Southerly by David Haywood

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Southerly: Bob's House

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  • Rob Stowell,

    Snap!
    Oddly enough I look at Bollard with more respect: he may look like a beagle crossed with a merchant banker, but he's handy with a shootin' iron.
    I know he'll be tied up in dull meetings with this financial fuss, but let's hope he's still taking time out for some ass-whup serious drinking. Anyone who can get out of that Canberra hotel imbroglio should be able to skin a recession, tan it and sell the boots, quicker than a banker can write off a billion.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Ashby,

    We had one particular experience on a train from England to Scotland where the carriage gradually emptied of the English (who'd be staring daggers at Bob, and saying in loud voices "I can't believe people would bring a baby on a long train journey")

    I think it is partly because so many people have out of control kids so people assume your child will be ignored and in response will escalate his attempts to gain your attention. We see it a lot, though less up here in Scotland than when we were down south.

    When we were in London an the kids were younger I gave up trying to book restaurants for '2 adults and 2 children', I would just book a table for 4 and present the kids as a fait accompli. I particularly remember one xmas period, we had taken them to the South Bank Centre for a matinee of the English National Ballet's The Nutcracker and walked across the river to Covent Garden where wee had a reservation at a rather nice Italian, Bertorelli's. The place was packed with pre show diners and when we entered the chatter gradually quieted as they clocked our offspring. The staff advanced on us and were alarmed to discover we had reservations. But as we went through our meal chatting quietly to our children who did not run around screaming but sat and ate their food and talked with their parents. By the end the staff could not do enough for us, the snooty theatre goers had all left, but we did get some nice smiles as they passed us. But the message from that is what they expected to happen, sadly that is all too common.

    The English are at base anti child but the strength of the reaction is in response to modern non parenting and feral offspring. You see people in family pubs sitting talking and drinking with other adults while their kids run around and vainly try to get some attention.

    Dundee, Scotland • Since May 2007 • 425 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    I think I might be more fond of Bob than I am of children I'm actually related to.

    I can't work out whether that's good or bad. Good for Bob, perhaps.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    You too can have a manatee toy

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3218 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    I think I might be more fond of Bob than I am of children I'm actually related to.

    I hear you, sistah.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I also giggle every time I see Alan Bollard these days

    Heck, I've even been known to chuckle at his namesake embedded in pavements (oddly to a Pistols soundtrack). Way with words, that Haywood.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19729 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce,

    OMG the CWP's. Sounded a bit better than the scratchy old tape I have.

    Welcome home..

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 504 posts Report Reply

  • JackElder,

    the commonly-encountered attitude to children in England

    We lived in the UK for a couple of years in the late 70s, when I was a preschooler. My father was working, my mother stayed at home and looked after us. She didn't have fun. Part of that was just us, boisterous preschoolers that we were, but part of that was stuff like going out to the local shops and seeing signs like "NO CHILDREN ALLOWED. Dogs welcome." Srsly.

    OTOH, when we had our daughter in the UK, we didn't particularly notice massive animosity. In particular, I was imrpessed at the number of pubs that had play areas. Often outside in the garden next to the smoking areas, but it still made it easier to combine beer with childcare, which isn't something that I find easy back here.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2008 • 708 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Ashby,

    I agree that the pubs and children thing is, for those pubs that allow them (try finding one in the centre of London for eg) is good. I once thought it would lead to a more responsible attitude to drinking, with it not being such a forbidden fruit thing that I remember pubs to be in NZ as a teenager (I was not denied my Father's homebrew beer and wine at home). But the binge drinking culture among the young here is horrendous so that idea is consigned to the dustbin.

    Part of the problem I think is that there is little to do here for teenagers in the evenings. The cafes close, the cinema won't allow them in unaccompanied after 8pm etc, etc, so as soon as they get even close to 17 they are in the pubs and drinking. It is the only way many know how to socialise.

    Maybe its because the beaches are so crap here. I have not swum in the sea here in the UK since we arrived in '93.

    Dundee, Scotland • Since May 2007 • 425 posts Report Reply

  • Susan Snowdon,

    the cinema won't allow them in unaccompanied after 8pm

    Really? I didn't know that. Are they allowed to discriminate on the grounds of age? (Assuming the movie is rated as suitable for them.)

    Since Mar 2008 • 110 posts Report Reply

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