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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

On The Street

Having spent a couple of hours getting nowhere fast in Newcastle’s central library, I met up with my sister Lesley. It was good having a cuppa and catching up on our respective middle aged lives. Though we touched on all manner of subjects and shared history, inevitably a lot of our conversation centred upon our children.

Tomorrow Joe will be twelve years old. I worry that I mollycoddle him too much. For example I had him ringing me at strategic intervals on the way home from a friend’s house. In my defence the walk takes him through a part of town where lots of dodgy kids hang out – the local ice rink (where Anderson, Wakeman, Bruford and Howe once played) – and I wanted reassurance that he was on target.

I worry that having him ring in this way may undermine his confidence and sense of “street saavy” when he’s out at night (7.45 p.m.) but what to do? It’s a fine line between being responsible and over-protective. Needless to say when my sister and I were twelve years old there were no mobile phones for us to ring in. True, there were call boxes but it wouldn’t have mattered because my parents didn’t have a phone then.

Ian Boddy rang tonight whilst I was making flapjacks for the kids. Telephone calls and cooking flapjacks don’t mix. Burnt flapjacks and miffed kids aren’t a winning combination either. Reproachful offspring and a phone-blethering dad are not a recipe for domestic harmony. Sensing all of this, Ian who has two kids himself, sensibly cut me loose after we make tentative arrangements for me to head over to his studio in a couple of weeks.

Kapow! Take a look at the Bog Book Club

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