Musings From The Padded Cell

A Lost Generation

“Married guys like me go out, look at the exotic fruit then go home and eat potatoes.”

Call me an old-fashioned dreamer but, as we sat in The Scruffy lamenting news that kids are now “consuming online time like junk food”, can anybody argue that this is in any way a good thing?

For years I’ve argued that we are destroying generations from an age far too early for them to have any say in the matter. The tech giants don’t give a stuff, politicians are pathetically useless and so responsibility surely starts at home.

Children aged five to 15 are spending 15 hours a week on the internet.

Just think how good kids could be at something really useful in later life if they spent this much time devoted to a real activity. And how do you spend 15 hours a week consumed in drivel?

So as we sat there misty eyed remembering garden-hopping home just for the hell of it, peppering the conductor stood on the old open-backed buses with stolen crab apples and “progging” for wood to build our annual bonfire, tell me sat in a dark bedroom all alone is more fun.

Now he would have got some!

A Few Years On

It was a cold and grey Monday morning as I woke a few hours ahead of Tuna Man, reluctant as he was to face another day of reckoning for his South African cricket team.

Eventually he surfaced, a gloom hanging over him like the dark clouds he was evidently preying for to blanket Old Trafford, surely the only hope of avoiding another bashing at the hands of England.

He sat there on the sofa like a babe awaiting a teat; the hint was taken and off I trotted to Aldi, oblivious to looking like a middle-aged tramp.

I negotiated my way down the various aisles as the silver set studied prices like Brexit negotiators. Trollies were scattered like French roadblocks as I picked my way to the pie section, the last junior training night demanding one last pie night.

You cannot help but smile at the magnetic attraction of the discounter’s middle aisles, full of grey market junk – pile it high, sell it…well is it really that cheap? How much is crap worth?

The oldies were locked in discussions over gardening products to be consigned to sheds for winter and guaranteed to be forgotten next summer; just in time for another bargain and the car boot sale.

There were cleaning products for every conceivable part of the house beckoning old ladies like cocaine to a druggie.

And then I reached the checkout for pure pathos. An elderly couple, about to have their first row of another long week of retirement once so dreamed of, were stood as if on the starting blocks alongside Usain Bolt.

Two checkouts were heavily congested, surely a third would soon open?

They scanned the closed aisles like birds of prey and then the announcement – till three was opening – and off they shot nearly running me over. I made a mental note not to wear flip-flops in Aldi again.

Chuffed to bits with their minor triumph they packed their modest goods as quickly as they could; oh what would they do with the extra two minutes now saved to add on to another endless day?

I returned home, happy at least that I would not be sending Tuna Man back home looking emaciated and fearing for my life if dad Rudi ever came looking.

Idle Goes Upmarket?

Another welcome sign of confidence in our little village comes here with the revamp of the old Symposium which had limped on for years, recently tired and unloved.

Of course, when you are in a conservation area as the village is, then it may have hoped for better protection in trying to offer something different – dare I say it, classy – from our Clowncil.

With several fast “food” outlets opposite emitting more neon than Blackpool, the Symp always faced an uphill struggle.

Still, now we have a micro-pub, two new coffee shops and this welcome new addition. Good luck to the new kids on the block.

More Culture

The local rag trumpeted some exciting news for us Northerners last week – see here – to its docile readership desperate for anything “good”.

Bradford…could…benefit from a sizeable pocket of cash being made available through a newly announced funding pot.

Towns and cities across Northern England will be able to bid for a share of a new £15 million fund to help build a lasting regional legacy from the Great Exhibition of the North.

A government nonentity – Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry said: “The North is a cultural powerhouse, as well as an economic one and this £15m fund will give a boost to the region’s vibrant culture and tech sectors.”

Patronising twat sprang to mind.

One Hundred Years Ago

A week that marked the third anniversary of the Great War also reflected on events on local cricket fields back home – see here.

A crowd of over 8,000 witnessed Saltaire play Bowling Old Lane. And here is a quote describing a Thackley CC stalwart, Jack Lennon.

A strong opponent to the introduction of professionalism in local cricket, he seizes every opportunity of proclaiming the advantages of amateurism.

On both counts, how times have changed.

Adios, Adios

Glen Campbell

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  1. Pat Sowden says:

    Well said! What worries me is that it becomes an addiction and hard for kids to turn off and come away. As with computer games- the content of many seems to be the shooting and destroying “characters” either cartoon ones or realistic computer generated “people”. I sat with my two grandsons some time ago while they sat mesmerised at the TV screen wearing their thumbs out on yet another “must have” game. The sun was shining outside but the curtains were drawn for a better picture. I asked them what they would do if in years to come they were asked by their country to do this for real like their great grandparents did? The brief look they both gave me said it all – they didn’t have to speak – “dopey old Granny:” and with that they got back to their “war” – I find it incredibly sad. A total and absolute waste of youth and all the joys being young can bring. As I have become a member of the older generation I have been told occasionally to “Get a life” – I think it’s the youth of today that need to reclaim their life before it’s too late.

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