Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Serious stuff. Difficult decisions. And a plea for tolerance.

Well, it’s getting serious. The BBC is stopping filming Eastenders. The queen is leaving Buck House and cancelling events. Glastonbury has been postponed. Whatever next!?

Our daughter has taken the decision to keep her teenager off school. His school sent out an email to parents letting them know that the school was partially closing. Year 7 pupils, the youngest, would still be expected to attend, perhaps because they are considered to be of an age still to need childcare, although the reasoning is not clear. Years 8 and 9 were to stay at home but years 10 and 11, building up to GCSE should continue to go to school. Our grandson, a disgruntled year 10, says that a large number of his class were not attending anyway. So my daughter, concerned about the possibility of the virus being brought hime to her asthmatic partner, has given in to pressure to keep the teenager at home.

Meanwhile I just read this about the situation in France:-

“France’s cafés, bars, restaurants and non-essential shops were ordered to close their doors at midnight on Saturday. On Monday night, Macron decreed the new measures, repeating six times during a sombre address – watched by a record 35 million people – that the country was “at war”. 

Anyone flouting the restrictions, in place for at least the next two weeks, risks a fine of €38 to €135. “I know what I am asking of you is unprecedented, but the circumstances demand it,” Macron said. “The enemy is there: it is invisible, it is elusive, but it is making progress.”
The interior minister, Christophe Castaner, said 100,000 police officers would be deployed to enforce the lockdown, with checkpoints to be set up nationwide and anyone stopped outside their home asked to justify the reason why on a form downloaded from the interior ministry website.

The form, a legal document that can also be copied out by hand, requires any French resident who goes outside to declare, on their honour, that they have done so for one of a handful of permissible reasons - which also include walking the dog and “brief individual exercise, excluding team sports”.” 

Trust the French to be super-efficient!

So let’s talk about something else for a change. I came across this article about Goths, not teenage Goths but people now heading towards their 40s and still being determinedly Goth. It’s interesting that the women interviewed gave us extra details about their houses. Here are a couple of examples:- 

“My house is entirely black and white. I have too many skulls to count. I’m really proud of the downstairs toilet – I call it my little catacomb. It’s painted black, even the ceiling, and I have a customised loo-roll holder in the shape of a coffin. I’m currently waiting for a customised four-poster bed with a built-in spiderweb to arrive.”

“My house is all goth: black flock wallpaper, black settees, black gloss furniture, baroque-style ornaments. I never get bored of wearing black. It’s a godsend, because you never have to separate your clothes when you’re wearing them. I married a goth. We had the wedding in a castle, and I wore a purple corset, with a big flouncy skirt to go with it, and purple and black hair extensions.”

Okay! You would think they might have grown out of it. On reflection, however, I used to know someone who never grew out of being a hippy. Well into her fifties and sixties she still wore her hair in long, now rather faded, plaits, and dressed in long, trailing skirts. She had found her style, her look, and stuck with it. As regards houses, well, my eldest granddaughter has her house decorated with pictures and models of fantasy figures from computer games: superheroes and dragons abound. Mind you, she is only 22.

And on the whole I am prepared to be tolerant of all kinds of styles and try not to judge people by how they look. I just can’t abide those who don’t criticise anyone directly but make a virtue of what they never do, those people who declare proudly “I never dye my hair”, “I don’t know anything about opera”, “I never read romantic fiction”, “I never shop at ...”, all said with an implied sneer!

Let’s take everyone as they come. Just don’t let them get too close. And remember to wash your hands at every possible opportunity!

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