Thursday, 9 September 2021

'Normal' Day

 Thursday - taxi to the hairdresser as usual and ten minutes of putting things to rights there and back with the taxi driver.  'Young people today' was today's topic - brought up because he and his wife had had their grandchildren of fourteen and nine to stay for a few days.   'How was it?'  I asked.   'B* hard work' was his reply.   He found it all very 'foreign' that really all they wanted to do was to be on their ipads all day (especially the fourteen year old.)    I was thinking about it when I came into the house on my return - how children have changed in the getting on for forty years since I retired from teaching.

How pleased I am to have retired I thought but then I realised that if I had still been teaching I would have changed with the times and would probably    still be enjoying it.  Looking back to my own childhood, I can't expect today's twelve year old to enjoy cycling off a couple of miles down country lanes (are there still any left?) with a picnic of jam sandwiches, a bottle of water to drink, a fishing net and a jam jar to hold my catch and a bit of old towel in my bike bag to dry my feet after paddling in the beck.    Life is just not like that any more.

Other thoughts for today?   Well not a lot really.   I now find that after a day with visitors (which I thoroughly enjoy)  I am usually pretty exhausted and need to have a quiet day to collect my thoughts.   And so it has been today.   Had it not been for friend and neighbour H popping round early in the afternoon I think I might have stayed asleep until teatime.

Now in the early evening I am fairly wide awake and now I have put on a post I intend to go and start my Book Club Book, which came yesterday.  It is Neil Gaiman's 'American Gods' - a long book but easily readable print.   It is a genre I know nothing about - if you have read any then you might give me your views on it to help me along please.

Until tomorrow blog friends.

27 comments:

Derek Faulkner said...

Children of today are of a different planet. I feel that many of them will suffer with neck problems as they get older because you rarely see them without their heads bent down as they walk along, with all attention focused on their phones.

Rachel Phillips said...

Not a book you would catch me reading in a million years. I have just read about the dark and supernatural fantasy that it is. Your book club is getting obscure with its selections when life is so short.

Brenda said...

Why would kids that age have IPADS and why would parents permit them to be on them? School work on computers only.

Brenda said...

I don't know who would choose that book but oh my...I read 375 books this past year for Netgalley on Kindle, not counting all the books of mine and gifts. Just finished Hemingway again...a favorite to read and to teach. Can't imagine reading the one you have. Good luck.

Debby said...

Things have changed. I suppose our children's children will have fond memories of their own childhoods, but their childhoods and mine will bear little resemblance to one another.

Heather said...

It is sad that children are no longer as safe as we were when we were young, and allowed to go off to the river fishing for tiddlers or to play in the woods.
Happy reading in preparation for your next Book Club meeting.








Pollyanna_H said...

I loved American God's- I listened to the audiobook, with different actors voicing the characters, and it was GREAT - but it is not the Neil Gaiman novel I would start with at all! Is it too late to switch to Neverwhere, or perhaps (lighter and funnier) Good Omens?

Pollyanna_H said...

Eek, autocorrect inserted a random apostrophe! My apologies - Christine from Wellington, New Zealand

Tasker Dunham said...

I've mentioned it before elsewhere, but the comedian Jenny Eclair got it right when she said something like "what children need today is to spend their Easter holidays sitting on a wall - preferably in the north of England."

Gail, northern California said...

Children --- all children --- believe they have all the time in the world. There will come a day when they will wish they had interacted more with their grandparents. Precious memories lost. Some of the happiest days of my childhood were spent with my grandmother in her garden. I helped pick the biggest blackberries I could find for her out-of-this-world berry cobbler.
About the only time my son and daughter-in-law put their foot down was when the girls thought it was ok to bring their phones to the dinner table! But, guess what-- I've seen many, many grownups, even couples, on their phones in restaurants. We teach by example.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Tasker I love that quotation.

Brenda - The one man in our book group chose the book.

Rachel - I have just started the book - very easy to read although long, but I must say that as I live alone I chose not to read it this evening - shall leave the reading for in the day time.

Carol said...

"American Gods" is a work that flows along on several parallel levels. A grounding in general mythology is helpful in interpreting the actions of several of the characters. Gaiman's reworking of mythic themes is clever and impressive. I wish I'd thought of it.
The story has dark moments, but so does the world, especially right now.

The Furry Gnome said...

Talking to my caregiver the other night, I realized how much parents attitudes have changed. Where I walked to school every day through 14 years, her children weren't allowed to walk until they were 12. Safety has become a huge concern.

Joanne Noragon said...

Our mothers kept us inside for a nap from the noonday sun to protect us from polio. Today's parents pass out electronics to keep children away from something, though I am not a young parent and do not know.

Bovey Belle said...

Gosh, Jenny Eclair got THAT right. I think the "problem with kids today" is not the children but the parents negating on their parenting obligations. Children from toddler onwards given something with a mobile picture to keep them amused so the mother can be on her mobile, unhindered.

We watched one of the new series of Ben Fogle's "New Lives in the Wild" this week, where he stayed with a family who live in the Black Mountains. The family had 4 boys - both parents used to be vets - but WHAT a fabulous life they led. No excess of money but they had bought land and rebuilt the house there from ruins (so well designed inside) and the father was just SO creative. Those boys were very hands-on and one was shown with his Harris Hawk. The family were also planting thousands and thousands (120,000?) of trees on the rougher bits of their land. They reminded me of the Yorkshire Shepherdess involving their children in everything they did and giving them the freedom to develop. If only more families had that relationship with their children. Oh, and it's not just about money as I know a family on a Council estate who value their children and are wonderful engaging parents.

Bonnie said...

I have often said how grateful I am that home computers, tablets and such did not become "a thing" until after my two boys had grown up and left home. Both of my boys played outside most of the day with other neighborhood children and enjoyed their youth much the same as I did when young. I wonder if they were not the last generation to do that with all the electronics of today.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Carol - I like your interpretation of Gaiman's work very much - thank you for it. I am sure it will help me as I 'wade' through it. It is certainly an easy style to read so far.

Librarian said...

Hello Pat, "American Gods" was a book I enjoyed many years ago (I guess at least 10 or more), although the genre is not at all "mine" and today, I don't think I would read it again. Still, Neil Gaiman's writing style is one I really like. If you are interested, click here for my review for one of his other (much shorter) books.

Children of today still enjoy being outdoors, cycling, having a picnic and playing by the water. It is pretty much (but not entirely) a matter of what their parents introduce them to. Whenever O.K. and I are out hiking or I am out for my after work walks, we see families taking their children on hikes or bicycle tours, and they seem to enjoy themselves a lot.

And what you say about going with the times and still enjoying teaching if you had not retired, I certainly believe that! You are someone who embraces new things and not shy away from it, a good example for us all.

Anonymous said...

My comment ties in with childhood activities, and Bovey Belles last line about a family on a council estate who are wonderful engaging parents.One can never assume who poverty grasps in its clutches and why.
My daughter was always involved in theatre, as my husband was a professionally trained actor and as such we were very poor during his training and lived in a 'challenged socio-economic area".
An unassuming youngster at ten, she invited her teacher to a production her father was in.
It was actually a fully fledged large Helpman Academy graduating performance production about Ceusescu's 1989 Romanian revolution - still makes me laugh to see the look on the teacher's face during the standing ovation as my little daughter was asked to play the daughter of a revolutionary in it and forgot to tell her. Teacher no doubt thought she was going to a pantomime or amusing Rep! ..husband also notes over the years, many children don't know how to behave in the theatre ie, teenagers clambering over theatre seats to get to their mates, and talking through a production...they actually appreciate being told the protocol as they have no idea...and the young need to get away from their devices more...perhaps so much of it is boredom and negates cultural enrichment.-Pam.

Anne Brew said...

We find that our grandchildren respond to quite an organised day with us. We give them jobs, picking beans with us etc then give them free time to go on their phones. Chop and change but quite a lot of pre-planning.
I dare say if iPads had been around in the 50s we’d have been delighted with them.

Anonymous said...

For those of us not from the UK, could you explain that please. Thank you.

Tom Stephenson said...

Your comment about lost childhood is why I love 'Cider With Rosie' so much. Slad is not far from here.

Leilani Schuck Weatherington said...

Neil Gaiman's Graveyard book is one of my favorites. I'll see if I can get this one through the inter-library loan. I grew up in the 50s, so obviously my childhood experiences, even in the suburb of Los Angles, were very different compared with today's children -- no mobile phones or "screens", play was outside with neighborhood kids or riding bicycles, or indoors reading, playing board games, very limited TV. What concerns me the most about the devices and screens is how it has changed social interaction among people. On more than one occasion we have observed families in restaurants where everyone is "on their phones" instead of interacting with each other.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Anonymous - what is it exactly uou want me to eplain please?


Thank you all. So many comments suggest that children are not all that different these days. I hope you are right - it has certainly cheered me up to read it. Of course things like the heavy traffic on the roads mean that children no longer have the freedom outdoors that they did in my day anyway.

Jennifer said...

I loved American Gods. It was my favorite Neil Gaiman book.

Anonymous said...

Dear Pat, it was the comment from Tasker which I did not understand, not being from the UK.

Jenny Eclair got it right when she said something like "what children need today is to spend their Easter holidays sitting on a wall - preferably in the north of England."

Anonymous said...

Of course there are still country lanes! I live in the glorious English countryside and there are many lanes surrounding us. How strange that you think they might no longer exist!