Monday, 22 July 2013

Sun, Sex and Suspicious Parents

Here in the UK, there is a TV programme that goes by this name.  It consists of several pairs of misguided idiot savants who inexplicably think it would be a really good wheeze to secretly follow their teenage son/daughter on a holiday to one of the many terrifying fleshpots of Europe that attract young people, such as Malia, Ayia Napa, Kavos, Zante etc and observe what they get up to.

The only thing I can find to say about this is WTF?  WHY?  Why would you want to watch your precious baby slobbering all over some spotty boy/groping a boozed up slapper?  We all know it happens - why torture yourself?  Well that's how a sensible parent would think.

We've now survived two rounds of the 'Napa experience and come out the other side, still with two living, breathing children.  But only just.

When he was 17, our son did the 'Napa thing.  I was terrified but like to think that I hid it quite well.  He would probably say different.  I made him show me the hotel they were staying in on t'interweb before he went and it looked vaguely ok...but then it would.  I pretended I didn't see his eyes rolling every time I mentioned yet another hazard to be aware of.  And I made the Shah go out and buy him a gigantic box of condoms.  The Shah was vaguely shocked.

Shah: - Do you really think....?
Me:  - Yes I bloody do!  Buy millions.  He can share them out amongst the others.  I'm too young to be a grandmother and I don't want him coming home with the clap.
Shah: *Goes pale* (which is some feat).

Some time after son got home, I noticed that an episode of Sun, Sex and Suspicious Parents was being aired from Ayia Napa, so the Shah and I decided to watch, feeling totally smug that our boy was okay...well, he'd come home in one piece, hadn't he?  What's the worst that could have happened?


What can I say?  Other than click on the link above if you are a parent with a taste for masochism.  Never, ever again will I watch something like that while my children are under 35.

This year, it was the turn of the daughter.  Even worse.  I know we all spout tripe about treating boys and girls exactly the same, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah. Fergeddit.  They're not and you can't.

And another delight is that other parents are queuing up to tell you tales of drinks being spiked, girls losing their friends and being followed home by swarthy types and worse.  My only comfort was that she was going in a group of 8 girls who had been firm friends since meeting at school, aged 11 and I trust them all to look after each other.  Ahem.

We had a text on the day they arrived, saying that everything was ok. So far so good.  Nothing more for 3 days.  Then on Wednesday, the phone rang.

Someone with a croak for a voice:-  Hello mum?
Me:  OMG - what's happened?
The Croaker:  I'm okay, I've just had a little accident.
Me: (phone in one hand, other hand Googling flights to Cyprus) Erm, what sort of little accident?
Croaker:  Well, I fell over because I was running down a hill in heels and my body sort of went faster than my legs.  I've skinned my knees really badly and I have to go to hospital.  Will I have to pay?
Me:  Gaaaaah!  what about your voice?
Croaker: Oh that's fine - I've just been screaming in clubs.
Me:  Oh good. (Sarcasm completely lost on child).

By the time they got home the injury tally was as follows (all to different girls I should add!):-

Hideously skinned knees x 1
Tonsillitis & Chest infection x 1
Lost voice x 1
Foot swollen due to drunken boy falling on it x 1
Broken knuckle due to punching a wall in anger x 1
Tattoo which has to be kept secret from her parents x 1
Nose piercings x 2 and yes, one of those was MY daughter.  FFS.

And here's the proof:-

So the moral of the story is....lock up your daughters.  It's far, far worse with girls because girls do detail.  They will tell you about their injuries and their squabbles in a way that boys never do.  Boys adopt a 'what happens in Napa, stays in Napa' attitude and that makes me weep with gratitude!

Monday, 1 July 2013

Captcha that

Although I have resisted comment moderation for some years, the tidal wave of spam my pathetically unloved little bloggette is receiving has become irritating beyond measure.  So you will notice that, nowadays if you are kind enough to leave me a comment, you will received a snotty little message in return which, rather arrogantly, announces that your comment may be visible after blog-owner approval.

However, having watched the video I have placed here, I've changed over to using a captcha code for verification.  Slightly more fiddly and involving more work on behalf of you, the punter, but watch this and you will see why.

I discovered TED talks a while ago and, when we have nothing better to do, the Shah and I are given to perusing Netflix where you can find many short TED films (none longer than around 16 minutes) on hundreds of fascinating topics.  This one is delivered with humour and, if you have a quarter of an hour to spare, I recommend you watch it.  You'll learn something!

Finally, all I can say is that I am delighted to have thwarted the spammers and I hope they leave me alone from now on (unlikely, but I can dream).  At least I can say that the code means that I captcha the arseholes.  Sorry but you didn't think you were going to get away without one appalling pun, did you?!