there' who still write by hand, only typing up their final versions to submit to publishers. Hmmm.
Did you know that some bear watchers, the Scandinavian Brown Bear Research Project, reckon that female bears are moving closer to humans. Not, apparently, because they like our garbage, but because living nearer humans gives them a distinct advantage in raising their cubs. The nearer presence of humans deters would-be bear cub predators. I wonder, do they do the same in the US and Canada?
Did I tell you our washing machine had 'died'? The soap dispenser thingy and top cover (all in one, plastic) got broken. The repair man came last week, but reckoned it could take 10-14 days for the replacement part to come through - he ordered it last Friday.
We were beginning to run out of clothes (it was getting on for three weeks sans machine), so researched the location of Coin-operated Launderettes. Fortunately there is one, about ten minutes walk away (you do know we don't drive?) So this morning I rounded up all the stuff which Really Needed washing, looked like about four domestic machine-loads, and H trundled it off in the shopping trolley.
He exhausted his supply of 20p pieces in the driers and we now have four domestic machine-loads of still Very Damp washing parked around the dehumidifier. Evidently the Launderette washing machines don't get up to a very impressive spin speed either.
Yes, Dear Reader, of course I'd have pegged a load out but, unlike yesterday which was sunny all through, today it is sunny interspersed with short but Very Heavy Showers. w00t! for the dehumidifier say we.
Here's hoping the repair man comes and fits the part before we run out of clothes again!
And Finally (found one for today) - Can You Identify These Historic Britons? Hint - there's generally a clue in the words accompanying the pictures.
Pardon, Dear Reader? Yes, I could, mostly, but then I enjoy history and have lived alongside (if not actually physically near) several of them! How did you do?
And Finally Finally - a rare, blue parrot isn't dead. No, not the infamous Norwegian Blue, but Spix's Macaw, which was thought to be extinct. A small population has now been found in Bahia, an area of Brazil.
Y'all have a good day now!
*Apologies for any misspellings. The Spell Check was clueless (no surprise there then) and my Little Oxford English Dictionary (3rd Ed, revised 1968) too old for such words! It was published in the days before the UK had joined the EU, you know, the days that Leave voters were harking back to as so wonderful.
Personally I doubt they were all that good. Specially if you were poorer. But then, very little is wonderful if you're right at the bottom of the pile.
The good news is that on average 71.8% of the population registered to vote actually got up and voted. In some places it was 80%. The bad news is that most, in most regions by a margin of less than 10%, voted Leave - overall figures Leave 58.9%, Remain 48.1%*.
Ah well. At least many of us voted**, more than usually bother at a General Election, so all the publicity worked there.
Of course, having put so much into the Remain campaign, David Cameron has been wrong footed and has said he'll go by the party conference in October. So that'll mean an election in the Conservative party to choose a new leader, with all the attendant Press speculation. Oh boy!
Actually what is more worrying there is who might be elected. I mean, Cameron has been bad enough, but Osborne (he of the 'the country doesn't have enough money and can't afford to look after its weakest/poorest citizens' policies) would be worse. However much money we won't be sending to the EU now, it probably won't be spent on the NHS or whatever under his rule.
Then of course there is the thought that Boris Johnson has been waiting in the wings, being carefully groomed (politically if not actually) for the job of Premier one day. Under that shambling, bumbling, somewhat unkempt exterior there is an keen mind - a man who thinks. Let's hope he thinks for himself, particularly if he is thought to be PM material.
As I've mentioned before, the more worrying thing is the Racism which has emerged as part of the Leave campaign. Now that Leave have won, will they stop making racist remarks? Will they jump on people who do? (Glass houses and all that!)
Apparently Nigel Farage was on Breakfast TV this morning saying that the £305 a week claim was a lie, that he wouldn't be able to spend it on the NHS, and that he could not shut down our borders. Nigel Farage, folks, the politician who gives even career politicians a bad name!
And, seriously, now that the 'Little Englanders' have had their way, Scotland is considering having another Independence referendum. Scotland voted to Remain, by a 12% margin. It looks like the 'Auld Alliance' (first made between Scotland and France) might hold more sway than the Act of Union (between England and Scotland, made later.)
The view from the EU, in as far as it can be known so soon, seems to be, 'What a shame. Ah well, hurry up and go then. We don't want you hanging around now you've made your decision.'
What various EU countries haven't said is that some of their citizens have been watching the Brexit debate and election with interest. The kind of interest which implies that they might start lobbying for a similar referendum and exit for themselves in the near future. Now that might actually give EU leaders pause. Heck, even Texas has been considering exiting the Union - that's the USA, not the EU, in case you wondered, Dear Reader.
Meanwhile various people have been finding something amusing in the whole thing - see here. Particularly the comment by the Canadian, though I think he may have overestimated the size of our empire! I'm pretty sure Spain and Portugal divided up South and Central America between themselves.
I was trying to find something positive and uplifting to end this entry. Ah, yes. Nietzsche was misinformed. God is very much alive and is still in overall charge.
Y'all have a good day now!
*Overall vote: 37.5% - Leave, 34.7% - Remain, 27.8% did not vote. I hope they're happy with the result now and in future.
**Some (ordinary) people who voted 'Leave' have been interviewed on TV today saying how, even though they voted Leave, they didn't think so many would and the country wouldn't actually leave. #woollythinking #nothinkingatall!
Then there was the rumour (may even have been true) that Rupert Murdoch said that he was backing the Leave campaigne because, while he had no sway in Europe, telling the Westminster what to do was a piece of cake!
I hab a code in by doze. Honestly, summer finally arrives and I get a cold. I blame the warm weather last week, then the slightly cooler and damper stuff we're having this week.
Heigh ho, 'tis finally the day of the 'Shall we stay, or shall we go' referendum. I remember, forty years ago there was another such referendum. That was the first time I ever voted. There must have been a fair amount of politicking going on that time. This time there seems to have been an unfair amount. Not to mention people claiming as 'Facts' things which are only suppositions, or actually just plain Wrong.
This time there has been an awful lot of 'appealing' to people's innate racism. '300,000 immigrants per year!' Has been bandied about*. That's actually about 0.4% of the total population of Britain. And the most worried people have seem to have been those who live in places where there aren't that many immigrants. Immigration has been used by the 'Leave' campaign as a bogey man to scare people into voting for them.
There has been an unwillingness to help the people who have escaped from Syria, even their children. 'We'll be overrun!' Is the implication. Errr, how can 0.4% be 'overrun'?
Only last Thursday we saw one result of this kind of scare tactics. A man took a knife and a gun and went and murdered a woman who'd spent her life working for tolerance, freedom and inclusiveness. Jo Cox was killed apparently because she actively supported the rights of other people, even people who weren't British!
'They'll put too much pressure on the NHS!' Is another thing we hear bandied about. Along with, 'Let's keep the money we send to the EU and spend it on the NHS!'
Dear Worried Reader, the NHS is at its present parlous state because of year on year cuts imposed by our Government. The government you/we voted for. If the NHS is creaking at the seams, it's because the Conservatives seem to be out to break it. That and George Osborne keeps telling us that, rich as the country actually is, there is 'no money' for all sorts of things.
That's not because money is being paid to the EU, which it is. It's because Osborne won't allow the money he has available to be used for various things, like the NHS and Social Services.
As for "Let's take back our sovereignty. Let's have a democratically elected government, not one imposed by the EU!" Ummm, didn't you notice we've been having elections to choose British people to represent us at the European Parliament, MEPs, for forty years and more? Furthermore, our 'democratically elected government' at Westminster is the one which has been imposing year on year cuts on everything. Get. It. Right!
Notice a bias here, Dear Reader? Can you guess how I might vote this time?
OK, so the 'Remain' campaign has been throwing dodgy 'statistics' and even dodgier assumptions as 'facts' too. They've been every bit as insulting as the 'Leave' campaigners. Have neither side heard the saying, 'mud slung is ground lost'?
It's the dodgy-ness of the whole campaign - both sides, which has really gotten on my nerves. I'm glad that'll stop today. Maybe the News programmes can get back to reporting other things!
Of course, once the result has been revealed, there'll be all the 'analysis' of what happened. Quite possibly with more name calling and mud slung as various politicians try to blame other politicians for what happened. You never know, those at the top could be in danger of losing their big jobs.
Aaaarrrggh! Cue more speculation about who will take over from whom!
Ah well, I shall go and vote. Then batten down against the storm of 'analysis' and further speculation. Y'all have a good day now, and, if you can, please vote. I don't mind which way you vote, as long as you think about why, then do.
*Can't locate the exact figures. I do know someone was so fed up with it all that they personally paid for a full page ad in the Metro free newspaper this week, in an attempt to set things straight.
I'm not sure what happened to the 'footballers' last night. One came after school and collected his football, but apart from that . . . Perhaps they were indoors watching the match(es). I'm glad I've a backlog of recorded programmes to which to knit Niece another jumper! Next week Wimbledon starts. Aaaarrrggh! Aaaarrrggh! And Aaaarrrggh! I wonder if I have enough recorded programmes?
Yesterday I decided to venture out again. To the local B&Q. Yes, I know, Dear Reader, I have such an exciting life! What it involved was a longish (for me) walk, in one go, including a footbridge over the railway - steps going up, steps coming down. Then there was walking round B&Q. I got quite warm in the process, but the ol' left hip didn't start up until I was nearly back home again.
On arrival I had a cup of coffee and a sit down in the cafe. Why is a 'small' 'cup' of coffee the size of a half-pint mug? I dread to think how big the 'regular' 'cup' is! Then proceeded to wander around some of the shelves, including the Garden area.
Aha! Watering cans! I don't know what happened to my watering can. I thought it might appear when we cut back the honeysuckle. Alas, all that revealed was some (now very lost-looking) largish black and ginger hairy caterpillars, some planting troughs, and a lot of snails. I dare say that now I've bought a new, pink, can, the old, green, one will materialise. That's the usual way with such things.
"Did you find what you were looking for?" Enquired the young lady on the till, as I paid for the can and a few other things.
"Considering I came to have a look around to see what you had," I replied, "I expect so."
What I also discovered, in the House Plants section, were some African Violets, so I got one. I can grow African Violets (St Paulia). We had quite a few some years back. And I discovered a (price reduced) Spider Plant (Chlorophytum). Wahay!
I had a Spider Plant even more years back. Picked it up at a sale when I was at secondary school. It, or offshoots thereof, accompanied me to university, both of them. I gave offshoots to friends. Then we married and moved here*. A Spider Plant accompanied us - an offshoot of the university-going plant - which got quite large. For years it sat on top of the dresser, sending out its characteristic long stems with 'baby' plants at the ends. I may have supplied other people with Spider 'Plantlings'
It only died off when I decided to plant some out in our yard, as edging plants, having seen a similar idea in a local park. I put them all out there. When the summer drew to a close the cooling night temperatures got them, those that the snails didn't anyhow.
Now we have a Spider Plant again. It looks terribly pot-bound. You know the way they tend to shove five or six cuttings into a pot to produce what looks like a large plant, Dear Reader? I really should split it and pot on the plantlets. For now it's just grateful I stuck it in a sinkful of water when I got it home. B&Q had allowed it to dry out - which was probably why it was on Sale.
I also got a picture hanging System which doesn't require nails or screws - it looks a bit like Velcro strips which you stick on the back of the picture frames and then, somehow, Velcro onto a specially cleaned section of wall**! Now all I need is some isopropyl alcohol to clean the wall where I want to hang the pictures. Hmmm, what with all the 'Elf and Safety measures these days, I wonder where we can get some of that. Or will Meths do the job just as well?
Right, off to pot on the Spider Plant(s) and try to find some empty cache pots for that/them and the African Violet. You never know, I might even get around to planting out more of my seedlings. 'Seedlings', Hah! Some of them are trying to flower!
Y'all have a good day now.
*That's H & I got married, not me and the Spider Plant!
**Sorry, Dear Reader, can't describe it any better, I've not opened the pack; don't want to lose bits.
Heigh ho! The long summer evenings are here and the children are full of energy even after a busy day at school. So some parents let them play out on the street, which means that some of them tend to congregate at 'our' corner. It's probably the furthest they're allowed to go.
As we have a nice wall there the boys (mainly, aged 8-10) spend time kicking their football against the wall. Thump! Thump! Thump!
Then there's a knock at the door.
"Can we have our ball back, please? It went over your wall."
"Of course it did, you were kicking it against our wall. Here are the Rules*: we'll throw it back now, but if it comes over again we won't." We know the drill, if we keep throwing it back, they'll keep kicking it against, and over, the wall. One evening one year it was three times in ten minutes!
So last night I enquired of the first group why they didn't go over to the park, not far away, and play there in the open space and safety, rather than on the street, with the traffic? (Not to mention annoying their neighbours.)
They looked blank, I sometimes wonder if I speak a totally different language to modern children. Probably they weren't listening, too interested in getting their ball back.
Last night's lot promptly kicked their ball back over the wall. I answered the door once more.
"I told you, if the ball came over again we wouldn't throw it back."
"The boy's getting his Gran" one threatened.
"Good!" I replied. "Then I can talk with her and maybe she'll explain things to you." Shut door. They then proceeded to knock on the door and back room window for quite a while.
I don't know. We had energetic children of that age at one point. If they were too lively we'd take them across to the park so they could run around and let off steam. What we didn't do was let them play out on the street - there was traffic even then; not to mention the potential nuisance to neighbours. What is it with modern parents/guardians? And yes, I know having lively children cooped up can really get on your nerves.
For that matter, we used to play out on the street when we were that age. Though the only dangers then were passing brontosauri. Oh, and being given a Talking To by Mum or even Dad if we dared annoy the neighbours repeatedly.
School summer holidays start in a month's time. Let's hope the 'street football' thing gets resolved before then. Meanwhile any ideas, Dear Reader, as to how I could return this football? I don't want to keep it, it isn't mine after all. I just don't want it to keep thumping against our wall or into our yard!
Y'all have a good day now!
*Surely modern children come across Rules at some time in their lives? The younger the better for everyone, I reckon. But then, I'm an old Meanie!