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The World’s Already Far Too Full Of Cuts And Burns And Bumps… - Dirty Dancefloors and Dreams of Naughtiness

Jul. 8th, 2014

07:59 pm - The World’s Already Far Too Full Of Cuts And Burns And Bumps…

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1. I think I’ve fallen off the radar. No tweets for over a month. I’ve probably not even updated Facebook once a month since the end of last year. My Flickr account has seen only one update in the past couple of years (the Half Marathon). My Instagram is looking rather dusty. And as for this poor neglected blog…

2. (I realise how vain it is to do one of those “hey, did you miss me” updates – which can be a bit embarrassing when it turns out that nobody noticed – don’t worry – this isn’t meant to read as “needy”).

3. As a Scot living in England, the subject of Scottish independence is something that a few people (south of the border) have expected me to be able to explain, but is something that I find it hard to sum up with simple views. The one hope that I have is that such a huge decision isn’t influenced by something relatively minor and relatively short term – people may not like the Bedroom Tax or Alex Salmond or George Osbourne (etc), but these are going to be consigned the history books in the next few years –annoyingly the level of debate that I’m seeing seems to indicate that a number of people are basing their decisions on relatively short term things, rather than any “bigger picture” (or Biggar Picture, if you know the South Lanarkshire town with the nice chip shop).

4. I never talk about things like that online though – most of my updates in recent times have been toddler related pictures/anecdotes, mentions of running/cycling or, erm, I don’t know. There seems no point in getting involved in big political arguments because I don’t have the time and because everyone else seems to have made all of the salient points already – the internet is a great way of making you realise that you’ve never had an original thought (checking Twitter makes you appreciate that some wag somewhere will have beaten you to every punchline).

5. Talking of cycling (I know…), we spent Sunday watching the Tour de France on Jenkin Road, Wincobank – the steepest section of the race – amazing to watch these athletes cycle up it faster than I could cycle down it.

6. I’d like to think that the Tour de France will be J’s first memory - mine was sitting on a potty at age two/three, but I’m hoping that he remembers something more interesting!

7. I spent Father’s Day doing something I’ve always wanted to do – building a Lego kit with him (60006 – a police quad bike, plus a “bad guy” trying to steal jewels on a Getaway Wheelbarrow – I know how daft this sounds - http://lego.wikia.com/wiki/60006_Police_ATV) – that’d be a nice first memory for him.

8. I think that this is the first toy he’s ever had with a “bad guy” – there’s not been many “baddies” in his world yet – I’m struggling to think of examples other than the “bag thief” in Tabby McTat (Julia Donaldson book). All of the fires in Fireman Sam or missing mail in Postman Pat or spilt “Tustard” in Tellytubbies seem to happen by accident or carelessness rather than malice – will I have to explain to him that there are “bad” people out there in the world?

9. I’ve not been abroad since 2009, my passport expired a couple of years ago and I didn’t think it worth renewing it, since I’ve no plans to go anywhere far flung any time soon. I’d not even left England for two years until a recent last-minute “family” trip (which, having lived for eighteen years in Scotland, is strange).

10. I suppose that modern terms that lack of foreign travel means I’m not living the high life. And, I’m not, I suppose. We have no car, no satellite television, no ipad/tablet, I’ve only spent two nights in a hotel since J was born three and a half years ago…

11. … but we are off to a hotel next week – a few days in Wiltshire – like those proper holidays that other people go on. I’d love to make grand plans for it, but I have a worrying feeling that we’ll end up going to get dragged to the nearby Peppa Pig World. Hey ho…

12. We had a dramatic three months in the second half of 2013 after we moved house, when J went from being a nappy-wearing breast-fed baby in a cot to a (relatively) toilet trained toddler who slept in a proper bed and has moved on to Semi Skimmed. In comparison, the last six months have been quite tame…

13. …until a few weeks ago when he graduated to “proper” Lego (having started on Quattro, moved onto to Duplo) – this feels like the start of the “boy” years, rather than the “baby” period.

14. I say “boy”, though I’d like to think I’d have treated him the same way regardless of sex. He sleeps in a bedroom with massive pink flowers as wallpaper (it was a teenage girl’s room this time last year – we moved in and saw no reason to change the wallpaper). BUT (and this is the scary bit), despite his painfully politically correct parents, he’s started to categorise blue/pink things to boys/girls. He doesn’t get it from us (I wore a pink shirt to work every Friday for a couple of years a few years ago – it was the unofficial department dress code) – I suppose its a Nursery/ peer pressure thing, but it’s sad that the group of “babies” he grew up with are now being split into “boys” and “girls”. When I watch him at drop-off/collection at Nursery (or at the Dad’s Playgroup in Crookes on a Saturday), the two sexes segregate, though I don’t want him to treat people differently. Frustrating.

(must do this again some time...)

Comments:

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From:misswyoming
Date:July 8th, 2014 07:44 pm (UTC)
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Hey Busto!!! I thought you'd gone into a Wetherspoons somewhere in the country, gone through a Mr Benn style magic toilet door and were living in some fantasy fancy dress draft ale and pub grub land!

My first memory is biting my brother and not understanding why he was screaming. Loving J turning into a wee lad. I felt all warm inside at 'tustard'.

Nothing exciting to update in my own life, glad to hear the Bustos' are all well. (Did I apostrophise that correctly? Brain fart.)
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From:thebustocrookes
Date:July 8th, 2014 08:17 pm (UTC)
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Y'know, if I ever do a Reggie Perrin style disappearance, that's exactly what I'll do! Sounds a perfect escape :-)

That's such a vivid first memory - not sure what to make of it, but much more exciting than mine

Yeah, the tiny "bauble" rolling around on your floor is no more - part of me misses the needy/dependent baby - part of me much prefers the modern version who scolds me for not taking my shoes off or telling me off for (deliberately) getting nursery rhymes wrong. I suppose that you could come up with a thesis about the whole dom/sub thing re whether you prefer that needy baby or the child who tries to boss you about.. dunno.

The 'Tustard is good stil - I've got him watching Trumpton and Morph, but a lot of things from our generation wash over him at the moment. I shall persevere, however!

Funnily enough, I was thinking of you a couple of nights ago - my mum bought J a Julia Donaldson book (Tabby McTat - the one mentioned in point 8) from Hoggs in Monimaskit - it still has the small gold sticker on the back advertising the shop)
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From:e4q
Date:July 8th, 2014 07:52 pm (UTC)

No idea if my password is right, lets see if this thing flies....

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How lovely to have a busto post to read!

ALL THE POINTS!
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From:thebustocrookes
Date:July 8th, 2014 08:17 pm (UTC)

Re: No idea if my password is right, lets see if this thing flies....

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This thing still flies, Ma'am - how nice to hear from you - are you settled in your new palace now?
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From:e4q
Date:July 8th, 2014 08:51 pm (UTC)

Re: No idea if my password is right, lets see if this thing flies....

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I am.

I mean, there is a lot more to do but it feels like home. Do come and stay, perhaps not yet, but when the young master might fancy a trip on the train. I have a ton of room.
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From:thebustocrookes
Date:July 8th, 2014 09:05 pm (UTC)

Re: No idea if my password is right, lets see if this thing flies....

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Thanks :-)

The young master had no idea about London, other than a ditty about a bridge falling down, but a couple of months ago we were at Sheffield station where we saw an East Midlands Trains service to St Pancras - http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_zLSRRJiKbxg/S7uuNFuszgI/AAAAAAAADFs/5N-lkXAWpio/s1600/meridian_emt(2).jpg - I told him that the sleek looking train was "a London train" and he's been fascinated ever since with the idea of this big important place with its fast trains - it's going to be great :-)

And there's a Poppet too! What more could anyone want?
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From:silver_starfish
Date:July 8th, 2014 08:19 pm (UTC)
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1. I was starting to think the badgers had got you. There was a heck of a lot of tumbleweed floating past your corner of the internet. (I never say 'heck of a lot', dunno where that came from!)

2. I've missed you! And your posts! Aw, look at the comforting numbered list - takes me back to days of yore!

3. I am SO sick of all the squabbling and smugness and bickering and playground games that are going on. Can it be over already please? I'm actually terrified about waking up on September 19th... I try to stay out of it online too, as talking about it will probably just make me fall out with people, haha! ; )

7. Aw, how fun! I want a getaway wheelbarrow! Do you think my dad would notice if I borrowed a barrow from his collection..?!

10. Are you sittin' on that couch watchin' mind-numbing, spirit-crushing gameshows? I don't think that many people are living the high life these days - I'm defo not!

11. Wiltshire is nice! Isn't it funny how people assume you're going abroad when you say you're going on holiday? People don't seem that impressed when I tell them I'm going to Suffolk this year! (but it has Jimmy's Farm! With a guinea pig village!! ; ) )

13. We still have Duplo at home! I love that stuff!
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From:thebustocrookes
Date:July 8th, 2014 09:00 pm (UTC)
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1. I was thinking of the Badgers tonight - watching the World Cup on BBC1 and its got "BRA GER" in the top of the screen - apparently it means Brazil - Germany rather than anything BadGer related though

2. Yeah, remember when I edited things well enough to a nice round "ten"? FOURTEEN? That's a silly number

3. I'm trying to keep as quiet as I can, mainly because everyone else seems so thin skinned about it - so frustrating

7. I think that, if anyone has a spare wheelbarrow or two, it'll be your dad - I think you could get a lot of jewels on one of those - fancy scoping out some posh shops? ;-)

10. Yup - that sounds like all of the Pointless episodes I've been watching of late! Choose Life, eh? I'm not sure who's having all of our fun though (?)

11. It's true - the idea of staying in the UK seems to surprise a few people, as if you're making some kind of "statement" or being deliberately obtuse. A Guinea Pig Village! How can anyone go anywhere else? That sounds great :-)

13. Duplo is great - you're welcome to come over and play some time!
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From:silver_starfish
Date:July 15th, 2014 09:34 am (UTC)
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1. I still think the badgers were behind it. They probably plotted the whole thing so that those teams would be playing, and the letters would be on the screen, and you would be watching, and your brain would make the connection....has my imagination gone too far?!

3. They were talking on the news this morning about somewhere in the UK becoming a site for space tourist flights. 6 of the 7 proposed sites are in Scotland. Any chance we can send Alex Salmond on a one way flight if it ends up being in Scotland?

7. Some are in better condition than others! The one they used to get wood from the woodshed to the back of the house ended up being more hole than barrow! My sister and I actually pushed each other around in a wheelbarrow a few months back, when we were sent to get one from tool shed at home...we used to play with them a lot when we were younger, but with age this game has become terrifying! I'd put being pushed up a steep hill in a wheelbarrow up there along with bungee jumping and skydiving!! ; )
I wouldn't recommend stealing anything round here though - there was a robbery at a posh shop on George St a few weeks back and millions of pounds of diamonds were stolen. Don't want to be associated with that!

10. I'm Pointless-ed out! I watched far too many episodes in a short space of time! Hmm, I'm not sure either! Rich people on yachts in Monaco?

11. I think there are so many lovely places in the UK to go and see. I'm very grateful to my parents for taking me to so many places in Britain on our summer holidays growing up!

13. Thanks! I will!
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From:judo100
Date:July 9th, 2014 01:14 am (UTC)
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Good to hear from you again. Sounds like things are rather calm and homey with you and your family, which is nice. Your boy is 3 and a half already? Other people's children grow up so fast!
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From:thebustocrookes
Date:July 12th, 2014 09:17 pm (UTC)
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Evening :-)

I think that calm is good. It may seem to have downsides at the time, but when things start to go wrong then I'll appreciate the "quiet" of calm

I know what you mean about other people's children - my parents were at the wedding of the daughter of a family friend last month - I was sure that the girl was about six, but apparently she's in her twenties now!
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From:msb66
Date:July 9th, 2014 02:01 pm (UTC)
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YAY! Great to hear from you.

Our news is that we finally found The Home of Our Dreams in Shropshire and have been happily residing in Oswestry for 3 months.

Best. Thing. Ever. Each day feels like a holiday as we have lots of exploring to do...
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From:thebustocrookes
Date:July 12th, 2014 09:21 pm (UTC)
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TINSTAC? The guy I sit next to at work is from Oswestry...

We were there about eight years ago, but all I really remember was the Sainsburys and the one-way system - a lovely part of the country though - delighted to hear that you are settled ;-)
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From:green_grrl
Date:July 10th, 2014 01:27 am (UTC)
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2. I missed you!

3. Over here on the far side of the other hemisphere, you can give any opinion you like without uffling my feathers! All I've heard about it lately is:
http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2014/06/30/326777014/in-shetland-oil-shapes-debate-over-scottish-independence
In an ideal world, I like the idea of Scottish (and Welsh) independence. In economic reality, I hope people will take the loooooong view. Will Scotland truly be all right when there's no more oil? It will happen at some point.

11. Have a marvelous time!

14. Argh. :-( I hate going into toy stores and seeing everything segregated. Why can't children just be children?
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From:thebustocrookes
Date:July 12th, 2014 09:32 pm (UTC)
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2. And you :-)

3. That's a really interesting article. Shetland is a microcosm for the whole Scottish debate. In the way that the (majority of) the oil is in Scottish waters (rather than English waters), a huge amount is in Shetland's waters rather than mainland Scotland's waters - if you follow the argument that "why should Scotland be ruled by far away London, which takes all of the oil revenues from our waters and has a Tory Government that we never voted for" then there's also the ""why should Shetland be ruled by far awayEdinburgh, which takes all of the oil revenues from our waters and has an SNP Government that we never voted for" (Shetland being a mainly Liberal Democrat place that didn't vote to the party in power in Edinburgh, just as most Scots didn't vote for the party in power in London). I only mention this as Devil's Advocate - I don't think Shetland would ever even consider splitting away - but if it ever were independent then it'd be a pretty rich place (per head of population) - I think that they stopped collecting local taxes a while ago because they were getting so much revenue from oil companies, for example

11. Thanks - will have to remember to blog once we are back

14. It bugs me - and moreso now that I've got a boy old enough to be in this split (babies tend to get the same rattles/ stories, regardless of genitals) - its tempting to buy him a doll's house to make a point!
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From:skyekat
Date:July 12th, 2014 01:46 pm (UTC)
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1) Let's see if I even remember my Livejournal password... [NB: nope! Had to reset it]

2) I missed you too, mate

4) Which is far better than some I know, who talk of it constantly and refuse to hear a word spoken ill of 'their side', as if either side is beyond reproach... At this point, I will be glad when the vote's done and it's decided either way. It can be a bit toxic at times.

6) Has your 'first memory' always been this? I'm quite interested in memory at the moment and wonder if folk's first memory changes over time. I can't pin one down, but there are snippets of things, half-remembered, but not until I'm a fair bit older, 6-7.

9) Meanwhile, I got a big passport when I got a new one for changing my name. I still had a few pages left in the old one, but given I get stamped every bloody time I go in or out of the UK, I figure it will fill up fast :P

10) I'm not sure I'm living the high life, although I do travel a fair bit. Most of the hotels I've stayed in over the past year have been connected with an academic conference to some degree, but there are worse things. I like traveling for 'work' but it's annoying that if your work is academic, you have to pay for it all yourself :P

11) Even without a kid, best laid plans tend to go out the window. That's why we're heading down to London a few days ahead of my conference there next weekend. I've wanted to go back to the Tate Modern for 8 years now, and must have been in London at least half a dozen times, but never made it!

14) Hearing stories from many pals of the same kind of struggles. A friend here has a girl who quite likes Spiderman. A boy at her play group told her she couldn't be Spiderman because he's a boy. She at least knew enough to come home and ask if this was true, because it didn't sit quite right with her. Her parents explained to her she could be whatever she wanted, even Spiderman, it didn't matter if she was a boy or a girl. To which she responded: So I can be Spiderman, and the boy could wear a pink tutu and it would be ok! Which is good, as she realizes she doesn't have to conform to gender rolls, but kinda sad that they're so ingrained that young. Man, society, it does a number on us doesn't it?
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From:thebustocrookes
Date:July 12th, 2014 09:04 pm (UTC)
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1. Took me a while, when I was automatically logged out a while ago... I've kept the same password for LJ as I had almost ten years ago - I've got much "stronger" passwords for sites I signed up to more recently, but for some reason never changed my LJ one - it's quite "quaint" now (if a password can be "quaint"!)

4. It depresses me - I'm becoming more and more removed from Scottish culture because the sites I used to visit (more) become so full of the same arguments that I can't be bothered sticking around. And it seems to affect everything/anything too. Like, a few days ago, Stoo posted a link to an article about "English people's map of Scotland" (i.e. they were quite sketchy on where a lot of places were/ where was a real place - just like most Scots' idea of the island of Ireland would probably have Belfast and Dublin in the right place, but have Ballysomething and Ballysomethingelse in the wrong place) - and it turns into comments about Independence - I'd have commented under normal circumstances, but I can't be arsed with everything being seen through the prism of YES/ NO.

6. Interesting question. I didn't honestly realise that it was my earliest memory, but it was something that I've "always" remembered - and it's only through going down "toilet training" with J that I've realised that I must have been two/three to remember being on the potty - and other things have fitted into place. Memory is fascinating. There are things that J will talk about now from well over a year ago (like our previous house, the "younger" rooms that he went to in Nursery...), but I suppose that he'll have forgotten all of that by the time he's (say) five. My memory at six/seven is a lot better - things before that stage are pretty hazy!

9. As long as you keep coming back to the UK* every time you leave :-) This Social Media lark is a great way of allowing me to live my life through other people, seeing their holiday snaps (etc) to take my mind of my routine life here!

10. I'm glad that you've got to see plenty of the country* - I'd have no idea about all of these conferences and whatnot - I do wonder what everyone else's journeys are when I'm on a train/motorway - but I'd never have predicted your line of work existed! :-)

11. London is annoying - there's far too many things to do - I've had lots of "guilty" trips back north, feeling that I barely scratched the surface whilst in London - if I go to the Tate then I don't go to the History Museum, if I go to the History Museum then I don't see the Thames, if I go to see the Thames then I don't go to Kew, if I go to Kew then I don't go on the DLR... and that's without trying to see everyone I know whilst I'm there - I've only been a couple of times in the last decade, but found visits most complicated! Much fewer to do in Sheffield!

14. I'm nodding along as I read your comment - there's no reason why things have to be this way. Some things I'm in two minds about (Lego Friends seem pretty sexist, but then I suppose I'd rather that my daughter played with them and at least did *some* building rather than the more vapid world of Barbie/Cindy), but I think that three is far too young to be split into "tribes". I'm trying to be politically correct (talking about Fire Fighters rather than Firemen, so he doesn't just think that it's a job for "boys"), but it looks like his age range are going to be put into two separate worlds for around ten years, when they'll suddenly hit puberty and then develop fascinations about the people they were segregated from... life is confusing!


(* - "country" and "UK" not intended as things to argue about in the Scottish Independence vote!)
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