Thursday, 28 May 2009

Turning Gear Boxes Into Plant Pots

My father, who was affable but whose political views were somewhere to the right of Attila the Hun, used to say, when anyone under the age of 30 came out with some liberal view on the world, "You'll grow out of it". This, of course, would send the victim into paroxyms of furious frustration and effectively put an end to any sensible debate, my father grinning with unconcealed glee at another argument won, another young pretender defeated. He was firmly of the opinion that people might start out as left-wing, wishy-washy liberals but, as they grew up and 'matured', the common sense appeal of conservatism would work its magic and everyone would ultimately come round to his way of thinking. Those that didn't were weirdy-beardies or feminists and thus, apart from being good for an entertaining debate, could be ignored.

Maybe out of spite, my views have gone in the opposite direction. I was very conventional and establishment as a young woman, and find myself becoming more radical the older I get.

For example, a few weeks ago, when I was in my non-blogging state, I saw this news item about a government proposal to charge companies, and possibly individuals for using their own workplace parking spaces. Initially I was outraged at this further interference by the Government in our everyday lives. In fact, I decided, if I ran one of the companies I would rather get rid of the car park altogether and turn it into a nice garden before I paid them a penny to park at my own place of work...and then an outrageous idea began to bloom in my head. What if all the car parks in cities were turned into public gardens? Would that be such a bad idea? In fact, wouldn't that be an absolutely gorgeous idea?

We have become so used to the idea of car as king that we seem willing to sacrifice everything in its name. Don't get me wrong, I love my car and I love the freedom that it brings. But just imagine what it would be like if we reversed the trend to pave paradise and turned car parks into gardens. Isn't that a lovely thought? Didn't it put a smile on your face, just for a second? Why couldn't we do it? And pay some attention to the pedestrian - the old, the young and the poor - give them something back to say thank you for putting up with our fumes and our noise and our speed these last thirty years. We'd all benefit because, after all, we are all pedestrians some time.

It makes me smile to think of the furious arguments I would have now with my father, if he was still around, knowing that his now well-into-middle-age daughter was letting him down by having such juvenile thoughts.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

This Quiz is Even Better...

Okay, okay, I'm doing anything to avoid writing a proper post. But I really, really like this Blog Things quiz. Based on the Enneagram system of personality typing, the questions are interesting but not too testing

You Are 4: The Individualist

You are sensitive and intuitive, with others and yourself.

You are creative and dreamy... plus dramatic and unpredictable.

You're emotionally honest, real, and easily hurt.

Totally expressive, others always know exactly how you feel.

At Your Best: You are inspired, artistic, and introspective. You know what you're thinking, and you can communicate it well.

At Your Worst: You are melancholy, alienated, and withdrawn.

Your Fixation: Envy

Your Primary Fear: To have no identity

Your Primary Desire: To find yourself

Other Number 4's: Alanis Morisette, Johnny Depp, J.D. Salinger, Jim Morrison, and Anne Rice.

Any other 4s out there?

Yes, But What Do You Look Like On The Inside?

The thing about being away for such a long time is that you have so many stories to catch up with. I can't decide which one to start with so I've given up and gone for a quiz instead, courtesy of Blog Things.

Your Soul is Welcoming

You are a warm hearted and open minded person. It's easy for you to forgive and forget.

You are a grounded person, but you also leave room for imagination and dreams. You feet may be on the ground, but you're head is in the clouds.

You believe that people see you as larger than life and important. While this is true, they also think you're a bit full of yourself.

Your near future is still unknown, and a little scary. You'll get through wild times - and you'll textually enjoy it.

For you, love is all about caring and comfort. You couldn't fall in love with someone you didn't trust.

These quizzes are complete tosh, of course, but this one was scarily accurate...maybe I'll try it again, answer completely randomly and see how I come out...How's your soul?

Monday, 25 May 2009

Puddock's Back!

Hello everybody! After a break of, I am surprised to see, nearly three months, I am dipping my webbed toe back into the waters of Blog Ocean.

It seems that many of us need to take some time out from blogging every now and then, either because real life intervenes, because we want to think about the direction of our blogs, or we are disturbed by the weirder side of the internet knocking on our cyber door. My reason was all of these and none of these, if that makes sense. I guess I just wanted to test whether blogging was still as important to me as it was when I first began, when it was, almost literally, a life saver.

A blogging buddy had written an interesting post in which she said that a cyber hug was never going to be as good as a real hug, and she really hit the nail on the head, I think.

Anyway, I'm BACK! I was going to post the most life-affirming, stick it to the man, antidote to the thieving political class thing I've seen in months - the Susan Boyle audition for Britain's Got Talent but Youtube won't let me embed it. Here's the link instead, in case you are the last person on the planet not to have seen it or you just want cheering up.

Susan Boyle Cheers Up the Nation