7 Quick Takes #23 x FTSF

— 1 —
Finish the Sentence Friday

One time when I was bored out of my mind, I…

Well, this one’s quite hard. Not because my life is *that* full, but I think because my childhood was *that* dull. Relatively speaking. Sometimes Often.

We grew up in a household without a TV and didn’t spend masses of time with friends, in fact, were generally quite insular. I grew up with the solid lesson that if you’re bored, you find something to entertain yourself with (is this becoming a lost art?) and I got good at it. 

And gradually as I grew up and the options diminished (although there’s still a good time to do things like tease your sister or play hide-and-seek as an adult, the opportunities become somewhat infrequent) I learned to lose myself inside my mind.

As an adult, I am grateful for this skill. I have refused to buy one of those internet-friendly phones because I think I’d quite easily lose myself in that instead, and actually, I quite relish the times when there’s absolutely nothing to do but wait and think and think and wait. 

Times like that one where Husby left me in a car park in the dark and the rain for nearly two hours, having anticipated a 10 minute appointment. Utterly not his fault, and because he was IN the appointment, couldn’t let me know what was going on. So I sat (tried slightly not to worry), watched the rain and the gathering darkness and just looked.

I looked at the cars which were coming and going.

I looked at the designs and angles of the buildings I could see.

I looked at the way the colours changed as the darkness gathered and muted them.

I looked at the rain as it swirled and drifted and became effervescent under the light of a street lamp.

And I thought about things. My mind wandered all over the place, and though I was clocking back in every 10 minutes or so to see how much longer I’d waited, I wasn’t bored. I was lost in the depths of my own thoughts.

I’ll give deep and delicious thought to things like ‘How could I build a flying bicycle with a rotor blade and multi-gear attachment?’, ‘What would bacon and maple flavour candyfloss be like?’, ‘Who would I be if I was someone else?’, ‘What does God think when He hears my rambling thoughts?’, ‘What do you call the fuzzy shadow on the inner crescent of the moon?’*, ‘How many bricks can I count on that wall?’ and ‘What’s the largest Fibonacci number I can calculate?’

So I can only conclude that I no longer get bored out of my mind – I get bored into it, which is rather marvellous.

*It’s called the penumbra.

— 2 —

Yesterday (as you read this, but today as I write, because I’m doing a pre-emptive strike on Quick Takes as we’re imminently to be cut off from the internet in readiness to transfer the line to our new home) was World Down Syndrome Day and I wanted to share with you my favourite photo from the many which popped up on my facebook timeline. For once I’ll even provide a link back to the person who owns the image (I know many bloggers are really good about this, but I’m afraid I steal shamelessly from Google images and rarely credit anyone. I don’t edit out copyrights though. Usually.)

So quite apart from a link to explain why the T-shirt caption is SO awesome (to use modern vernacular the ‘Keep Calm and…’ thing is trending in the UK – I don’t know about elsewhere) I thought I’d link into a few of the blogs I follow which are by Mums who have children with Down Syndrome and share their experiences of (well, what every ‘Mommy blogger’ goes through with their kids) life with their gorgeous families.

Bringing the Sunshine

Enjoying the Small Things

Pudge and Biggs

I also want to suggest that if you haven’t heard of them, you take some time to learn about Reece’s Rainbow, who support the adoption to the US of unwanted children with disabilities from countries across the world, a large majority of whom are children who have been diagnosed with Down Syndrome. It’s a really important organisation for the families and children it serves, and provides a wonderful life for many children who would otherwise have been institutionalised for life in countries where there is little knowledge on the subject and fewer resources to support children born with this particular brand of chromosomality.

— 3 —

Talking of the wonderful scrumptiousness of children, I’d like to highlight a really important (and oft overlooked) role in their lives – their school governor.

I speak as one of those mystical breed.

Years ago I was complaining explaining to my friends about why I was so discouraged by the British school system and the changes I’d like to see (a.k.a. my ‘why I’d prefer to home school’ soapbox rant) when one of them called me on it, and called me good.

Her: If it’s so important to you that the system does the best thing for the children, don’t just bitch about it and keep your own children home – get in there and change it for all the children. Be a governor or something.

Me: Err………yeah, well, course I would if there was something like that around.

A few days later I got an email from her; ‘I found a local school that needs a governor. Thought you might want to know’ and a link to their website.

Time to put my money where my mouth ran off at.

So I went for it, and despite the slight bemusement of the school at having an enquiry from someone with no children nor any links with the school, there’s pretty much a permanent dearth of school governors, so it was a shoo-in.

Since then I’ve sat in a lot of meetings, which have covered extreme dullness to the heights of hilarity, with a great bunch of people and though I haven’t managed to change the education system, I do have a better understanding of it and a deeper appreciation for those who make it work. I also have a fundamentally important role in making the school run, which is pretty cool.

The best thing is the Governor Visits though. To raise the profile of the governors with the staff and children (despite a photo-board, because the majority of governors are professionals, they aren’t a frequent presence in the school and to the teachers (whom they technically employ) they can take on a somewhat mythical quality) and to observe the ways in which the current foci in the school’s development plan are being instigated, we get invited to spend a couple of hours with a class and join in.

The children I saw today (4/5 year olds) were hilarious. They’re so blatant when gawking at visitors, refreshingly uninhibited (I was in the room less than five minutes before one small girl walked over and asked “What’s your name?” in spite of having just been introduced) and just delightful. I did puzzles with kids. I joined in as they wrote little story books about boats (their current topic). I spent playtime with children clamouring to hold my hand and join in with what I was doing. By the time I left, I had pretty much the whole class smiling and waving at me and yelling sweet little messages of parting as I went out of the door.

And there are always one or two characters who get under your skin and you wish you could see more of. For me it’s the slightly trouble-making boys. Ever since I started work with children at age 19, I always liked the little guys with BIG character and the awkward ones who struggled to fit in. There are a couple from today who (in spite of only having a couple of hours with them) I’m going to miss. I only hope I can go back to visit them again.

— 4 —

We’re going offline, and this time not because we’ve run out of electricity! Hopefully not for long (certainly long enough for me to have a deliciously long list of unread updates from all my favourite blogs) but for how long is not yet certain. We’re moving house tomorrow and aren’t nearly ready! Today will involve unreasonable amounts of ‘last minute boxing-things-up’ and moving them to the new place. I’m desperately hoping that by the time Saturday rolls around, we’ll only have the large furniture to move and some cleaning to do.

Hoping against hope.

And if I find where I packed my camera, I might just be able to provide a photo-tour of our new home. It would be lovely to preserve some images of it once it’s all organised and unpacked because (knowing us) I suspect it will be the first and last time it’s totally organised and under control.

— 5 —

Time for a brief interlude of funny. The jury’s out on this one amongst my friends. Of those I’ve shown, half adore it and think it’s hilarious and the other half just don’t get why I like it so much. What do you think?

Also, don’t you think the guy talking sounds like Steve Carell? Or is that just me?

— 6 —
What 6th take?
— 7 —
The world has entered that late-night phase, characterised by the cotton-wooliness of the brain and the still-pressing need to visit Tesco and help ourselves to some of their most excellent cardboard boxes. Seriously, the best tip I can offer anyone thinking of moving house is a late night visit to the freezer aisle of the largest supermarket you have to hand and a suitable portion of sweet talking at the (usually amiable and glad-to-have-someone-to-chat-to) night worker. You can come away with as many boxes as you can carry and don’t have to pay a removals company for them. Total win.
And corresponding total fail for Husby and I for not going yet – I only hope that we’re still in time for them and they haven’t been sent for recycling yet! 
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

27 thoughts on “7 Quick Takes #23 x FTSF

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  4. Go for it. I think the best thing (certainly it didn't feel like it at the time though) in my formative years was being left to be 'bored'. Yes I complained plenty and probably was a pain to my parents, but their persistence (whether intended or not) has paid off and as an adult I am grateful for it.


  5. Thank you for confirming my thoughts on the Smart Phone.

    I had the pleasure of holding a friend's baby today in our brand new flat and he was absolutely silent and content for about 10 minutes (til I moved) watching the cars go past on the road outside the window.


  6. Heheh I like daydreaming, though sometimes if I slip into that whilst driving (especially a familiar route) I arrive with no recollection of how I got there, which is slightly worrying!


  7. Have you heard of the 'monkeysphere'? It's the supposed number of people we can each actually 'care' about at a personal (and considering) level.

    I look out of the rear-view mirror and see the image from the mirror and a ghost image distorted by the rear windscreen and have been known to use that instead. The bonnet (yes) of my car is too grubby to steer by.


  8. I think it's great that you can keep yourself from being bored. I daydream a lot, I don't know if this is similar to what you do. I do run scenarios through my head as I am driving down the road and other places where I am stuck in one place for a while. I am visiting from FTSF blog hop. I am following you on GFC.



  9. …be sure to take picture of the new house with you in it and nothing else it! Not sure why, but I think you will be gad that you did.
    I get the thing about cars. I often look into the cars around me and maybe see a driver and then realize that that person has a family of people that I will never meet and each of them have a whole life and history and friends…and I wonder how the hell there is room in reality for them*.
    …but then again, since you brought up the matter of cars, if the lighting is right, I sometimes enjoy driving by the reflection in the hood of my car (is that 'bonnet'? over there)…anyway the front of the car will often reflect the road ahead and with effort you can steer by this.

    *…for reasons I can't justify, I maintain that the actual population of the world is most likely under 1000


  10. Lol that sounds familiar. On long car journeys my Dad would play radio plays on tape, which were usually worth listening to. The other time I really zone out is with a book. Friends have tested me in times gone by, by asking me questions and talking about me (in front of me) whilst I am reading and I never hear – once I'm into that book, I'm mighty hard to get out again.


  11. Heheh glad they kinda liked it. I still love it – it's so silly it cheers me up any time.

    The move's going exhaustingly. I've discovered that we can (legally) piggyback into remote internet from our providers *wherever* we are, which is cool – it's just super slow. I've popped on between car-loads of stuff to the new flat in order to check facebook and see how things are here.

    I would possibly have walked (if I'd not been immorally parked in a disabled bay) if it hadn't been raining. There are few things in life I hate so much as rain. I always fear I may melt…


  12. I think the only reason I didn't sleep that time was because (in spite of expecting Husby to be back at any moment (for the whole coupla hours)) I was illegally parked in a disabled bay – it was late in the afternoon, there were other free disabled bays beside me and I figured if I stayed awake and ready to move should the other two fill up, I'd be ok.

    I dunno if that's being parked illegally or being parked immorally, but anyways, I was it.


  13. I got a chuckle out of your losing yourself inside your mind. It brought me back to being a kid and riding with my Dad in his truck. It only had AM radio, and back then, I wasn't interested in the news or whatever talk radio show he was listening to, so I would go “into my head.” Invariably, I would frustrate him to no end when he would ask me a question and my response would be that I didn't know what he was talking about because I wasn't listening to the program. He would always exclaim … “How could you not hear it? It's the only sound in the truck!!” 🙂


  14. I vote for funny! My kids did a “What in the world?” with a head shake and a giggle.
    Hope the move goes smoothly. Anxiously awaiting your return.
    I would not have been good about waiting in a car for two hours. I would either have to get out and walk around or I would fall asleep. I can only handle being in my brain for a short time.


  15. I could just sit and wait too, perfectly content…but I tend to fall asleep pretty quickly, so I think the sitting and waiting would only last a few minutes. Oh – and I think the spider video is hilarious!


  16. Not nearly as funny as your dancing video, but hey 🙂 Watching Stuff is awesome. If it's busy, watching people is fascinating, but the times where you're in a corner of a lonely car park really stretch the creative muscles.


  17. I have a dear friend who is currently parent to two small children and she advocates good doses of 'boredom' when nothing is planned and she hands the reins back to them to come up with something to do to try to do just this. I hope you find a creative solution to support your children's learning here.


  18. I've been in a few of those situations where I'm just sitting and waiting with no book, no phone, nothing. I usually look around the car for something, find nothing, then I just watch whatever I can outside. And that spider video was funny. Ha ha!


  19. What a great gift you have! It really speaks to your creative nature. I'll remember you the next time I'm stuck with nothing to do, would love to encourage this with my children.


  20. Glad you're back…you are back…right?
    Now I only wonder where the stream of consciousness was stored while the Internet was off? (That sounds weird… “Honey, I grabbed the airplane tickets, did you make sure to turn off the Internet?”)

    I almost can't imagine the hard drive being big enough for all you've got going up there…hate to see it when you AREN'T bored.



  21. I love looking. I'm so glad I don't have a fancy phone to distract me: one of the rare times when being on an ancient (and now outmoded) cheap pay-as-you-go phone stands in my favour. I may not have Siri, I may not be able to cheat at quizzes, but I also don't have to check my Twitter account every two seconds and feel the frequent disappointment of nothing having happened.

    Reece's Rainbow is utterly awesome. I'm just gutted they only serve the US (damn UK laws preventing international special needs adoption!). I hope the little boy found a lovely home with people who treasured him where his birth Mum wasn't able to.

    Bacon and maple is gorrrrgeous, but it didn't stop there; once I'd got to thinking about flavoured candyfloss I went as far as 'what could you thread on the stick (a la corndogs) and coat in flavoured candyfloss. I think my favourite idea was steak with sweet chilli candyfloss. Or waffle chicken pops and more maple candyfloss. I'd actually love to be a candyfloss scientist – alas, there are no situations vacant.


  22. I love how your mind works when you are bored Reece and seriously you really do channel your thoughts so beautifully. Thanks always for linking up and good luck with the move. Thinking of you!! 🙂


  23. I think your skill/ability of being able to sit idly and just LOOK is fantastic. And you are smart not to buy a “smart” phone, haha. They are addictive and you can definitely get lost in them, and it is much better to get lost in your own head, right? I will have to investigate Reece's Rainbow- that is a cause dear to my heart. I have worked with a lot of children who have Down Syndrome, and I once knew a pregnant mom who gave her baby up at the hospital when she learned he had it. It stung me for a long time.

    Oh, and one final side note: The bacon/maple thing: I just had bacon/maple pancakes yesterday at a restaurant. YUM.


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