Monday, 23 March 2009

Island Trip Part 6

I can't imagine these daily updates are of much interest, but they allow me some time alone with my thoughts - not easy at present.

I went for a run today. With Gem and Wreck both at school I was able to grab enough time to head out for a 5k. I ran to the crossroads and back, which took me 40 minutes. It was truly awful. the wind blew in my face all the way back, and the undulating terrain was way out of my comfort zone. My comfort zone, remember, is curled up in bed watching DVDs, so it doesn't take much to push me out. However, this was TOUGH. At times I felt I was running on the spot, and going uphill with the wind battering against you is no fun at all. There were moments I thought I'd have to stop, but I didn't, thank god.

When I got back I looked on mapmyrun to see how far I'd gone.

2.5 miles.

This, surely, cannot be true. And I don't actually think it is. I tried to measure it in the car, but we were feeding the animals at the time, so reversed, went off road, and generally screwed up the distance. I think - I hope - it's actually around the 3 mile mark. Either way, 40 mins is a shocking state of affairs. Nor is my mood helped by the fact I couldn't resist lemon drizzle fairy cakes, or strawberry ice cream when they were offered to me. A small steak pie for lunch is hardly cause of celebration either.

I now have a stonking great headache, probably from too much caffeine and not enough water.

Other than that, it's been ok. After 11 it all kicked off a bit, as Wreck returned with a schoolchum and they became quite vocal. A third child dropped round for a bit - but they all left by the time Gem came back from school. Another Island mother, who speaks very little English, came round for some tea and played with the boys. Gem was quite subdued, for him, and has been all evening. We've had a very pleasant time doing Scooby-Doo word puzzles and chatting about butterflies. I read him a chapter of Enid Blyton at Sister's behest, and it didn't take long to make my blood boil. Example:

Two ragamuffins - a man and a boy - are walking along the beach. Dick says "I hope they don't come near us. I feel I can smell them from here." Then, when the boy sits in George's sand hole, she tells him to get out. When he doesn't, she and he square up and would have had a fight - only Dick comes running up and says "if there's any fighting to be done, I'll do it. Girls shouldn't fight."

The ragamuffin then pops Dick a whack on the jaw. So Dick whacks back, sending the ragamuffin flying. Ragamuffin calls Dick a coward for hitting someone smaller than himself. It then transpire that said ragamuffin is a girl, not a boy, and demands to fight George. Julian steps in, at this point, and says that fighting is forbidden, and ragamuffin should "clear off." This the ragamuffin does, bursting into tears as she does so.

"She's a girl all right," says the noxious Dick, at this point, before admiring her 'spunk' for attempting to fight him.

What a very strange woman Enid Blyton was, and how repugnant her morality is today. I lapped up her books when I was a child, but even then I recognised how out of touch she was. Girls did washing up, boys gathered logs. Girls were weak, boys strong. Girls needed to be protected, so the boys did all the dangerous stuff like exploring coal holes. And if anyone has ever read the horrendous story of the 'Put 'Em Rights', where the moral of at least some of the story is 'everyone should keep their place and not try and step out of the class boundaries', they'll understand just how much British society has had to overcome in the last 50 years. Having said that, I strongly - strongly - disapprove of altering the text to fit modern attitudes. I read a Magic Faraway Tree version that had changed the name Fanny to Franny, just because nowadays 'fanny' means ladypart.

Ladypart?? Jesus, what's happening to me? Got - to - have - adult - company - soon ...

Anyway - we should read Enid Blyton warts and all, and let kids find out about how attitudes have changed. If I'm reading a book to Gem and I think something's nonsense, I'll say so. That's how he learns there are two ways of looking at things. He hears a story where there's an issue of fighting, and he hears me say it doesn't matter whether it's girls or boys, fighting is wrong. He can make up his own mind who's right.

If he decides it's not me, I can always beat him. He's pretty small, after all.

Gem is pretty restless tonight. He didn't eat much supper because he was doing his puzzle - and allowing him to do it is yet another thing I've done incorrectly. The list is endless. Anyway, he's in bed at the moment, having been chased back by me as he tried to creep out and find some coloured pencils. (God I wish the spell check would FUCK OFF! If I want to spell coloured with a 'u' the way God intended, I bloody well will, and this Yankee-biased piece of dictionary crap can take a fucking hike. Likewise spelling realised with an 's'. But it doesn't have a problem with traveller with two 'l's. Why? Maybe it's just thick.) He's obsessed with insects, this lad, and wants to draw a background onto which he can stick his stickers of dragonflies, ladybirds, tarantulas, and the ever-amusingly named cockchafers.

I'm just wittering for the sake of wittering, really. I'd better sign off before wittering becomes blethering and blethering becomes ranting and I go to bed in a foul mood.

Fisher comes tomorrow!