Could have. Should have. Would have.

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One of the saddest true stories I could share with this WordPress involves a girl, a 17 year old girl I used to attend secondary school with many years ago, her name is Karen (for this post) and NO this isn’t one of my tales of an adult nature.

Karen was rather short with wide hips though not overweight, and far from being a plain girl she was attractive and unremarkable and I don’t mean that in a nasty way, 95% of the population are unremarkable and average looking, I am you are, what I’m trying to say is if life had turned out differently, Karen with her blondish hair may well have worked in a Bank like her mother, married say an electrician, their destiny to birth two children own a dog and live happily ever after on some middle England housing estate.

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Schoolteacher ‘Crushes’

File this under happy childhood memories, my first true love 🙂 .

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And NO Miss Steer didn’t resemble this cartoon school teacher, a great image though!

A thought just crossed my mind, I’d guess I’m not only person to have fallen in love with their school teacher, no love is tooo emotive a word, sexual infatuation fits better or is experiencing strong feelings towards an adult every child’s first real sexual awakening, a young teenager’s rights of passage have you will?

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SATS, niece & Bugsy Malone!

Intriguing Title no? Call this post Creative Writing part 2 or whatever lol.

SATS 1 use

Yesterday was both lovely and sad, lovely because my sibling and daughter came over to stay over for the night with my mother, sad because we all as a family visited my father in Hospital, not the most enjoyable of experiences but there you old age creeps up on every one of us and the best we can do is make life comfortable for him.

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Trouble with the Youth of today is………….

I’m guessing if you have children of your own you’ll possibly probably enjoy this one. 😀

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‘David’ by Michelangelo 1501-04, I think if the day ever comes when this magnificent marble statue is deemed obscene it’ll be the day I finally give up on humanity.

“Wow didn’t David have a small willy!” (Now come on you were thinking it so I said it.)

A very wise man (she could have been a woman) once wrote ‘the good ole days’ are 50 years long (I’d suggest they never existed in the first place), and the older I get the more I understand that writer’s perceptive thought processes, AND without Googling (because I never do) didn’t a philosopher living way back in antiquity days once utter the line “the trouble with the Youth of today is……..”

Well I have to be completely honest I’m no longer writing the post I’d first intended, the name of this Greek guy intrigues me so through the wonder’s of Google I just had to discover his actual quotation, and wouldn’t you just know I came across these following words of wisdom written by other Greek philosophers of the day.

A brief intermission (Get the popcorn out).

(The tale of how and why my Great Grandfather emigrated from Southern Ireland back in 1916 will have to wait, on and off I’ve been researching my family tree his father was a Boer war soldier and I’ve recently been given written evidence to prove something I’d suspected or hoped to be true…………… namely Grandpa was a political refugee, his family persecuted by Catholics so he sailed the Irish sea seeking asylum in the UK as both an illegal immigrant also a migrant worker…………… hmm well who’d have guessed, Grandpa was an asylum seeker, perhaps I should be more careful when discussing UK immigration!! 😀 ………. btw the irony isn’t lost!’)

Intermission over.

Returning to Googled Greek philosopher’s and their wayward children, ok this evening’s post is little more than regurgitated facts you’re all probably aware of, they’re lifted from the internet by me, nope nothing incisively new here but they’re entertaining reading all the same!

“They (Young People) have exalted notions, because they have not been humbled by life or learned its necessary limitations; moreover, their hopeful disposition makes them think themselves equal to great things – and that means having exalted notions. They would always rather do noble deeds than useful ones: Their lives are regulated more by moral feeling than by reasoning – all their mistakes are in the direction of doing things excessively and vehemently. They overdo everything — they love too much, hate too much, and the same with everything else.”
(Aristotle)

“The world is passing through troublous times. The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. They have no reverence for parents or old age. They are impatient of all restraint. They talk as if they knew everything, and what passes for wisdom with us is foolishness with them. As for the girls, they are forward, immodest and unladylike in speech, behaviour and dress.”
(Peter the Hermit in A.D. 1274)

“I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words… When I was young, we were taught to be discreet and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly wise (disrespectful) and impatient of restraint.”
(Hesiod, 8th century BC)

“The children now love luxury; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are tyrants, not servants of the households. They no longer rise when their elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize over their teachers.”
(Commonly attributed to Socrates by Plato)

Incidentally if you’re curious I don’t profess to be an expert on Greek philosophy, ask me a question about Socrates! And I’ll tell you the guy was a medical doctor, who smoked 20 cigarettes a day and played football for Brazil at the 1978 World Cup.

A fun read don’t you think? Especially ‘Peter The Hermit’s’ thoughts on girls of today……….. my guess is he didn’t have daughters or perhaps he should have got out a little more often!

A. Shepherdson 2018

Crafting – A response post

Go-cart
Wouldn’t you agree ‘imagination’ is the mother of all inventions? Me aged @10yrs beside a go-cart I’d constructed from old pieces of wood, stolen buggy (stroller) wheels and my parents old kitchen lino floor for a roof! I’d even painted it racing blue and added a bike wing mirror.

Oh and the hair is but a distant memory (sigh) 😀 , back in the 1970s I was always making things from old scraps of wood so was I taught to be creative or inherited the skills through my genes?…………… Happy days! 😀 And back in the days of my youth pram wheels were childhood currency, if you had them some kid would always buy or exchange for a swap……….. I’m wondering :/ do children play like this in 2018 or am I looking at my past through rose coloured spectacles?

Anyways chatting about ‘meee’ isn’t necessarily the point to this post.

My mother is a perfectionist she can turn her hand to almost anything, as a small child I remember her sitting at the dining room table, cutting out material for dresses, shortening curtains by sewing machine and taking the hem up on my Jeans because she could never buy…………….. LOL long story!!! Most evenings leading up to Christmas she’d be baking mince pies, cooking a fruit cake, icing when cool with brilliant white sugar solution then leaving on the dining room bureau to dry. My mother used to make everything and anything before arthritis took hold of her hands (they’re not so bad which is a blessing but sewing is a hobby of the past), and only just recently she helped me assemble a bathroom cabinet holding it up while I drilled screwed and attached to the wall……….. yep a lovely family anecdote to put down in writing.

Ah where was I? Oh yes crafting a response post to a lady blogger I follow, about the age of nine and for some unknown long forgotten reason I had to make from scratch a small ‘sitting stool’ from oddments of timber. You know the scenario, this crafting project was a task to be completed earning me a badge from my Cub Scout leader, successful and mum would later sew onto my arm. The point to my tale is I guess mum could have left me to my own devices, and yes I could would have presented a half decent chair to my Cub Scout leader, earned the badge because well I was good with my hands and now I’m a time served engineer by trade.

Anyways rather than leaving me to work on my own, mum helped with the measuring cutting drilling screwing together before trusting me with a tin of brilliant white gloss paint!…………… And measuring each small piece of timber is the key to my tale, the dimensions had to be marked with a pencil then cut to a line, left to myself I’d have used rule of thumb and yes as I remember the ‘sitting stool’ EXACTLY resembled the picture on the plans……… even if I say it myself the stool looked pretty darn spectacular with its shiny paint drying under bright sunlight.

As an aside after the presentation ceremony, unbelievably one rather catty bitchy mouthed mother had the nerve to criticise mum saying,

“I don’t agree with parents doing the children’s work for them!” (Mum let it pass!)

Ffs I physically made it! Mum just instructed me how to use tools properly and to this day I still live and work by the mantra measure twice and cut once, and yes still to this day there are occasions when in a rush to get tasks done the initial first measurement turns out to be wrong…………. don’t you think that bitchy mother was out of order? I guess some parents compete against other parents through their offspring and it gets outer hand, anyways very childish behaviour but there you.

So what’s the point to my tale? We all have childhood memories experiences which only when many years later as adults ourselves do we realise shaped our lives, to this day I can close my eyes and picture us two knelt on the concrete front drive with tools and oddments of wood scattered around about us, I guess some would use the word bonding though I’m not so sure? To me our labours were more an exercise in how things should be done correctly, and yes on reflection the anecdote is a happy childhood memory which perhaps I’ll appreciate even more in years to come……… sadly.

I’m employed as an engineer so perhaps her early construction lessons rubbed off?

The amusing part to this tale is knowing my mother as a person I’d guess she was herself competed against other parents, however note she was very careful NOT to make the ‘sitting stool’ for me (btw I’ve asked mum and she cannot remember what happened to it), yes a competitive parent but cheating to win an award wasn’t and isn’t her style!

So my message to the blogger I’m responding to, don’t worry about the mess, the child is crafting and baking but life skills are being learnt, I’d guess treasured memories are being locked away for future reference and at least the child isn’t staring at a screen zombie like watching TV.

A. Shepherdson 2018

My take on computer games

A reflective post this evening discussing the differences between the childhood era I grew up in as compared to youth culture of today……….. we’re talking computer games! Oh and keep in mind I AM a cheerful ‘live your life as you wish’ kind of guy, remember this whilst you’re reading. TY 🙂

Female-gamersNote I’m not having a go at young people, I do understand computer games are more than just play to today’s children unlike in my youth when I was outside riding my bike or constructing go carts from old timber AND (stolen) pram wheels………… but I get it! Gaming’s socialising, it’s what kids do in 2018.

I get that gaming is an important part of youth culture, a time for children to bond with their friends whilst playing on XBOX’s but they do seem an awful time waster. AND I’m not alone, I chat to a Grandfather colleague at work and he has one hell of a difficult time getting his 10 year old grandson to put down these addictive consoles that will keep him engrossed and quiet for hours if allowed to. His Grandad wins after much good natured persuading and then they’ll bond going fishing on their bikes, and I use the word addictive as a description because yes computer games are designed by games inventers to be as addictive as any drug.

Am I wrong of course not, these clever games inventers understand exactly how a child’s brain is wired, visual graphics, high octane action plenty of age appropriate gun violence and of course achievable goals, if you concentrate and learn then you’ll reach another level to…………… err who knows where? Win and you get……………… nothing? But yes I concede the point to gaming is enjoying the moment with friends……. I get it.

6a265404f48f7ff3117823fe68291c96--play-video-games-gamer-girlsDo you recall my opening line, I’m not having a go at the youth of today? Well you’ll be pleased to know I’m not, I’m speaking of course as an out of touch older generation, “Gaming is brilliant fun” some little people say to me and I understand I’m out of touch, but then I think back to my youth and I hear my mother’s exasperated voice saying, 

“Will you turn that TV off………….. please”, “go outside and ride your bike…………… please!”

And yes thinking back my sibling and I would watch trash TV at any given opportunity because ‘tech with graphics’ is addictive to a child’s brain, the only problem is I would be watching mind numbing cartoon series to badly acted Aussie soaps all afternoon! Crap TV which leaves the viewer in some ridiculous cliff hanger so I have to watch the next episode to see what happens next!

And nothing ever did apart from I’d wasted my life!

I was of course addicted to this blessed rubbish, jeeze when I think back to the hours of my youth I’ve wasted watching American sitcoms Coronation Street and EastEnders! But I’ll share a secret, I’m a changed man I haven’t sat through an episode of BBC’s EastEnders in the last 25 years, and if I do ever catch an episode’s trailer I’ll just shake my head at all the disgusting arguing shouting and fighting.

Would you believe I used to rush home from Scouts to watch this crap?

So yes I should cut the youth of today some slack, time to time I observe two little people playing games with friends in the living room and yes they are socialising, forming strategic friendships to kill an enemy, they’re arguing, there’ll be tears and laughter but the children are happy and having fun so reluctantly I have to admit gaming’s okay in moderation………… just not for me. I was exactly the same at their age although addicted to a whole different outlet of electronic media………….. so reluctantly YES I’ll admit computer gaming is a good thing in moderation.

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Only when you’re older and ‘wiser’ do you realise how precious those childhood years actually were, there’ll come a time when teenage boys and girls will switch off their consoles, put the handsets in a draw and go out dancing with their friends. Then again if you meet two girls like the couple above, well all I can say is I wish computer games were around when I was a young man!…………. she’s even playing wearing a pink bikini for heavens sake ❤ !

See I told you I wasn’t ‘having a go!’ Incidentally a very British phrase, writing’s a great way to work through your prejudices.

A. Shepherdson 2018

‘The Three Horseshoes’, blog #6

Blog 17/09/2018

Blog #6 and yes it’s part of my # series ‘Caring For a Parent’, only this time I’ve titled the post ‘The Three Horseshoes’, btw if you didn’t already know my mum was on holiday with her friends and for the very first time ever I moved back home to look after Dad blah blah blah lol………….. well as of now she’s returned home refreshed, very happy (with me) and likewise I’m back at my home!

You still with me?

I’d like to add I’m not trying to make a point, convey a message, give advice this blog series is what it is an honest window into my life as many bloggers do………. and yes I have surprised myself because mum left the house with these words ringing in my ears,

“You will be patient won’t you?” which was more an instruction than a question, anyways all went well, no drama and no doubt I’ll be doing this all again which is food for thought.

Where was I?

Oh yes ‘The Three Horseshoes’, now please look at my photographs above, the building’s style lettering and swinging board and you may have correctly deduced this is a traditional English Public House, in other words a hostelry that sell beers spirits, a place where people go to enjoy a drink with friends and have a pint of beer and a ‘good old chin wag’………… put the worlds to rights!

I’ll cut a short story even shorter ’cause perhaps readers are thinking I’m getting carried away with my caring abilities, I’m not, these four days have been a learning exercise I’ve never had children so I could consider myself a virgin carer, anyways returning to my tale!

Several mornings a week my mother walks Dad to the bus stop around the corner, sees him onto a bus heading to the centre of Town and he actually recognises the stop he needs to get off at, then he takes the very short walk to ‘The Three Horseshoes’ by himself. Well I didn’t trust this scenario and didn’t want to be the one to frigging lose him, jeez that wouldn’t have gone down well with the sibling so with this in mind I travelled with Dad finally delivering him safely to the Pub!

Joking apart, once inside the daytime barman says, (along with a few funny lines!)

“Sit down in your usual seat ‘name’ and I’ll bring over your buttered teacake and coffee”, at the same time as taking a £5 note and handing back the change, he’s a wonderful guy in my opinion, mum gets half hour to herself Dad gets a little exercise and a change of scene.

Yes I said wonderful man, this guy doesn’t need to do all this, other barmen may say to themselves ‘this pensioner has memory problems, not my problem to look after him, surely he can visit a pensioner day centre rather than my pub!’ Or am I overplaying his generosity and being disingenuous to most Publicans? Many landlords wouldn’t, in my opinion, and yes to me this small kind service reaffirms my faith in human nature please feel free to comment.

Then half an hour later after coffee and teacake have been consumed Dad is still able to find his correct Town centre bus stop and make his own way home………… incidentally you may be curious to know I’d left the pub earlier and he made his own way home……. ‘phew’ another day gone without a hitch!

To be continued with afterthoughts and conclusions?

A. Shepherdson 2018

Photo blog #4

Photo blog 16/09/2018

The title Blog #4 will hopefully tell you this post is part of a ‘family/relationship/caring for’ blog series.

My parents own a collie cross who as many of you pet owner’s will agree, has become an integral and important loving member of the family, good company for them both she needs exercising and enjoys reminding no begging/pestering us to take her out for walks, owning a dog is a great form of exercise and companionship however isn’t for everyone? Anyways this afternoon I walked the dog around our lake and Town’s nature reserve and took quite a few autumn scene photographs………… I hope you enjoy.

We are lucky and as I’ve hinted at before the majority of Town’s right across the UK have their own small wildlife sanctuaries with woods and lakes, ideal for dog walkers or family’s with pushchairs and maybe joggers…………. saw a lovely ‘bouncy’ lady in tight leggings and green licra today, the sight of pretty ladies always brightens the day especially if she smiles at you 🙂 !

I would like to add a word of caution to owning pets, yes they can be a focal point and comfort but please don’t go getting one on my say so, everyone’s home circumstances are different both ability to care for and give exercise to, plus the cost of food vet bills etc but 🙂 then you all know that.

Unfortunately in the UK our seasons are most definitely changing, the air temperature has dropped by half from a balmy 30 degrees and leaves on the trees are turning rustic browns and golds, oh and as you’ll see horse chestnut fruit is falling to the ground ready for children to collect and play the English game of ‘conkers’.

Hm when I retire one day I’ll buy myself a Border Collie pup

©A. Shepherdson 2018