Monday 13 October 2008

Olivers Army

The boy was away this weekend at his first cadet camp. Excitement had been high in the week running up to it, but that didn't mean that he thought to make sure that we had everything that was on his kit list. The net result was a last minute Friday night dash to Waitrose on the way to meet the prodigal uncle for a a celebratory meal at Buckhurst Hil's finest (and actually one of the UK's) Indian restaurants.

This gave me a free weekend. Personal space and time. Hurrah. So what wild things did I get up to? A salacious time at Brighton's seediest night clubs? The chance to catch up with much missed friends, or even family? A gorgeous meal at a great restaurant?

Erm, well no. I headed to Ikea (oh no, not again) to pick up a couple of things (actually, is it possible to ever get out of Ikea with a bill of less than £200...I've never ever achieved that, often picking up stuff that's really not really not needed). After that I headed down to the flat by the sea, achieving precisely nothing all least it was a warm and sunny time to do nothing very much on the coast.

I've been planning for when at some stage the boy would fly the was my target date (and as I've mentioned to him on one or two or several dozen occasions, when he leaves for higher education that is the time that I stop the real job, climb on the, as yet phantom motorcycle, and spread my own wings). And I've also known that as he heads through his teenage years, my role would increasingly be reduced to taxi driver and funds provider. But I hadn't really realised that at the tender age of 13, he would not be around all the time. So this is an unexpected bonus...but I need to change my mindset slightly, open up that little black book of mine and renew old well as gallop into a whole set of new ones. Hurrah!

After all I have no intention of spending my middle years watching endless repeats on TV, wearing a hole in the carpet in front of the sofa!

Watching the detectives

I've come to the conclusion that now is the time to be rid of film ratings. I've been wondering for a fact since finding out that when the boy was still at primary school, certain of his friends were allowed by their very well educated parents to watch Quentin Tarantino films...the boy himself was given the opportunity one sleepover to watch a film that gave him nightmares for weeks afterwards.

Mind you these were at the same parents that thought it fine to give the boys bangers to put into bags of flour to see the mess they could make when the went off with a bang. The boy returned home from that little venture with half a dozen bangers in his pocket. He never returned for their hospitality again. So the point being, that if the parents ignore the certficate, then there's not much point having them in the first place.

This year we went to see the latest Batman film...rated a twelve, but in places so menacing, that I think more appropriate for a fifteen/sixteen year old. And just recently I watched Sweeney Todd, which achieved an 18 rating, although the violence was so surreal, that I doubt it could seriously impact on a younger viewer; by contrast, No Country for Old Men is just a 15, yet the violence is menacing and graphic and the emotion behind deeply impactful.

More confusingly is that I've taken the boy to films at the cinema perfectly legally, yet when we've gone to buy the DVD a few months later, it's jumped up a rating, so technically he shouldn't watch it, nor the Playstation game that seeems to accompany every movie masterpiece these days.