The Fox Inn

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    Arbutus @arbutus

    @puroandson     And I meant to add, sorry to hear about the loss of Stellar. But welcome to the crazy world of autocorrect, lots of fun there if you have a sense of humour (which I believe you do, times 2!).


    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @arbutus, Thanks for the welcome! @janetteb, @puroandson, Thanks for the welcome back! @winston, Yes, it is pretty fabulous out here.  Mrs Blenkinsop and I spent lunch at the local craft-brew pub, and the Blenkinsop pile includes a view of the snow-capped mountains on the mainland. The wilds of rural Ontario are a thing of the past, and the door is finally closed on 40 degree-plus Australian summers. The downside is that good wine is outrageously expensive out here. But the trade-off is that I am drinking it, well…out here!

    winston @winston

    @arbutus  Welcome to Kramer! Rescue pets can be more work at first but always worth it. Sounds like the boys had a great adventure and a good place to watch the meteor showers.

    winston @winston

    @blenkinsopthebrave   Everything is better in a beautiful place.Cheers!

    janetteB @janetteb

    @arbutus The boys camping trip sounds truely wonderful despite the discomforts and some level of discomfort is essential in all adventures otherwise you would not know you were having an adventure. Good luck with training your rescue cat to be diurnal. Our cat has to be shut in the back of the house at night so he doesn’t disturb us as I got tired of getting up two or three times a night to let him in our out, (ot much fun in winter) and he doesn’t have the recscue cat excuse. It is worth it though. A cat for me, makes the difference between a house and a home.

    @blenkinsopthebrave I am envious. Your new home sounds heavenly, except for the price of wine of course.



    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    A cat for me, makes the difference between a house and a home.

    I agree entirely.We brought two with us, from Australia to Canada. I know it involved outrageous expense, but as far as I am concerned, pets are for life.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @janetteb  @blenkinsopthebrave  Yes yes yes about our companion animals; a deal is struck when you put down that food and water, and it’s a real deal or it’s nothing much, IMO.


    Missy @missy

    <div class=”bbp-reply-author”><span class=”useratname”>@blenkinsopthebrave</span></div>

    They certainly are. I adore cats. Follow them with horses, dogs and stangely Camels.


    Arbutus @arbutus

    @blenkinsopthebrave     Good for you, Blenkinsops! I completely agree. It would appear that our new friend was abandoned by someone out in the country. He was living wild when he was picked up, and fairly beaten up, but definitely not feral. And he is a gorgeous healthy 3 year old and so affectionate. I can’t understand it, honestly. We are happy to have him, though.

    @janetteb   We shall see how it goes. I am hoping that over time he will adapt a bit, or at least, learn that meowing at us throughout the night will get him nothing!

    BTW, while it is true that the cost of a decent bottle of wine here is absolutely infuriating, even compared to Ontario, never mind other places, I choose to view it as a natural limiting factor on my intake. Especially in the summer, when I enjoy those rosés and proseccos just a little too much!  🙂

    Anonymous @


    that sounds interesting- the lovely cats! Many cats and other pets tend to be abandoned at either Christmas or Easter. Dreadful.

    It’s good there are kind hearted souls to take up the poor mites and in turn receive more affection.

    i can see the Puricle has been busy talking about his English work which involves a poem called First They Came For The Jews attributed to Martin Niemoller with variants over time.

    in chatting to his English teacher, it seemed she felt a more descriptive approach was necessary which unfortunately means more narrative and exposition.

    On we March!

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @puroandson      We are enjoying getting to know Kramer, with all his little quirks. He is a real sweetie, if a little needy still (fair enough given all he’s been through!). It’s nice to have a cat again, as I said to the guys, it’s good for me to have someone to talk to other than myself!  🙂

    Missy @missy


    Hugs and all; it gets a but rocky up here in the mid-plus seventies, but f**k it, I ain’t dead yet!  2 miles on the treadmill at the gym Friday, that much at least tomorrow, trying to get the bones back in shape after lots of calcium loss.  Sleeping life away, as calcium is a soporofic, so . . . dopey, sleepy, lotsa coffee (great little shop three minutes away by car, lovely artsy kids all sweet and pretty and tattooed to pieces serving the most yummy espresso, though they *will* call me “Susan”, which is not my name).

    Ah, well.  What’s in a name, right?  We tell each other our dreams, now and then, and they always have a copy of the NY Times that I can sit and read, lovely hum of conversation around me, art on the walls, what a pleasure.  I am SO LUCKY I can hardly bloody stand it, sometimes.  And will not *dare* complain, when the luck turns, as in time it must.  Can’t believe this lifetime is almost run!  Seriously — 77 in October, hard to believe.  What am I doing hanging out with these sweet, pretty children?  Talking about dreams, the news, TV, their kidlets.

    Never imagined I would be so — happy, getting old like this, and with a husband slowly sinking into Alzheimers death.  It’s the damnedest thing — my dreams tell me a final efflorescence is coming.  Yeah, well, maybe . . .  if I don’t fall down the damn front stairs first!  We shall see.  Must admit, I’m a teeny tad drunk tonight . . . the Docs want me to take Fosamax or another drug of that class, to remineralize my arms and spine, but I say it’s spinach and I say the Hell with it — that stuff invites mandibular necrosis, or death of the jawbone, and can also have the exact *opposite* effect of the one intended, making weakened bones even weaker.  Screw that.  I’m going the Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine route, and see where that takes me.

    Is okay regardless — another decade, and I’m done and glad of it.  Too old to take on the wretched mess my generation has left to our posterity, poor things.  MUST sleep — thanks, missy, for your good wishes and concern, and kisses right back.

    You poor girl!  I can call you that as I turned 78 (going on 12) last month so am older than you. *chuckle*

    Why do the young women call you Susan? Sounds like a wonderful shop/cafe, all the art work and youngsters flitting around – tattoos notwithstanding. There are people who do not realise just how lucky they are. fortunately, me and my – shocking grammar, but what the hell – husband are well aware of this fact.

    As for hanging around the pretty sweet things, we get on with the younger generation better than our own age group, mostly because a lot of old codgers our age, act it. Life could definitely be a lot worse, so more power to your elbow say I  – and keep on dreaming.

    Missy XX

    p.s. Don’t fall down the front steps, or if you must, do it gracefully!


    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Just read today that Antony Jay, co-creator and co-writer, with Jonathan Lynn, of “Yes Minister” and “Yes, Prime Minister”, died. The two of them created one of the most brilliant TV shows ever screened. A sad loss, indeed.

    Anonymous @


    thank you for the update. That was quite a shock.

    i was spinning merrily on about The Faces of The Doctor discussing why I love this show and why certain people, perhaps of a type -age, education, philosophy- are drawn to this particular programme, so rich, delicious, heart warming and adventurous,

    I’ve been naughty, flicking thru telly channels and watching for a mere half an hour The Bachelor !

    How on earth in this day and age, in Australia can women dress themselves up for a day

    Anonymous @

    Oops I’m breaking the internet… I was stunned to see girls in their twenties yak on about being left on the shelf if their Bachelor deletes them from his heart and bank balance.

    How bitchy they still are, how needy, how, apparently, cooking, can ensure a great love will expand with his stomach!

    the way they dress, the manner in which they speak….dear God it’s awful!

    thank heaven we have The Doctor – he might decide that the show runners of this ‘creation’ are indeed pudding brains.

    everything these poor girls do is intended for ‘a man’. Not for financial security created by themselves for themselves, not inner beauty for its own cultivation just puerile indulgence.

    grrr. Puro peeved!

    Anonymous @


    the point I was trying to make was that this gorgeous episode pretty much vindicates my opinion about how far women have indeed travelled be it in law, in occupations, in love and partnerships and in society in general.

    but we still like the self -indulgence on our screens in show like the Bachelor!

    the news is filled with celebrities, Entertainment Tonight and I don’t want to mention the reinstalling of Page 3 Girls!

    Thank goodness for Yes Minister, YPM and other incredible shows that have left a substantial legacy for our time.


    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @craig (or any lurking time lords)

    I think this thread is a bit full, since it is over 1000 posts. It might need a new page.


    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Hi Purosolo. I agree entirely. If I recall correctly, the self-description that goes with your avatar is “dedicated to TV box sets”. Very wise words. I ignore current TV entirely, for precisely the reasons you mention. Tonight it was the 1980s adaptation of “Love in a Cold Climate”. I had forgotten how pleasurable it was.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @missy   Love the kids and the coffee, and I have a horrible suspicion that they call me “Susan” because I’ve let my hair grow lately, and it makes look Susan-ish — ?  I’ve worn it short for years, but haven’t been able recently to find someone who can give it a decent cut, so piff.  Also, I’m curious to see if it changes at all now that the rogue parathyroid gland has been seen off the premises, and the more capable ones are waking up again to do the job properly.

    78?!  I am hard on your heels, ma vielle, so look out.

    Camels?  Really?  But those *feet* — seriously alien-looking feet, actually, so maybe that’s the attraction?

    @puroandson  I’m watching very little TV now myself; I’ve finally got Netflix streaming working, so I’m looking at some of their original shows — there’s still a lot of junk, but also good things, for example the original “Wallander”, in Swedish with subtitles and a seriously homely detective.  I’ve read some of Mankell’s books, didn’t care much for Brannagh’s versions on tv because he just played it way too over-sensitive.  I mean, I thought nobody that raw could actually maintain a *career* as a cop, could they?  I’m liking the Swedish version; homey and homely.  No room for boxed sets, not til I clear out some of these books . . . one of these days.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @blenkinsopthebrave.  I loved that production and it is in my collection along with the more recent version which has some merits too. I am currently re-watching The Pallisers, talking of “retro” TV viewing.



    Anonymous @


    I’ve hustled the iPad from young Puro and indeed the moniker is “DVD and boxed sets”

    you have an extraordinary memory!

    Even our ABC is slashed each year. Conforming to Sammy Junior and the Muppet (purely my name for the so-called “dry and clever analysis” that is one remarkable talent used in rather vulgar and expedient ways) doesn’t actually help a great deal as those who like his particular brand of humour tend to watch via YouTube giving adults – who have time, patience, erudition- a platform on which to complain about the “failure of the ABC in our time” etc..

    Silly shows, whether imports or our own, underwrite their beliefs so finding good programmes to watch in our own time is a number 1 priority. In the future television programmes may have to be purchased separately to the hardware.

    Let’s face it, it’s wonderful to have dinner conversation about a particular character in a well loved show and then decide, promptly, to watch an episode featuring that character after the dishes are done.

    Once watched, this dominoes into other programmes and more lively conversation – aided by a good coffee and a richly coloured, humble red wine – taken from a mini cellar that was once a storage closet for hats, shoes and Puro’s wardrobe! If the choice is storing old clothes or old wine, then the latter wins.

    With the DVDs, of course 🙂


    ichabod @ichabod

    @puroandson  Used to be, maybe, dinner chat about the latest installment of a Dickens novel in the newspaper . . . Our PBS survived by soliciting the “support” of corporate “sponsors”, ie advertising, after Republicans in Congress cut their govt support to nearly nothing; but so far, that hasn’t ruined their programming.  Though there’s no telling what *doesn’t* make it onto PBS because of corporate opposition . . .

    Missy @missy

    @ichabodCamels?  Really?  But those *feet* — seriously alien-looking feet, actually, so maybe that’s the attraction?

    And whafs’ wrong with their feet pray? Ideal for desert rambles. My attraction are their faces, large brown eyes and a “don’t push your luck” exprssion.


    zhangxiaosan @zhangxiaosan

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    Anonymous @


    I thought I’d transfer this part of the conversation to the Pub.

    Yes, you’re right, I’ve slammed the Australian curriculum in the last few years. I was asked to write unit outlines after originally writing the initial change to the 2010 Introduction to a National Curriculum platform.

    The outlines and one piece of assessment together with links to the next unit was expected but within a fortnight new directives included writing brief lesson plans for some of the 5 week units.

    Within a month more staff were hired to basically produce the entire curriculum from Powerpoint presentations to every single map and handout required for every lesson AND teacher notes. Most of us resigned (particularly those who had discretionary contract definitions) within either 6 months or eighteen as the stress was building rapidly.

    Unfortunately whilst the content is fantastic the assessment often doesn’t match the content type. Also, five weeks per unit isn’t satisfactory -certain public service members haven’t been in classrooms for a long time. They’ve forgotten or failed to measure the amount of interruptions which affect minutes of History per week (210 minimum) such as student immunisations, parades, apprenticeship meetings, sports, public holidays or pupil-free days etc.

    Certainly Modern History prior to Year 11 is excellent but Ancient History starting in Year 7 (although History and Geography start in Year 1) is also very good with a focus on archaeology (my own little contribution to the Years 6/7 History curriculum) 🙂 and studies of Sumerian life, Ancient Greece, Rome as well as Japan, China and South America.

    The decision was finally made to ensure that the curriculum went beyond a Western dominated platform -for which we’re all grateful but only very good teachers can make this curriculum come alive and connect units in a thematic and chronological manner so that students don’t get lost amongst the content.  But they do.

    Son of P loves History and so is able to follow it pretty well but he’s the first to admit a lot ends up being crammed into std’s heads in the two days before assessment and despite outstanding work he’s often received a B+ even when I’ve checked over his responses and believed that what he’s written would certainly earn an ‘A’ in my old classroom 🙂 and would be followed by a similar grade as a freshman in university.

    It’s not surprising that when I read 1st and 2nd year papers from decades ago they are imprecise, avoid the formidable footnoting and referencing expected these days, lack cohesive ties and simply narrate rather than evaluate -I’m speaking of my own attempts, years ago, not others.

    Still, like any new curriculum, there are problems to be ironed out and public servants never like admitting to mistakes for us, the tax payers. 🙂



    ichabod @ichabod

    @puroandson  Gawd, sounds like Heaven (though not, obviously, for people doing the actual work, under far too much pressure).  At least your government is trying to upgrade curriculum, instead of demanding tests and evaluations all over the place but supplying nothing (or very little) useful in the way of curriculum updating and upgrading, let alone better (and more expensive) teacher selection and teacher training.  Our public education system is a train wreck these days, in so many places and so many ways . . . Do your universities have to have remedial classes for freshmen because reading and writing is so poor among High School graduates?  We have ’em — taught by “adjunct” lecturers or by graduate students, paid badly, non-tenured, and without benefits; this is what I’ve been hearing from friends in academe, and if people here know of counter-examples, I’d love to hear about them.

    Here in New Mexico (which, around the time it was made a State in the Union, had a first class higher ed situation), good teachers go teach someplace that pays a decent wage, and good professors get lured away to Texas universities, which are extremely rich, as ours are not.  Some say it all went to hell because the ranchers and miners and car dealers didn’t (and still don’t) want to see an educated work force here — to them, education meant “communism”.  You can understand why once you find out that there were cowboys out west trying to organize themselves into unions in the late 1890’s.  Their working conditions were appalling and their pay poor.  Teach ’em to read and think, and you never know what crazy ideas they’ll get into their heads . . .

    Anonymous @


    No, we don’t have remedial anything in the university I worked at -but then I stopped in 2014 so who knows what’s happened since. The pay was always very good, tenure was offered and ‘redeemed’ and the average salary of anyone in higher education with a PhD provided good competition. There were the usual arguments of whether a uni was a teaching or research institution although the Music Dept tended to be different as concerts and composition as well as ethnomusicology provided a colourful flagship for interested cultural ‘elites’. 🙂

    Yes, I hear you: America; if you have unions then it’s sliding towards communism. A belief my own father held true until he died. In purgatory he’ll be burning any union flags or maybe not? Perhaps he’ll be converted and now seeks out angels and prophets to join unions -providing it’s economically sound 🙂

    I was surprised to hear that perhaps 5 years ago the average teacher earned about 35K? Surely not?

    An average Oz deputy principal, for example,  in a small school earns around 90 – 120K

    The hours can be brutal though.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @puroandson  Can’t tell you exactly what average grade school teacher pay is, but I know it’s not good.  Universities, better, but that depends on your title — profs still do pretty well most places; associates, graduate assistants, adjuncts of any kind, badly.  There’s a huge scandal at LIU right now, the Brooklyn campus (that’s Long Island University) because the new administrator offered a lousy new contract to the faculty union, with pay cuts and so on, and then *locked them all out* — meanwhile promising the students (this school costs a student $40,000 – $50,000.00 per year) that faculty would be “replaced” by comparable teachers offering the same level of education as the profs.  Only the “teachers” who showed up first day of classes (not all of them did) were admin staff who’d been assigned to teach classes in fields they know nothing about.  Some of them apologized to the students and left.  The students are now on strike.

    I got this from Amy Goodman’s radio program, “Democracy Now”, with interviews with staff and students, today.  And, as it’s the US, race is of course a factor.  The Brooklyn campus of LIU has mostly non-white students; the Post campus, on Long Island, has mostly whites — and pay grades there are considerably higher than pay for comparable positions at Brooklyn.  What a surprise.

    My country is a disgrace, and will remain a disgrace until these issues and disgustingly biased practices are addressed and righted.  And I doubt that I’ll live anywhere near long enough to see that.


    Anonymous @


    Yes, I know of LIU.

    The issue is not surprising. Education was valued once in the US. I can understand how university degrees at 40 000K per year  are now impossible to fund for the ‘average American’

    What I’ll never understand is how politicians and journalists and even an American who used to post daily on this Forum (0bv not yourself)  still say that “America is the best country in the world; the most free country and the luckiest. As well as the greatest”.

    This alludes me. No-one in Australia and  -we really are a great country – 🙂 would say that about life here.

    Still, until about 20 years ago, university was free and health care is still free -by and large. We don’t have issues with ‘deductibles ‘ for instance re hospital stays (though this depends on the nature, and type of, top hospital private care/costs and status) and our university payments, per degree, are much smaller by comparison.

    This did surprise me at the time of my own post graduate work undertaken in the States: just how poor students in their late twenties in Ivy League colleges are -or were then.


    ichabod @ichabod

    @puroandson  I’ve always felt — well, since maturity, whenever that was (I hope) — that Americans of the US have a terrible problem with the whole idea of childhood.  Our culture is so youth-centered, with so many people fighting tooth, nail, and bank-account against every indication of middle age (let alone old age!), that we essentially pit ourselves *against* kids (maybe not our own, but kids in general) in a kind of forlorn competition, and it makes us come off as weirdly jealous of children who naturally own (temporarily) the state that we have been groomed to covet.  So we short-change them as a class, underfunding every aspect of public education at least.

    That persistent quest to drive down the cost of education is one of most shameful aspects of this wretched culture of mine (I can’t pretend I wasn’t born and raised here, although I was lucky enough to benefit by several mitigating factors).  I recently came across an article (New York Review of Books, I think) in which the author asserted that one reason that many relatively wealthy white Americans of both parties hate to see “their” tax money go to public education is that those funds will help *all* students — including, heaven forbid, non-white kids who might get scholarships and better school supplies, schools, and teachers out of it.

    And I can’t seriously deny that this might well be, if not the whole explanation (hardly), a damn good part of it.  That bloviating B.S. about how wonderful “we” are is American Exceptionalism (we are *so* special that normal rules and values just don’t apply to our more appalling actions), and it’s a blight on this country that keeps us from mending our worst faults, or even *seeing* them.

    I am not in a good mood tonight; some wine is in order, I think.  And cat-watching, except that they’ve gone to sleep, lazy little beasts . . .

    Anonymous @

    @janetteb and @missy

    happy vernal equinox at….approximately 14.20 !

    to @arbutus @blenkinsopthebrave and all those far far away it’s the autumnal equinox.

    A time during which I, myself, look gooood.

    Now, that’s paraphrasing a favourite character of mine from The West Wing: Amy.

    In any case, I can’t quite get the right order of words from the dialogue. \^-^/



    Arbutus @arbutus

    @puroandson        It is, isn’t it? I guess that means it’s getting hot again for you. Yes, here it’s cooling off, although lovely and sunny this week. Lots of tomatoes in my garden (and almost nothing else, it was a strange summer to say the least).

    Just finished lengthy chat with young Arbutus about Grade 12, wannabe hoodlums in his school, and uni applications (OMG!!!). Kramer the cat let me sleep until 5:30 this morning and then let me go back to sleep for another hour. Impressive restraint on his part.

    I’ll just run over to the music thread and drop off a little something before bedtime!   🙂

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @puroandson The autumnal equinox passed without incident in the Blenkinsop home. The weather, it has to be admitted, is very close to perfect here on the island, and the quality of light as the sun sets on the mountains you can see on the mainland is really rather wonderful. And yet Brisbane in the early spring is also a gorgeous time of the year as I recall. There are, are there not, the spectacular purple and lilac blooms of the jacarandas that come out in October? Are they out even now?

    Spring and Autumn. They don’t last long, but they don’t disappoint.

    Anonymous @


    indeed, the Jacarandas are about -they’ve had a mind wipe or a confusing cocktail, or may be the moon was an egg!

    They bloomed a good 6 weeks ago whilst the Jasmine (my general Spring’ometer) bloomed in early July rather than September.

    Last night was cold (it was clear) and yet the days are around 28 degrees with humidity punching in the 80s -this last week has been more ‘Spring’ as temps are in the low 20s.

    That’s the weather for Brisbane folks 🙂

    @arbutus “hooligans” and bullies? perhaps? Punch their lights out I say! Or, no, don’t tell arbutus junior that.

    Missy @missy

    @puroandson   happy vernal equinox at….approximately 14.20 !

    Thumbs up.



    Mudlark @mudlark

    @puroandson @arbutus  @blenkinsopthebrave @missy

    I love these few weeks when the year is on the cusp of Autumn, especially when the weather is as perfect as it has been here for the past few days. Last week it was unseasonably hot, with high humidity and temperatures in the high 20s to low 30s C.  Now the weather is calm, with hazy sunshine and temperatures around 18C-21C, and in late afternoon and early evening the colours in my garden seem to glow with an especially vivid intensity, the raking light enhancing the intensity of the foliage on the Acers and the Nandina Domestica ‘Firepower’, and the pinks of the Japanese anemones, the sedums and the nerines.  It won’t last long; the leaves on the trees are starting to turn colour, but while it lasts I’m always happy.  Maybe the fact that I was born in October has something to do with it.

    Anonymous @

    Anonymous @


    I’m screwing around with Windows 10 and a different browser. This is why I have the Godfather above. Enjoy!

    (gulps like a twit).

    PuroSolo (no way Spawn would make this mistake)

    Anonymous @


    It sounds absolutely beautiful. I imagine the joy you receive from your garden is incalculable. I also think whilst you were recovering from the operation that not being able to ‘play’ amongst the flowers would have annoyed you or at least made your fingers twitch? 🙂

    Anyway, the pub is getting over-full and I might post further comments on the Sofa.

    I also send ‘halloos’ to @craig in the hope all is well with him. He’s our fearless leader after all.


    Arbutus @arbutus

    @mudlark     I love the idea that we have a special relationship with the season in which we were born. I know it works in our house. I love spring best, and I have a May birthday, and my husband’s birthday is upcoming, and he definitely loves fall (apples, pumpkin pie, cooler weather). I believe Puro Solo (@puroandson) has a birthday next week as well? But for you it would be spring; is that your favourite?

    Puro, Arbutus Jr. won’t be punching out any lights, as he is pretty sure he would lose that battle. He doesn’t hesitate to use his mouth, however! Interestingly, as he is a peer counsellor this year, he just spent two days on retreat, where they did role playing and learned about empathy statements. It occurs to me that possibly everyone in high school ought to be taught about empathy statements! It would at least send them into Adultland with some proper communication skills (and maybe a few fewer trolls).   🙂

    Anonymous @


    that sounds incredibly useful -the retreat for Arbutus Jn?  I wholeheartedly agree with there being classes in these areas where young people (for many reasons) don’t have successful adult role models in some cases.

    Obviously in your family that isn’t the case -I’m merely getting at the core of one problem as young Puro has identified it: which is that many boys -and girls – don’t have the skills to identify with (some) other children and demonstrate compassion in the practical way and then apply it suitably across the teenage spectrum.

    I guess issues like this plague teenagers in the Puricle’s age group, due to one reason that he’s identified and that’s “broken homes”.

    Purely his words, not mine, and whilst I do recognise what he’s attempting to explain, I also feel that it’s more complicated.

    Privacy and other issues associated with social media can cause all sorts of difficulties too. Although that’s a particularly complex area and again I’ve just referred to that as one problem.

    Definitely the whole trolling syndrome and the effect of reading KYS everywhere on you-tube is an enormous problem also. I had to ask what that actually meant  -Kill Your Self! I wouldn’t want to be patronising but ‘yourself’ is one word.

    This is also puricle’s response who has an unusual way of discussing this material: “Mum it’s everywhere. Honestly it’s just rubbish, it doesn’t affect me and certainly doesn’t worry my friends.” I’m amazed it doesn’t, Arbutus, although it must have some resulting consequences to the gentle readers on you-tube who stumble into some conversation or flame war.

    So, cyber bullying and outright physical threats in and around school and the job ‘market’ for teens are everywhere (hell, I remember the amount of sexual harassment of which I was victim as an 18 year old ‘stepping’ out into a workforce during the Christmas vacation and simply thinking “everyone puts up with this so there’s no point in taking it further” -that is until my father found out and threatened to use his fists to ‘solve’ that problem. This didn’t alleviate it at all).

    Yes, “adult land” -a great term.

    I used to think, when I was a young teacher working in the States, that the way young adults spoke to their children would suggest that everyone who intended to have children needed some sort of general set of lessons -much like a man marrying a Catholic girl who’s expected to follow doctrinal commandments and therefore attends Church before tying the knot. 🙂

    Yes, I was a young girl of 22 who clearly believed totalitarianism in marriage and parenting was the best way to go! Fortunately my friends at the time helped me ‘see’ right. At that point I was very much my father’s daughter. 🙂

    So good-luck to Arbutus Jn. It sounds like he has his head screwed on correctly and, equipped with lessons from his retreat, he’ll be able to offer sufficient advice or the most important element: a listening ear. Coupled with Mr Arbutus own ‘listening’ ear, I think Arbutus Jn will have the best skills possible!

    My birthday (changing the subject) was in July whilst the Puricle’s is at the end of November. He’ll be spending it away from family and with his soccer academy friends in the UK. First time that he’ll not be home for his birthday.


    Arbutus @arbutus

    @puroandson      Of course. I knew that your birthday tied in closely with one in our household, but it was Junior’s rather than Mister’s! That’s a big deal for the Puricle (and you too), first birthday away. And a good long way away, as well.

    I think that a fair number of these young people are just toughened to what’s around them, because young Arbutus says the same sort of thing about the words and attitudes he encounters at school. He seems to accept a certain amount of stuff as just being a part of the world. I suppose that’s a realistic approach. Perhaps wisely, he kept quiet about much of this stuff during the years when I might have been tempted to get involved. He’s simply beyond that now, as a 17-year-old, I really have to let him deal with things as he chooses (while assuring him that I will stand behind him if he ever needs it).

    We are continually challenged, aren’t we?   🙂

    Anonymous @

    @arbutus @blenkinsopthebrave @mudlark (I read your paragraph to the puricle ‘Lark and he loved your descriptions)

    Mr Blenkinsop, thank you very much for those tid-bits of information -I was unaware of this and shall research some more.

    Miss Arbutus: yes, young Puro has not given me a lot of information about certain ishoos at school. When pressed, I understood that he was protecting me from various rather “gross things”. I assure him that it’s my job to protect him but he says:

    “sometimes, ma, it’s my job to do that. I know you and sometimes you’ll panic. You’re not in the official work force now and frankly if there’s a problem at school, or something you perceive is a problem you’ll go in guns blazing and make a stand at the corral. I don’t need you to do that any more as I can handle the small things. And they’re mostly small things, anyway, as I don’t do big parties, see any drugs, or date gals yet and I love my soccer. I also love good telly and books, I love you and Dad, there’s a comfy roof over my head and fresh food in the fridge. My ipod works -mostly -and even if I couldn’t go overseas in November it wouldn’t be the end of the world. Life is simple, Mum. I’m happy. Helping others is where I’m at”

    Now, I’m not showing off about that at all just glad that he seems to have his head screwed on at the moment. I have no doubt that soon-ish he will start dating and then there’ll be tears and broken hearts. Or a failure to make a soccer team or a ‘D’ in science…

    Then all his “everything’s cool, just be happy mum,” shtick will all fall apart! Then I shall remind him of this week and that recent comment. Perhaps it will happen when he’s sitting for 30 odd hours in a cramped position in cattle class on the 747! He doesn’t remember the times he flew OS when he was 5 (It was HELL!) \*-*/

    I must admit that the “guns blazing” thing is from watching too many Dirty Harry films. He started Sudden Impact and I don’t think he finished it. He’s interested in watching The Shining – though I’m sure that the terror of recent horror movies like Halloween or Friday the 13th (thanks @pedant) will mean he’ll cope readily with any blood and guts. Heck, he finds the walking dead in The Walking Dead absurd rather than scary and whilst he found The Leftovers to be ultimately very moving and upsetting he has no emotional connection with the characters in tWW these days.

    Too much blood and guts? Possibly. He also saw a very good movie with a mate who shares his tastes. A film by those who made The Evil Dead called Don’t Breathe -or something along those lines?

    A group of students enter a blind man’s house in an attempt to steal from him and all manner of terror ensues. 🙂

    Ah yes, I agree, we are connected to the months in which we’re born and though I have little understanding of astrology I do admire the science of astronomy. I love July and therefore Winter -even in the cold climate of South Australia. Puricle, born at the end of November, loves Summer, so maybe you hit the nail on the head Miss Arbutus.

    As for birthdays he seems to think “birthday shmurthday” and isn’t concerned about spending it away from home. I’m trying to let him know that I’ll miss him and so will his dad, but he merely rolls his eyes 🙂


    Missy @missy

    This is what I keep getting when I try to log on.

    Too many unsuccessful attempts detected on your login page.Due to a recent outburst of bruteforce attacks against login pages of popular software products, we have introduced an additional security measure to prevent your software from being hacked. Seeing this page means that we have detected more than 20 unsuccessful login attempts for the last 15 minutes.

    This is usually a result of a botnet attack. For more information on the matter and to access your software immediately, please check:

    The protection will be removed automatically when the unsuccessful login attempts cease. If you need any additional assistance or information, please contact our Support Team through

    Mudlark @mudlark


    Yes, it was more than a little frustrating.  I am fit enough now to tackle the larger and more time-consuming tasks consequent on the months of neglect and am beginning to get things back under some kind of control, but  there is still much to do before I can even begin the routine Autumn tasks.

    I designed the garden to be informal – nothing regimented or too obviously manicured – but that informal look requires maintenance. Leave it for any length of time and ‘informal’ starts to verge on jungly wilderness; the thugs of the horticultural world overwhelm the more choice and delicate specimens, plants self-seed in rather too much profusion and in inconvenient places, and weeds proliferate and grow to gigantic size.  A gardener’s work is never done, alas, and I won’t have much opportunity before winter sets in to just stop and smell the flowers.


    winston @winston

    @mudlark   I know exactly what you mean about a gardeners work never being finished.Right now I am fighting the cold weather in the hopes of ripening up the many tomatoes and peppers and cucs that grew badly all summer due to a drought in this area.With getting in the veggies and fruit and cleaning up the beds for winter I am pretty busy. Sometimes although surrounded by gardens filled with flowers I still don’t get a chance to stop and smell the roses.(which were crappy this year) Fall is beautiful here in Ontario ,with so many maple trees the colors are spectacular and the wild grapes and apples didn’t seem to mind the drought so there will be lots of apple sauce and grape jelly for the long cold winter. If the frost will just hold off for a week or so I will be a happy camper. Happy gardening to you all.

    Craig @craig

    Hi all, apologies for being away and busy for a while. The launch of some trailers for Class and the Doctor Who Christmas special today knocked some much needed enthusiasm and excitement back in to me.

    This pub is well past closing time, last orders was a page ago. Time to drink up and leave. But no need to go home. We have a new pub, an intergalactic one at that. You can find it here:

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