Go on, let your kids take risks.

Poor Kate; feeling somewhat unwell, annoyed by the carpet layer not coming today so we have bare stairs and the unpleasant smell of the previous occupant of the house and leaving for work in inclement weather while her husband lies abed. This retirement lark isn’t all a bed of roses, which might be painful with the thorns and all, especially on a waterbed as there could well be a few leaks and Wales could have beaten the damn bokke.

Anyway, we generally had a lovely little break in Spain: Kate had some sun and topped up her tan, great little hotel, Grace and Ruby had a good time, very tasty food and wine (a bucket list of tasting all the tastiest tastes in food and wine would be a reasonable thing in the scheme of bucket lists but obviously unreasonable in the actual doing so, with this one example it shows up the rank stupidity and intellectual redundancy of bucket lists). Only cloud, apart from the storms on the final night, was my bollocks with my mum. As ever I tried to talk about stuff and as ever failed dismally, oh the inadequacy of family communication. It’s one of the many reasons I love Kate so much is that she is great at communicating with Jaike, Ruby and Grace (and hopefully one day with Fay again), oh, and her emotionally stunted husband.

Just read a piece recommended by Mr Hector of this parish about over-protecting our kids: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/oct/18/real-risk-to-kids-play-mollycoddling

Now this has long been an issue for me, I even did my bleedin’ MPhil on risk, and there is a massive disconnect going on. All sentient adults know at some level that risk is important and particularly for young folk if they are going to develop healthily. But at the same time too many of us don’t allow them to take risks. As Viv Groskop writes: “Somehow, in the course of a generation, we’ve lost all the normal rites of childhood. And in attempting to protect children (often because we fear things happening we can’t control), we expose them to very real and obvious dangers we could actually control.” So our children get fat and physically unfit and stare at screens way more than living and experiencing the ‘real world’. In Spain Grace really wanted to go go-karting, Ruby wasn’t as keen. We went and both girls really enjoyed it and it was a pleasure to witness them experiencing something that gave them such simple, visceral pleasure. Of course this experience had to be recorded and shared via various screens but the order of events was in the right order. We went karting again in Benidorm on the way back to Alicante and Ruby, with a little help from Grace, managed to ram her kart under a barrier at speed. Kate was briefly alarmed but it’s another story to add to the family history. There’s a Norwegian saying: ‘a child who hasn’t had a broken bone hasn’t had a childhood’.

We’d planned to stop for a drink in Benidorm but driving around the place caused me middle class repugnance and I had to carry on driving and get away. Maybe MCR could be added to the ever lengthening list of Diagnostic and Mental Disorders. We had a far more tasteful drink on the waterfront in Alicante. What a fucking middle class ponce I am.

And yet I reaffirmed my working class credentials by making my debut for the local pub’s pool team last night. It is part of my continuing fitness regime. We lost heavily to the bleedin ‘con club’, the Swanage conservative club, so it was particularly galling for me. I should have thought more beforehand and worn some Mr Jeremy stuff or strapped a pig’s head to my waist. Being the opening night of the Swanage pool season may also explain the non-appearance of the carpet fitter today.

Now the poorer folk have been hammered with the so-called ‘bedroom tax’ whilst at the same time richer folk get all the financial breaks to buy bigger houses and make money as rentiers. As George Monbiot writes there is not a housing shortage in this country just a very fucked up housing policy that contributes to kleptomania, well these weren’t his exact words. But his, and other sensible folk’s solution, is to change the council tax system and tax bigger houses more. Just like the tts ‘bedroom tax’ on council housing. Oh the howls from the tts and kleptos about all the lonely grannies in their large houses being forced to sell up and live in smaller places, how cruel. Bollocks. Far more cruel on the homeless, the families living in appalling B&Bs, the young who will never have their own homes (actually it now includes the middle aged moving into shared housing). So, will we have a proper grown-up debate about housing? Repossess the drax estate I say.

And well done to Messrs Giggs and Neville allowing squatters to live in their luxury hotel. Squat second/holiday homes I say.

And squat in places owned by kleptos where the property is held by offshore, i.e. tax avoiding, companies. So I had a look at the Private Eye map showing private property held by companies registered in tax havens and the nearest one to me is a property owned by cambian (my former employers) in Corfe Castle, check it out: http://www.private-eye.co.uk/registry

So mr saleem klepto, cambian is a tax avoiding company, there’s a surprise.

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.

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