« Previous | Main | Next »

Just been sent this: the four stages of life.

Eddie Mair | 15:29 UK time, Thursday, 24 April 2008



  • 1. At 3:34pm on 24 Apr 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    Oh gosh. Of course, one could interpret them from either right or left .......

    I'm still in the coke stage ;o)

    Complain about this comment

  • 2. At 3:40pm on 24 Apr 2008, jonnie wrote:

    I'm sure Vyle Hernia could identify with that piccie!

    Complain about this comment

  • 3. At 3:47pm on 24 Apr 2008, U10783173 wrote:

    Big Sis - Sip or snort?

    Complain about this comment

  • 4. At 3:55pm on 24 Apr 2008, jonnie wrote:

    The four stages of human life.

    1) You believe in Father Christmas
    2) You don't believe in Father Christmas
    3) You are Father Christmas
    4) You look like Father Christmas

    Complain about this comment

  • 5. At 3:59pm on 24 Apr 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    Sprint. Or not.

    Complain about this comment

  • 6. At 4:00pm on 24 Apr 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    Of course, there is a further stage - the Latte stage.

    Complain about this comment

  • 7. At 4:08pm on 24 Apr 2008, vainly_here wrote:

    Jonnie (2) Too right. I sem to have missed out on the second stage, though; went for cups of tea - never had a cola before I was about 50.

    Complain about this comment

  • 8. At 4:12pm on 24 Apr 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    Vyle: We hope you'll soon be back to the tea stage ;o)

    Complain about this comment

  • 9. At 4:15pm on 24 Apr 2008, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Big Sister (6):

    ...and then the Deadwood Stage...

    Complain about this comment

  • 10. At 4:22pm on 24 Apr 2008, vainly_here wrote:

    SSC (9) You mean over the hill? I know it's "Plain", but as a lad I always sang "Hill" and can't get it right until I get to "Reins" and realise it doesn't rhyme with "Hill".

    Complain about this comment

  • 11. At 4:38pm on 24 Apr 2008, JhonCooper wrote:

    Now that is quality.



    Complain about this comment

  • 12. At 4:43pm on 24 Apr 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    The Cat didn't mean that, I'm sure, Vyle.

    Think more "Teahouse of the August Moon". You can take the Marlon Brando role.


    Complain about this comment

  • 13. At 4:45pm on 24 Apr 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    Is the Beach still blocked? Is 200 the maximum posts it will take?

    These and other questions will be answered in the next episode of Soap.

    Complain about this comment

  • 14. At 4:48pm on 24 Apr 2008, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Big Sis(13) the beach isn't blobked! It's just got a temporal fold in it after Appy's 201 comment. If you click on the link above that for "Newest" comments, you'll see Deep and U have been there already...

    Complain about this comment

  • 15. At 4:51pm on 24 Apr 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    Thanks Fred = How very drole!

    Why does this happen? Can some explanation be put somewhere that will be seen on such occasions? Am I making sense? - No, not a lot!

    Complain about this comment

  • 16. At 4:55pm on 24 Apr 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    SSC 9,
    And Don't Put Your Daughter On The Stage.

    Complain about this comment

  • 17. At 5:12pm on 24 Apr 2008, DI_Wyman wrote:

    Big Sish 1 me too, don't you just lurve Coke!

    Complain about this comment

  • 18. At 6:16pm on 24 Apr 2008, Lady_Sue wrote:

    No comments about living in France being a better option for families then? Shouldn't there be a whiskey bottle or at least a wine bottle in between the beer and drip?

    Complain about this comment

  • 19. At 6:23pm on 24 Apr 2008, Froggersfroat wrote:

    Have already completed the basic N.V.Q in all the above and have moved on, in later life, to complete a Masters (wine and whiskey) in self embalming....

    Complain about this comment

  • 20. At 6:29pm on 24 Apr 2008, al_opecia wrote:

    I'd just like to confirm my entry into middle age with the following observations:

    Tonight's programme contained items on food and fuel shortages. And the solution from some twit in the south of France? More children!! Why of course, why didn't I think of that!

    Also, why does no one ask an MP how is it they can apparently appoint family members out of the public purse, when I have to jump through a whole series of legal hoops to ensure fairness, gender and ethnic diversty etc (which I think is right and proper) whereas they just pick up the 'phone and "Hello Mum, fancy a bit of typing?". What on Earth is the House of Commons Human Remians Department doing? Is there one?

    Is it me??

    Complain about this comment

  • 21. At 6:50pm on 24 Apr 2008, Lady_Sue wrote:

    20. al opecia: now hang on al, just a minute... "some twit in the south of France"??? Helena Frith Powell is FAR from a twit, she is one of the most intelligent (and glamorous) women of my acquaintance. She has published at least five books, (one was recently launched at one of Marco Pierre White's restaurants - and he is far from a fool), is a well respected contributor to The Sunday Times (French Mistress column) and a dear friend. It comes as no surprise to me that she has been asked to comment on the relative situations between the UK and France and, I believe, she did it rather well. It is clear (from what Helena says) there is a major discrepency between what happens in the UK and what happens in France. Shouldn't you be pleased that there is someone prepared to discuss this and bring the question into the open?

    Complain about this comment

  • 22. At 7:33pm on 24 Apr 2008, Helenafp wrote:

    Well, I am that twit in the south of France - so nice to finally have some recognition! But I would like to stress that every time I look at my gorgeous son I am thankful we moved, as he would never have happened had we stayed in England. I am not saying the solution is to have more children, but it is at least nice to have the option. And thank you Lady Sue for your kind words, I will dedicate my next book to you!

    Complain about this comment

  • 23. At 7:46pm on 24 Apr 2008, Lady_Sue wrote:

    Dear Hfp, you are very welcome and look forward to your next book with aforementioned dedication. Wonderful that little Leo exists because of French laws - is anyone paying attention here? If only the UK govt would look at the French govt laws, perhaps there would be more wonderful women, like yourself, having delightful children in a more financially viable situation.

    Complain about this comment

  • 24. At 7:47pm on 24 Apr 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    How nice to meet you, Helena. Your column makes me laugh. There are a number of froggers here who intend to migrate south when they win the lottery, or are otherwise enabled to change their lifestyles. It certainly sounds very tempting!

    Complain about this comment

  • 25. At 8:00pm on 24 Apr 2008, al_opecia wrote:

    Well Helenapf and Lady Sue - I fully agree that having the freedom of choice is perhaps the fundamental component of sustainable well being for the individual - but what we do with that freedom affects everyone. We have exceeded the planet's ability to sustain us - this probably occured in the early Seventies when we outstripped the rate at which ecosystem goods and services could be replenished renewably, and this has been masked by the uses of stored sunlight in the form of fossil fuel. If this was not the case then there would be no build up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, because the world's vegetation would be absorbing it all - as it is only half the total is fixed back into plant/algae biomass, the rest stays in the atmosphere warming it up further. The oceans can no longer absorb CO2 in some places, and are becoming acidified.

    So having more people on the planet is not helping - particularly in the developed world where our use of resources is an order of magnitude, at least, more than those in the developing world. I despair of intelligent people not being able (or perhaps willing) to recognise this. Particularly when they charge around Town and Country in tank like 4x4s full of children. Sorry, but there it is. Interesting to note that being recognised by Marco Pierre White is a sign of intelligence, I hadn't come across that one before.



    Complain about this comment

  • 26. At 08:49am on 25 Apr 2008, littleFluffyFi wrote:

    H Lady Sue, and Helena.... I really wanted to comment last night but was out so I did not get the opportunity until now. Anyway I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the feature, and completely applaud your decision - both to move and to have your third child there. We are planning to move to France - all being well (fingers firmly crossed) - to the Midi Pyrenees in Jan 09 and I was postively clapping my hands in delight listening to your daughter in particular on how she sees the lifestyle. This is EXACTLY what I want for my children and I cannot wait to move..... From the perspective of having children - for us personally (although it sounds extremely tempting) - it's highly unlikely we will have a third child, simply because of our age and our circumstances, as we have very littel family etc. The feature certainly did paint a very rosy picture of how wonderful it is to have children in France but I wandered if the reality matches up to how it was featured in the programme? I have ready many articles and discussion boards on parenting in France and whilst I am aware that from a child benefit and maternity leave perspective it is very attractive option - I have heard that there is not the post-natal support networks in place that exist here? For example the weekly community midwife visits, access to health visitors etc? Some women have commented that they felt quite isolated after the birth? I would love to hear your thoughts on that Helena?

    As for your comments Al_opecia - whilst you raise valid concerns (I myself while fully in favour of the French lifestyle did question for a moment how globally responsible the French system is). However I think your manner of delivering your points was completely insulting. The issue with controlling global population should not be a blanket - no-one must have more than one child - kind of approach. After all Helena has had a third, very much wanted, very much loved child - who is being raised in a fabulous environment - and who will I am sure contribute to his environment and to society in a postive manner as he grows up. The real issue lies in controlling the vast numbers of unwanted and unplanned births - e.g. teenage pregnancies, woman who show no responsibility over contraception and churn out child after child that the state supports etc etc. I hope I am making my point clear? I fear I may sound like I am saying that its ok for affluent middle class women to have children and not for poorer women who live in council estates!! But that is not what I am saying - I am saying there should be better education, more responsibility shown by woman towards pregnancy and better planning of when and how many children a woman has. I hope I have made the point I intended!


    Complain about this comment

  • 27. At 09:21am on 25 Apr 2008, Helenafp wrote:

    Hello LittlefluffyFi, al and Big Sister - Big Sister thank you I am pleased you like the column. LittlefluffyFi in answer to your question - the post-natal care is quite hands-off but you stay in hospital for longer (normally in a private room) and no I didn't feel isolated. One rather unusual aspect of the post-natal care is the perenial re-training but I fear my blog will be deleted if I go into too much detail on that...
    You ask if it lives up to expectations. I have not regretted our move for a single day, although I do miss much about England. Yesterday the children jumped in the (freezing cold) pool for the first time this year and ran around the garden sunshine. At one stage Olivia (now aged 8) ran up to me, threw her arms around me and said "aren't we lucky". I had to agree that we are.
    Al - I don't agree with anything you've said, apart from perhaps the snide comment about Marco Pierre White, but frankly life's too short (and the day too sunny) to argue as I know I will never change your mind.

    Complain about this comment

  • 28. At 10:28am on 25 Apr 2008, Lady_Sue wrote:

    Little Fluffy Fi: thank you for your kind comments and for your excellent entry which is full of positive common sense. I agree with everything you say. There's an excellent book about moving to France which gives lots of great advice about maternity care/health care, amongst other things. It's called 'More France Please, We're British'. You may recognise the author.
    Al: your crack about being recognised by Marco as a sign of intelligence did make me laugh! I hadn't realised I'd written something which could have such a silly interpretation - I'm sure you knew what I meant: he doesn't suffer fools gladly and I'm sure would not have hosted Hfp's book launch unless he thought the book and Hfp were worthwhile.

    Complain about this comment

  • 29. At 11:47am on 25 Apr 2008, needsanewnickname wrote:

    Well, I think I'm glad there wasn't a plastic bottle of water in the 'four stages', as I now don'r buy them, but recycle a couple of plastic bottles which I fill with filtered water.

    I never realised until recently that plastiuc bottles of water (apart from the irresponsible twits who just throw the bottles anywhere) had a detrimental effect on conserving our resources.
    Am I being controversial?

    Off to have a mug of tea...

    PS: jonnie, love your 'four stages' - LOL!

    Complain about this comment

  • 30. At 11:47am on 25 Apr 2008, needsanewnickname wrote:

    Oops - pl forgive the typos.

    Complain about this comment

  • 31. At 12:05pm on 25 Apr 2008, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Frances_O (29):

    That's fine, but remember not to use the same plastic bottles for too long; apparently they dissolve slightly over time and infuse the water with nasty stuff.

    Complain about this comment

  • 32. At 12:07pm on 25 Apr 2008, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Big Sister (24):

    If *I* win the lottery, I intend to migrate *north*. It's far too warm for me at the current lattitude!


    Complain about this comment

  • 33. At 12:29pm on 25 Apr 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    Cat: I don't like too much heat either, and have lived in both Spain and Italy. But the defining factor for me is humidity - dry heat I can bear, but when there's humidity I just keel over.

    I doubt I'd migrate again as I always find I miss things too much, especially the British sense of humour. Doubtless if I were French and living in Britain, I'd be feeling the same in reverse.

    Complain about this comment

  • 34. At 1:01pm on 25 Apr 2008, Otter wrote:

    With falling birth rates in other European countries, there will be a temptation to follow the French and encourage families to have more children. I hope this does not happen.
    Our future as a species is buckling under the weight of our own numbers and unless we control that we can kiss goodbye a happy future for the children that we have now.

    Controlling population growth is as important as restraining CO2 emissions.
    If anything the French experiment should be inverted and families who have a third (or more) children should have financial and social benefits restricted not inflated.
    I agree with LittleFluffyFi (26) that education plays an essential role in restricting unwanted pregnancies, not only in the west but also in the third world.

    With the probability of 9 billion people living on Earth by 2050 we should not be paying families to have more children. The French are right to be concerned about their economy, they will find the solution by glancing over the Pyrenees to Spain.

    Best regards


    Complain about this comment

  • 35. At 1:06pm on 25 Apr 2008, needsanewnickname wrote:

    Thanks for the tip, SSCat!

    Complain about this comment

  • 36. At 1:16pm on 25 Apr 2008, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    SSC @ 31, you don't happen to know roughly how long it is safe to use an ordinary ex-spring-water water-bottle for? I have never bought bottled water, but some half-litre and litre bottles have ended up in my house from visitors after long car trips and such, and they live in the cupboard under the stairs for me to use when I need to take water with me and also to be by the bed instead of a glass of water -- well, you can't spill a bottleful of water all over the pillow in the night if the cap is on! Now I am worrying about how many days or weeks it is ok for me to use the same bedside bottle for? Any ideas?

    Would the bottles sold for bicyclists to take with them on the road have the same problem? If not, do those come with ordinary lids that are truly water-tight instead of the nozzle-thing that is meant to make drinking from them easier but tends to dribble slightly if the bottle isn't upright?

    Complain about this comment

  • 37. At 1:52pm on 25 Apr 2008, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Chris (36):

    I have a water bottle next to my bed too, mostly because the cat likes to drink from my glass otherwise!

    I've just run a check to see what the concensus was on reusing bottle. There wasn't one.

    However, Snopes (a great site for checking whether urban moths are true or not) says that the "leeching" of chemicals from the bottles, while real, isn't a significant problem. What *is* a problem is the build-up of bacteria; it recommends washing the bottles properly before refilling them.

    So I'm happy to be corrected there, and to know I can reuse my bottles as long as I wash them regularly.

    Complain about this comment

  • 38. At 1:59pm on 25 Apr 2008, needsanewnickname wrote:

    Metal miaower, you are a very useful person! Saucer (or plastic bottle) of cream for the Cat over at Nick's.

    Complain about this comment

  • 39. At 2:20pm on 25 Apr 2008, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Frances_O (38):

    Glad to be of service: I start a scare and quash it in the space of 5 posts!

    Thanks for the offer of cream, but I don't touch it. It comes out of a cow's naughty bits you know...

    Complain about this comment

  • 40. At 2:44pm on 25 Apr 2008, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    SSC @ 67, phew! Thanks for taking that trouble. I think I might add the four or five bottles 'in store' to the beer-making equipment each time it is sterilised -- that ought to do it.

    Now all I have to worry about is the same thing I have with the 're-use your plastic bags': some of the wretched things are 'biodegradable' but don't say so, and I store them in the bin for re-use and then when I come to use one it turns into little scraps of plastic in my hands and drifts about all over the kitchen floor. I really wish they were labelled 'this bag will self-destruct in six months' or however long it takes, and then I would know they needed to be re-used at once and not kept for later.

    If a bedside plastic water-bottle behaved like that it would be a blasted nuisance... (zzzzzzzzz... *sploosh!* glopple... ARGH!)

    Complain about this comment

  • 41. At 2:46pm on 25 Apr 2008, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    '67'? I meant '37'.

    need more coffeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

    Complain about this comment

  • 42. At 4:12pm on 25 Apr 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    I would like to thank everybody for thanking everybody else.

    Complain about this comment

  • 43. At 4:24pm on 25 Apr 2008, AllotmentJo wrote:

    SSC (37)
    Is an 'urban moth' more urbane than a country one? ;+]

    Complain about this comment

  • 44. At 4:28pm on 25 Apr 2008, needsanewnickname wrote:

    Thank you, David.

    Complain about this comment

  • 45. At 5:00pm on 25 Apr 2008, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Thank you for saying that for me, Frances O.

    Complain about this comment

  • 46. At 5:10pm on 25 Apr 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    LS 21, Helen 22, BS 24, AO 25, etc,
    You could all go to the forum on www.livingfrance.com and discuss all sorts of things about France.

    Complain about this comment

  • 47. At 5:31pm on 25 Apr 2008, al_opecia wrote:


    Helenafp - I'm sorry that you can't be bothered to argue - why leave a message in the first place - I suspect it means that you can't muster one. As to not agreeing with anything I've said, does that mean you don't think that global climate change is happening, and that we have caused it? Well, sit tight in the South of France, get lots of bottled water in, as the desert is coming to you. Our appalling system of social care in the UK might suddenly become appealing again, awash as it is in plenty of rainwater.

    littleFluffyFi - Do I read correctly that by "insulting" I should actually read "faced with some inconvenient truths", and, yes, it looks exactly like you are arguing that the "Working Class" are breeding out of control, from a comfortable "Middle Class" viewpoint. Some of those people don't have the freedom of choice you have and exercise it by having children - and no I don't think we should fund that either.

    LadySue - thanks for that, yes, the Marco Pierre White opportunity was to good to miss.

    best wishes


    Complain about this comment

  • 48. At 8:27pm on 25 Apr 2008, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    al_opecia @ 47, you write:

    'Some of those people don't have the freedom of choice you have and exercise it by having children'

    Is having children a way to exercise not having freedom of choice? *HOW*, for goodness' sake?

    I don't follow this at all.

    Who are you saying have the children? you follow it with '- and no I don't think we should fund that either', which suggests that you are saying that the people having the children are those who can't afford to do so and who need support.

    There is a choice about whether or not to have a child. It's called 'using birth control', which is generally a fairly effective way to avoid an unwanted pregnancy (and yes, I know there can be 'accidents', but they are not the cause of a majority of pregnancies by a very large proportion). Are you suggesting that this is not a choice that is available to 'the Working Class'? or what?

    Complain about this comment

  • 49. At 10:12pm on 25 Apr 2008, al_opecia wrote:

    Dear Chris Ghoti

    I'm indicating that the Middle Classes have greater freedom of choice and should exercise it circumspectly. Do try to keep up.

    Complain about this comment

  • 50. At 11:16am on 26 Apr 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    hairless one 47,
    Did you ever consider that people might find it a waste of time to argue with you?

    Complain about this comment

  • 51. At 12:19pm on 26 Apr 2008, al_opecia wrote:

    Dear David@50 Yep I get that all the time. Doesn't mean I'm wrong though. Or right. I'm just trying to tease out the assumptions, facts and models that these arguments and positions are based upon.

    Complain about this comment

  • 52. At 12:41pm on 26 Apr 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    Al 51,
    None of my posts are worth arguing about.

    Complain about this comment

  • 53. At 1:21pm on 26 Apr 2008, Simon wrote:

    Al (49);
    Your post and that at (47) are founded on a poor assumption. When it comes to a choice *not* to have children in fact everyone has the same opportunity. And it's not a class thing, so don't make it one.

    47 is incoherent, you first say that they *don't* have the freedom of choice that 'littlefluffyFi' personally has (she's obviously a close friend of yours, that you know her circumstances so well). You then go on in the very next sentence to say that they exercise the choices, which you've just said they don't have, by having children.

    Either they have choice and exercise it, or they have no choice. Which is it to be? You're in dangerous of becoming an Oozelum Bird, flying in every decreasing circles before disappearing up your own contradictions. On that basis I'd decline the invitation to try and keep up with you, lest I also disappear up your chuff.

    Given that everyone can choose *not* to have children shouldn't we all exercise that choice as circumspectly as you suggest? What you seem to suggest is that the 'working class' are feckless and fecund and that it's alright for them to be so?

    When I see the Chav family and the Hoodie family with their feral children at the supermarket/pub/anywhere I certainly think that there is a good case for someone exercising restraint on their breeding.

    I repeat that it's not a class thing though. These are not the 'working class', often more like the 'dregs of society class', if there is such a thing. It's possible to be genuinely working class and still have personal standards of behaviour which you pass on to your offspring. Being working class doesn't make you a part of the 'Shameless' underclass.


    Complain about this comment

  • 54. At 2:01pm on 26 Apr 2008, al_opecia wrote:

    Dear White Rat,

    You are quite right I stand corrected - I really should spend more time thinking before I type. There are still too many people, though. And the climate system is changing in a way which treatens civilisation on a scale never seen before, and for which we are currently underprepared. And both are "our" fault, and inextricably linked. And some people have more choices open to them, and that is usually associated with having money. Some people are often less equipped, or cannot be bothered, to reflect on the choices open to them.

    That's why I get nervous at the suggestion that "we" restrain "their" breeding - particularly as on a simple intellectual level such a proposal has a certain appeal, which found a great deal of favour in certain parts of Europe between the First and Second World Wars. It certainly doesn't help that those people whos lifestyles may appeal to the "Chav and Hoodie" family appear to happy to espouse population growth supported by the State as a sensible way forwards, which is where my argument started.

    And thanks for defending the Working Class, being a member of it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 55. At 4:37pm on 26 Apr 2008, Simon wrote:

    Al (54);
    Thanks for that swift reply.

    As it happens I agree that the current rate of global warming is mankind-caused. I'd also agree that numbers are a factor, how could they not be?

    I'd go further and suggest that the addiction of the developed world to power (with a small 'p') gas, electric, petrochemical, is a significant causal factor. And that the natural aspiration of the developing world to reach our Western living standards is accelerating the process.

    It's easy enough to identify the raw causes of a looming crisis. What's more difficult is to see a way to avoid it, or to mitigate the potential worst extremes of the outcome.

    Fundamentally you have to reduce power usage per capita. That's not so easily done. How do you convince people to give up their widescreen TV's, washing machines, tumble dryers, dishwashers, central heating and the plethora of electrical and electronic gadgets which now populate the home and the workplace?

    Politically it's a non-starter. No party will stick these sort of measures in their manifesto, they'd be laughed at via the ballot box.

    I'd never suggest that 'we' restrain 'their' breeding. But we should find a way to encourage all to restrain themselves in many ways. For example; My neighbours live in a two-up, two-down with their four sons.

    Their house is a Housing Association property, which suggests a low-ish income, but they have a large gas-guzzling MPV outside (bought with assistance from the DSS), Sat TV and all the modern household accessories. The quantity of trash they deposit weekly equals what my SO and I deposit in two - three months. The quantity of beer consumed (judged by the number of beer bottles thrown into the recycle bin every week) is certainly excessive.

    Who will suggest to them that they should have curbed themselves in family planning? She has said to me directly that they kept on going to try and have at least one daughter, although since No. 4 was another son they have now finally given up trying!!

    Who will suggest that they should curb their energy usage? Their consumption of alcohol? Why should the benefits system actively support them in delivering a large family by subsidising their transportation (using cash derived from taxation) ?

    It's a conundrum, with no apparent solution. We can all find something to criticise, but most of us are also part of the problem ourselves. Ultimately many of us believe that 'something must be done', just as long as it has to be done by someone else, not us.


    Complain about this comment

  • 56. At 5:44pm on 26 Apr 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    WR 55,
    We have a small screen (old fashioned) TV, only recently got a combined DVD/VCR player because the very old VCR died, no central heating, a small Hyundai after 16 years of an even smaller Citroen AX (it died) and no dishwasher other than me (OK, my wife as well). But we are middle class members of the Lib Dems and live in a Cathedral City, St Albans and attend there. I delivered 500 leaflets today. We had roadkill pheasant the other day along with homemade apple wine. We recycle as much as we can, grow vegetables and have a compost heap. I collect wood from skips and cut it up to burn in the fireplace.

    As everybody here obviously has a computer (or more) and is online, we can't be too po-faced about how others live. Except for the pain-in-the-arse ASBO-type council house residents across the street.

    Complain about this comment

  • 57. At 11:48am on 27 Apr 2008, Simon wrote:

    D McN;
    We also don't go overboard, no dishwasher or tumble drier here, for example and we recycle everything that we can. But we use 'electronic gadgets' too, digital SLR's for our photographic work, computers (plural), SatNav in the car for finding places we've never been to before, etc.

    We had an interesting interlude early yesterday afternoon with a foul-mouthed drunk trying to kick in a front door down the road. I gather from his language that he wasn't too happy with the single lady who lives there. The police were there sharpish and dragged him away.

    This is not uncommon around here. A few weeks ago the residents were awoken at 2:30 in the morning by an almighty crash as another drunk in a stolen car smashed up four other cars, plus the one he was in, whilst trying to escape from the law. Our roads are barely wide enough for a car to drive up, due to their narrow width and cars parked (necessarily) on the pavements on both sides to leave a single clear channel down the middle.

    A right old palaver ensued, with three cop cars and a Black Maria all parked up looking for the bloke. When they found him hiding behind a wall it took five of them to subdue him. he seemed to have such prodigious strength that I wouldn't be surprised to learn that he had 'taken' something.

    One neighbour is known to all and sundry simply as 'The Dealer'. None knows his real name, but the comings and goings around his place at all hours lend themselves to the suspicion, hence the nickname.

    These sorts of occurences are not everyday around here, but they are certainly more frequent than anyone would like. The majority of residents are decent, quiet and law-abiding. But we also have a decent number of what you describe as the "pain-in-the-arse ASBO-type". But this is not a council estate. Mostly leasehold/rented terraced housing.


    Complain about this comment

  • 58. At 6:28pm on 27 Apr 2008, littleFluffyFi wrote:

    Al Opecia - With reference to your post at 47, all I can say is how dare you pass comment on my class as you know nothing about me, I am working class through and through and grew up on a council estate where I lived until I left home at 20. It is none of your business but yes for the record I do have children - I have excerised my freedom of choice - but I waited until my mid thirties until I had lived a little, had a career and was ready, both emotionally and financially to suppor them. So please do not pass judgement on someone that you know nothing about, thank you very much. And the "insulting" part I was referring to was that you called someone - who again you do not know - a "twit", that to me is an insult. Chris, White Rat and David have all voiced far better than I can the points that I wanted to make and I agree wholeheartedly with them. Its absolutely fine and acceptable to have opposing viewpoints - but it is not acceptable to make personal comments as you did. ....thank you

    Complain about this comment

  • 59. At 2:03pm on 28 Apr 2008, AllotmentJo wrote:

    Having looked at the picture again, I think the last one should be a catheter bag.

    Complain about this comment

  • 60. At 4:57pm on 28 Apr 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    Fluffy 58,
    Unlike the council house neighbors across the street, I assume you have never had an ASBO. I also assume you paid for your computer which I doubt if they did, if they have one, and can write.

    Complain about this comment

  • 61. At 5:03pm on 28 Apr 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    WR 57,
    As we have several council houses across the street we expect a certain amount of 'entertainment' in the middle of the night and aren't disappointed.

    We have no SatNav and I use Multimap, Mapquest, the AA, etc to get travel instructions and print them. Eurocamp, who we frequently use for holidays, also has this available on their website to get you from ports to campsites.

    Complain about this comment

  • 62. At 9:55pm on 28 Apr 2008, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    DMcN, @ 60 & 61, don't you sometimes feel that terrorists who never make a nuisance of themselves because they don't want to be noticed by the police would be very good neighbours to have? A bit of a nuisance if they get caught and the whole street has top be barricaded off by the police while they study it, but most unlikely to make a drunken row in the early hours or quarrel with anyone at a personal level, I expect. :-)

    Complain about this comment

  • 63. At 11:34am on 29 Apr 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    CG 62,
    We have several Muslim families in our street, but none are terrorists that I know of. We were invited around for a drink after a wedding. Orange juice.

    Complain about this comment

  • 64. At 6:51pm on 29 Apr 2008, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    DMcN @ 63, I wasn't thinking about the Muslimness in particular (when I were a young thing the terrorists were mostly Oirish, and I can't get my head round equating either race or religion with terrorism) just the wish not to be obtrusive.

    My brother lived for years in a street in London that had a brothel at one end and a Hell's Angels house at the other, and the crime-rate was pretty-much nil in that street. All the locals very quiet and careful not to make waves. ;-)

    Complain about this comment

  • 65. At 09:52am on 30 Apr 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    CG 64,
    As most McNickles are in N Ireland, I have to be careful what I say.

    Complain about this comment

View these comments in RSS


Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.