Tuesday, 17 June 2008

I blame the parents

We have a small band of kids in this village who are growing up to a be a complete pain in the arse.
One of them snapped off a plum tree that was just about to flower. Destroying a tree, a living thing, is bad enough, but this tree was planted in memory of one of our own, who did loads for the local community. It's no wonder some people would quite gladly take the culprits round the back of the church and give them a damn good thrashing But violence isn't the answer. We have to shame them, make them realise that messing on their own doorstep is not very clever. Every once in a while this kind of thing happens, a particular child with parents who don't care very much or are completely blind to the thug their child is growing into. And then all the kids get blamed, they all get a bad name. So what to do in this situation? A notice has been put on the green to inform people what has happened and how sad it has made people feel. But in the grand scheme of things, it's not a major assault on humanity. I blame the parents.
One of my greatest bug-bears (what is a bug-bear?) is litter and the casual way people discard their rubbish without any thought to the environment around them. I was always taught to put my rubbish in a bin or take it home with me - although I do confess to throwing apple cores in the hedge because they're biodegradable. It's something I taught my children from a young age and, I think, has helped them respect the natural world around them. So when something as basic as that isn't taught to children by their parents, in the same entirely natural way a parent holds a child's hand when they walk across the road together, then the foundation stones for a solid future are missing. Last week there were three girls on the swings, surrounded by their own dirt (in this case, sweet wrappers from the shop). There was a bin six feet away from them.

Breaking news
The village has just had a hugely successful fun day with the village green packed with activities. The streets were taken over by scarecrows, many of which had an Olympic theme. There were pole vaulters going through windows, swede putters, runners, cyclists, fencers, wheelchair athletses - all sorts. The creator of the winner, I am led to believe, had the benefit of going to nose-making classes to get the right effect.

Elderflower is out in abundance as we gather the blooms for making a wonderful cordial. Last month we snipped off nettle tops to make a lovely nettle and garlic soup. Who needs H F-W?

Scooter Boy must have graduated to something quieter, because his dulcet 'yim, yim, yim' tones are no longer heard early in the morning. However, there is a car terrorising the neighbourhood, going up and down in the middle of the night and trying to drive through cul-de-sacs. Last week the car was hoisted up on bricks and we all hoped someone had stolen its wheels. Sadly, no. The car was waiting for new, fat, go-fast tyres. Shame.

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