Friday, 27 August 2010

Stream Of Consciousness

It’s all so very different from what I'd expected.
Funny really, not funny ha-ha, more funny peculiar.
But there you are,
you just never can tell in advance.

The beginning was quite ordinary.

A small family, mum, dad, and me, plus the regulation number of aunts and uncles, an assortment of cousins, two grandpas. Both grannies deceased.

I wonder why the grannies were in such a hurry to shuffle off this mortal coil before they’d had a chance to sample the easy life? Their photos show them to be a bit care-and-work-worn; they had large families, a war, and the old-fashioned type of husband, the law-giver sort, to contend with; perhaps the prospect of more of the same just didn’t appeal. Poor grannies, I wish I’d known you.

The grandpas hung around for years; cranky old men, perhaps the lack of women in their life had made them so. Sex outside marriage was not then the indoor sport it is now. One took up politics, the other religion; anything to keep the juices flowing.

You’d think such ordinary beginnings would predispose me to a life constrained by custom.

It did, to begin with, and the road ahead in my little world was straight and narrow, as the roads generally tend to be in that part of the North European plain where I come from. Ancient Roman roads, built by legionaries, for marching armies up and down on, armies meant to subdue the barbarian Germanic tribes who preferred to stick with their heathen ways deep in the forests and only came out for a spot of raping and pillaging when the mood took them.

Anyway, in spite of the straight and narrow road ahead, the good little girl turned rebellious, and a stroppy teenager emerged. Which is where the trouble started. Stroppy teenagers should be discouraged, they should  be towed out to sea and deposited on a deserted island until the steaming tide of their hormones settles down. (Hormones in teenagers are a totally disruptive force : a substance produced within the body of an animal or plant and carried in the blood or sap  to an organ which it stimulates).

Says it all, really, doesn’t it.

Couldn’t get out fast enough. Couldn’t get into trouble fast enough. Caused all sorts of ructions, gnashings of teeth, recriminations, accusations. The teenage drama queen had her way.

The parents wrung their hands, asking “where did we go wrong?” They always knew that all that reading under the bedclothes, by torchlight, wasn’t healthy; if only they’d put a stop to it! Parents do that sort of thing, they realize the error of their ways long after the damage has been done; anybody could have told them that book-reading would lead to no good in the end.

Which is why I ended up on this island long after my raging hormones had settled down and I am still here.

Too late to get off now.


  1. With the kid just being three years of age, guess, that I still have ten further to go until looking for an island; remembering however me own teenage years, it feels way too alluring to keep him here, re-discovering myself again.
    May time and life continue to treat you kind.

  2. I was boringly good as a child and then as a teenager and I suppose continue to be so...Oh Dear!

  3. all that damned reading ultimately led to blogging.

  4. Nice post, Friko! I enjoy paddling in the stream of consciousness.

    My mother's idea of punishment was to send me to my room -- which suited me as then I could read. Thank heavens, she never minded that!

  5. Parents are people who after years of trying but failing to completely screw you up by their lives, make one last gargantuan attempt to completely screw you up by their deaths.

  6. Oh, yes, the flashlight under the bedclothes gambit. Knew it well. Amazing we all managed to make it to adulthood, eh?

  7. Enjoyed this. I like to 'paddle in the stream of consciousness' too.

  8. Britain and its citizens should count themselves lucky to be the place where your free spirit landed!

    It does take a while to figure out who we are and where we belong. Seems like it worked out well in the end ... yes?

  9. So glad you stuck around. I don't know about teenage years, I seem to have been a constant source of frustration to my mother from birth until present. I don't think I ever did what she had written on the tin.

    “Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes, they forgive them” - Oscar Wilde.

  10. This made me think of my three-year-old granddaughter who has such beauty and femininity already and I dread the decades ahead!

  11. Sometimes I feel badly that I have no children till I view a friend or family member trying to cope with a teen.
    Seems like such severe punishment just for wanting a baby to nurture and an

  12. And it doesn't end with their teens the good old days your parents showed you the door aand you were expected to understand the its loft conversations so they can continue to live with you but maintain their independence....

  13. I, too, like floating along on the stream of consciousness! If only we'd had a clue back then, along with all those bothersome hormones, I wonder how different our lives would be? Yours seems to have turned out fine!

    My mother used to tell us how she'd make a tent with the blankets and read under them, by the light of a candle, so my grandmother wouldn't see the light under the door and know she was reading those "verboten" penny dreadfuls!

    That farmhouse did eventually burn down, but mum was long gone to her own grown-up life by then!

  14. ich weiss nicht, ob Eltern wirklich etwas gegen revoltierende Kinder tun können. Vielleicht können sie nur versuchen, den Sohn oder die Tochter auf ihrem Weg zum Guten hin zu lenken. Meine Mutter hatte mir in dieser Hinsicht sehr viel Freiheit gelassen und heute bin ich ihr dankbar dafür... Bis bald und schönen Abend, Friko!

  15. Good show. It all turned out well. If they hadn't cared, you wouldn't have been a rebel.

  16. I think I've been trying to make up for being a bit of a goody two-shoes when I was growing up, by becoming a reprehensible old lady - who, by the way, LOVES to wear purple!

  17. My father's parents died long before I was born, but my mother's parents did not at all follow the pattern you suggest. My grandfather the Russian spy found that politics became too hot to handle, and was rather glad, I suspect, to renounce the other-worldliness of his youth in favour of unashamed lust. My grandmother was both political and sexy (the latter at least to her contemporaries) well into old age. Both were children of clergymen, but neither was religious.

    So I grew up with quite a different impression from yours. I think sex before and after marriage was just as much an indoor sport then as it is now. Only people didn't talk about it quite so much.

  18. The straight and narrow life tends to push us to go away, far away. But when we get there, isn’t it a bit of the same, in a different language?

  19. Oh what a rebel you were. All that reading under the blanket led you to the hard stuff.. blog-reading by computer light.

  20. Oh what a wonderful read - the clash of generations - the need to be different. Good on you for being yourself.

  21. Just imagine if somebody had told you way back then that you would end up where you are, doing what you do? Aside from having taken a lot of the fun out of the living of your life, you probably would never have believed them.

    I find the happenstance of life quite fascinating, and people's stories of how they get to where they are, the most interesting of all. I am certainly glad you ended up on on an English-speaking island.

  22. robert - the teenage years pass, although they may feel endless. eventually your boy will grow up and become as pleasant a human being as his Dad.

    Jackie - it is never too late!

    marciamayo - so really, they should have stopped me, shouldn't they?

    Vicki Lane - Mine didn't mind too much, they supplied me with books, after all. It was the night-time reading that didn't go down to well.

    Jimmy McPhee - hey, that's clever; is that yours? I do agree wholeheartedly.

    Raining Acorns - I'm still reading late into the night, but no longer by torchlight.

    ellen abbott - thanks Ellen, it is a leisurely place to be.

    Bonnie - It's not too bad, with the odd reservation.

    Martin H - Slightly jaundiced? I tend to with Larkin . . . . . . .

    Tabor - She'll probably always be sweet-natured with grannie, it's the parents who experience the drama.

  23. Arkansas Patti - I've heard others voicing similar feelings, some of them parents!

    madamebutterfly - Ah no, not possible with me. I moved a long way away. Permanent residency was not part of the plan.

    Molly - I am glad to hear it, no Insurance Company would pay up for setting the house on fire by reading incendiary material!

    Renee - Am guten Vorbild liegt es wohl fast immer.

    Manzanita - I'm not sure about that. Whatever though, I have long come to understand them.

    Jinksy - reprehensible, you? I don't believe it. Wear purple and run your stick along the railings to your hearts content, I'll come and join you.

    Duchess - Not where I come from. Repressed and worried about the neighbours, maybe, but sexy? No. Politics and religion to the end of their lives, and never the twain met. Weird lot, my forebears.

    Vagabonde - In the end, yes, but until then, vive la difference! As I am sure you have seen a bit of colour in our travels!

    Hilary - Making fun of me? Shame on you!

    Marilynn - thank you very much, Marilynn.

    Deborah - I wish I knew what I am doing, not only why I'm here, where I've ended up, but what am I actually doing here? It's all a bit of a mystery.

  24. I do love reading your blog posts Friko - I think they strike a chord with all of us

  25. Striking several chords actually. I love this
    piece of daydreaming, this gentle burr that
    burrows its way to your cortical surface
    and then blossoms onto the pages of your
    cyber Musings. I want to share it with others
    and as I so often do with good writing by
    my other cyber-friends, I posted it on my
    site too. Sharing, like loving, increasing the
    flow from heart to life.

  26. I was a good and obedient boy. My mother invaded my room and threw away books she disapproved of.

    Yet here I am on my island. Go figure.

    (word verification was "henfave"!!)


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