I was thinking this morning, what with the recent concerns about Dutch Ash Disease or whatever it is that’s affecting ash trees, that we are a sylvan nation; a people who have grown up in and around woods, and continue to have a feeling for forests and trees. There’s something about walking through a broad-leaf forest, through ancient trees which may – for all we know – have seen Richard III pass by on his way to the car park; through dappled sunlight and into clearings. Sadly, there aren’t too many of these woods left, since we can’t live in a shed and eat tree bark and nuts (‘Man does not live by shed alone…’)
Plus, you can’t push a buggy in the woods. For several years our lives were dominated by surfaces and locations where you could take a buggy: though we had various carriers, it’s very hard to carry any child beyond the age of about 12 months. Actually with Daniel we stopped carrying him in the backpack because every time we went out he nearly caused a riot. This was because of his habit of falling asleep in it with his head thrown right back; also a red patch would appear on his cheek where he had leaned to one side before falling asleep. We knew perfectly well that he was fine, but others didn’t – and even a walk to the shops would involve having to convince a dozen passers-by that he did this all the time and was not in the middle of a seizure. Things reached a head when an entire bus-load of people started banging on the windows and gesticulating at him; and at that point I decided I just couldn’t take it any more. Whereas nowadays, every parent I see has a state-of-the-art pushchair. You know the kind of thing – three wheels for extra manoeuverability; folds at a touch onto buses and into car boots; morphs instantly into a car-seat or high chair and probably has sat-nav as well.
And finally, does it annoy you when people answer a question with ‘So…’? I don’t mean in a logical way, such as when you ask them ‘Why are you doing whatever-it-is?’ and they reply,’So that we can find out such-and-such’; I mean as a routine way of answering any question. No matter what you say, they reply, ‘So….’ I couldn’t figure out why this annoys me so much but I think it’s this: that the word ‘So’ indicates the development of an argument; the next stage in their progression of thought. In other words, it’s not as if they’re in a dialogue, but in a monologue which your question has interrupted and which they are now continuing.
See what I mean?
Does it annoy you? Please comment below…
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