Sunday, 22 September 2019

The aftermath of the party. Decision making ideas.

In contrast to yesterday, when I ran in brilliant sunshine and under a clear blue sky, today I ran in the rain. I was not surprised. After all, the weathermen had promised us rain - today, tomorrow, the day after tomorrow and goodness knows how many days after that - and besides I had heard it pounding down in the early hours of the morning.

At the cricket club they were dismantling the fencing that had prevented people from just climbing the low wall into the ground for the Party in the Park. Perish the thought that people should get in for free! I saw a lorry set off with a deflated bouncy castle loaded on the flatbed. There was surprisingly little litter on the road outside the cricket ground, far less than when there is a cricket match. On those occasions it is no surprise to find abandoned mobile min-barbecues! But for the Party in the Park either they had efficient litter-pickers or it was all contained within the enclosure.

There were, however, vast numbers of cars parked on the grass verge where I wanted to run. And they went on well beyond the road where I turn off to the left. Surely some of them must have been almost i Marsden! I doubt that all of them were from people helping to tidy up as there were few people on evidence. So were they all cars in which people had driven to the event yesterday. Had the drivers sensibly decided they had imbibed too much and abandoned their vehicles, setting off to walk home? If that was the case, if they lived close enough to walk home, why had they not walked to the venue in the first place?

As I completed my running circuit, approaching the house from the other direction, I spotted what was clearly car debris on the road not far from our house - bits of a bumper, a number plate, other odd metallic bits and pieces. In front of the debris was a large vehicle, a Land Rover Freelander I think, with a dent in its rear wing. In front of that was a small silver Nissan, possibly belonging to our next door neighbours. This car has a fine dent in the rear, looking remarkably as though the Freelander had rear-ended it. Thinking back I remembered waking in the wee small hours, probably around 1.30am, to the sound of a “crump!”, followed by a car alarm, a short-lived car alarm. So the evidence suggests that someone did a bit of car-crashing in our street last night. When I see the next-door-but-one neighbour she will no doubt fill me in on all the details, as she is always well-informed! I am quite pleased that we do not have a car as it would almost certainly have been larked in the same row of vehicles.

At the other end of the country the Labour Party conference has been going on apace. Promises abound - free prescriptions for all, replacing Ofsted with some superior form of inspection for schools - but Brexit is still a bone of contention. And members of the party still fall out with each other. Life is hard for politicians these days! All that decision-making!

 I was reading about a baby called Anoush, whose parents have decided to raise their offspring gender-free. The child can decide for itself, when it reaches the age of reason or when the parents decide it is old enough, whether it is male or female. I refuse to use the pronoun “they” for this child and so will stick resolutely to “it”. Presumably the parents have registered the child and must have had to put a gender on the birth certificate but they are not revealing that gender to anyone. One of its grandmothers found out when she changed a nappy. I assume that she has been sworn to secrecy. What about the midwives and health visitors from early stages of Anoush’s little life? Also sworn to secrecy? Anoush’s parents, John and the unlikely named Hobbit, live on a houseboat so, I were them, I might be more worried as Anoush finds its feet about it falling overboard.

But that’s just me.

I can understand the opposition to gender-stereotyping but there are ways to deal with it. Our three year old granddaughter alternates between playing with cars and playing with her dolls’ house. And I know about baby-led weaning, where the child more or less decides which of the foods offered are to its liking. But baby-led gender is perhaps a step too far. I should have thought childrearing was complicated enough without adding extra problems along the way.

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