Saturday, June 21, 2008

In a world of their own.

Passing Syon Lane Station in West London yesterday there were 6 peopl crossing the zebra crossing for whom I stopped. Well, I say I stopped, which I did but that was mainly so I didn't run them over as they didn't bother to stop at the kerb but just decided to step onto the crossing. The first four were wearing ipod earplugs (white), the fifth had headphones on, the sixth was managing to walk without the aid of music.

Only one managed to say thankyou. It was the one who was fully involved in the here/hear and now. Those with the earphones strode on regardless of traffic. They say you never hear the bullet that kills you, for some I would imagine that also includes the car.

Fuel Frugality

I have finally filled the tank of the new Peugeot. (See about 5 posts earlier at a guess).

It cost £92.00!! but the tank was almost dry, I managed to fit 69.6 litres in, not bad on a 70 litre tank, it must have been running on fumes. That 69.6 litres covered 533.4 miles, 130 of it motorway, the balance driving around London. I can be bothered to work out the total to the 43rd decimal point but that is near enough an average of 35 miles to the gallon.

As I was expecting only about 630 miles for a complete tank on the motorway I'm pretty pleased. I reckon I might push 700 miles to the tank if I chose to drive to Scotland and back, which I aren't.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The sins of the father....

are visited upon the child. Or perhaps given to in this case.

This is going to be a bit of a 3 point ramble. Or it is when I started typing. It may expand, be warned!

Yesterday, at Marj's school, there was an "incident", the modern day euphamism for everything from a hissy fit to a murder. Whilst not the latter it was serious enough for the boy involved to be excluded. So the school rang the mother to come and collect him. After 2 hours they rang her again. She decided she was too busy to come at the moment. Another 3 hours later and she deigned to turn up. She then decided that everything was the schools fault. How they had caused her childs bad behaviour, never given him a chance, etc, etc.

Is the mother right, is the school right? The background may give you a clue. The mother was called because of course, the father isn't about, he is serving at Her Majestys Pleasure. Not sure why she was busy as she wasn't looking after the two older boys because they are both in Feltham Young Offenders Unit.

The shame is, that although this boys older siblings were always trouble, he wasn't, but it has been obvious to all those at the school that he would go the same way, even though they've tried to help him. It would be quite easy to see him as a young troublemaker but I just feel sorry for him. I've met him, very briefly, just once. It was actually whilst he was getting into trouble for something else, but I don't think he's a really bad kid. Just unlucky in his upbringing. You can choose your friends, but you can't choose your family.

But this links on to another tale.

In September, Marjs school is likely to be given a new pupil entering Year 6. It's their "turn". This boy has been excluded from virtually every other school in the borough, including the unit that takes excluded pupils! He's violent. But of course he has rights. His parents have rights. There is an expectation that he should be educated in a mainstream school. He won't be at her school long. He will almost definitely get excluded within the first term, if not half term. But I'm more concerned about the rights of the child who is going to be on the receiving end of the punch/kick/beating that gets him excluded. I'm all for giving someone another chance, maybe, two, probably not as many as he's had, and certainly not when the specialist schools staff can't control him. Would you like to offer him a place in your childs school?

Lastly, someone was talking on the radio the other day and made a point that got me thinking. They were saying that when my generation was young we were wheeled about in prams that faced our mother, or occasionally father. That way we were always in sight of her, always reassured, always being spoken to, and thus always learning Now, many babies and small children face away, towards the world. They don't have that contact. They're not developing their language skills, they are on their own. The worst pushchairs that I have seen are the ones where the parent takes the kid jogging and pushes it along, facing forward. If I was a small child I'd be scared stiff. Maybe in the end it doesn't make a blind bit of difference, I'm sure those who have outward facing pushchairs believe it isn't a bad thing, but I do wonder whether it has made a difference.

Your comments please.