scribbles tagged ‘niece 1992’

too geeky to communicate effectively

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 | tags: , ,  |

This summer

Wendy: my cousin teaches gender studies at [name] University

Sister-in-law: gender studies? I don’t understand, what’s that?

Wendy: Sex is the biological determination lf you as a Female or Male. Gender is the social construction of behavioural expectations for people who are classified as Female or Male

Sister-in-law: what? I don’t understand, women are women

Her world view is so well defined and ingrained within her role as a woman that I decided to give up at this point. My brother is a classic white male pseudo liberal dude and she is a home building wife who puts much effort into conforming to prevailing stereotypes of girliness. She is extremely accomplished at this.

This autumn

Wendy: my cousin teaches gender studies at [name] University

Niece 1992: gender studies? I don’t understand, what’s that?

Wendy: Normally there are two genders on any form that you fill in, girl or boy, but real people identify with a really wide range of genders, it’s not a neat dichotomy. What if I’m a girl who likes to dress like a man because I feel it suits who I am. Am I a girl or a boy at a social level? Why do we even have to define a specific position. Facebook in the USA provides 51 different gender options. We are all different. Our sex is a biological determinant, our gender is how we, feel and express our identity.

Niece 1992: 51 genders, that’s just silly

Wendy: Yes, we should be people with no need to identify as a specific gender. Our sex may be relevant for things like medical treatments, but a gender assignment is often unnecessary and irrelevant, leads to discrimination and all sorts of unnecessary nastiness particularly for anyone who isn’t a heterosexual white boy.

Niece 1992: 51 genders, that’s just silly

Gosh. Failed to communicate.

As a fairly radical feminist this familial  lack of awareness of the meaning and hence value of understanding systematic discrimination of non conformity to socially constructed definitions of gender is quite overwhelming.

On the other hand, my cousins totally ROCK! Their father died before they reached puberty, which may not be significant. My brothers views are classic white male patriarchy.


too geeky to communicate effectively
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House family watch THE boat race

Thursday, April 4th, 2013 | tags: , , , , , , , ,  |

After Dinner CoffeeEaster Sunday, sated on a tender lamb roast with the trimmings including a cheeky little mint sauce. We indulge in a favoured family tradition, settling down to watch the Boat race. We all support Oxford for reasons long since lost in the Ethernet. Mum suspects it’s because they used to loose a lot when she was a gal and we should support the underdog.

Coffee PercolatorThe ‘House’ style for watching THE boat race is diverse. I was the only person who did it with open eyes despite the thick, percolated, coffee supplied by mumsie from one of her 20 or so prized percolators. I’ll call her  ‘Grandmum’ because we are in the presence of her grandchildren.

Father and daughter watch boat raceBros 62 assumes the horizontal position for viewing enhancement. Pointing his beard between his distant toes.

Niece 92 ensures the blood-flow to her head by placing her legs on the footstool mumsie has procured for her comfort.  At first I though that niece 92 forgot to put a skirt on over her pantyhose when she left home this morning. Apparently this is a style feature.  She is proud of consecutive years of not wearing shorts or a skirt to keep her bum warm. She’s receiving as-it-happens updates from her friends though her much-prized iphone. She’s a tall and creative genius who demonstrates it in many pleasing ways.

Sleeping over Maths A level revisionNiece 94 is multitasking, she’s a formal thinking high-flyer.  Revising for her maths A level while watching the boat race, drinking evil coffee and possibly simulating sleep. What is she doing under that hair? A woman of infinite mystery at just 17.

Watching the boat raceWhile sister-in-law has resisted the black attire favoured by her hubby and daughters, she can’t resist the sleep inducing effect of grandmum’s classic 1960’s Parker Knoll rocker.

Synchronised snoring with the cats

Normality temporarily resumed

House family watch THE boat race
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deconstructing Dr Who’s equipment

Thursday, April 12th, 2012 | tags: , , , ,  |

My mother’s elder brother-in-law, a 94 year old ballroom dancing Mason, brings a collection of origami animals to a House family meal:

Niece 92’s boyfriend: I can work out how it’s made,  if I take it apart

Bros 57: Will you use a MaSonic screwdriver to take it apart?

Bros 62 and I laughed outselves off our chairs. The waiters hovered like vultures. We lost our Masonic uncle a couple of times that night, physically, mentally and metaphorically

Later that night I dreamt that Alan Bennet dropped by to sort us all out

That helped

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Tuesday, December 21st, 2010 | tags: , ,  |

As Christmas approaches the House family excitement is ramping up. Tonight we are working on developing an integrated, complimentary, achievable set of new years resolutions. I’m always impressed by my young niece’s exhuberant ambitions and I do try to encourage her as much as I can:

Apparantly she ‘takes after’ me.  A singular vision and healthy disrespect for social conformity mixed with a deep affection for people, and creative spelling.  She is such a sweetie. Hoorah!

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batty aunts

Thursday, November 25th, 2010 | tags: , ,  |

Here we see evidence of my attempting to befuddly my niece with battiness. It is my firm belief that aunties were invented to introduce befuddlement into the lives of their relationshions and I’ve never been one to shirk such a valuable social responsibility.

I wonder what a cool 18 yr old will do with such a letter, assuming she can read my rather degraded handwriting. Handwriting was never one of my strengths, Western writing was designed to favour the right-handed.
Basildon Bond At junior school (age 10) I was taught cursive writing using a fountain pen. I’ve never really been motivated to master the rather boring script style taught in school, now I’m thinking of trying to learn Bickham script.  Bickham is more legible than the secretary hand, a script popular in 17th Century Britain, and bears a reasonably strong resemblance to my current scrawl of idiosyncratic and inconsistent style.

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Sunday, August 15th, 2010 | tags: , , ,  |

Thomas’s turning was accompanied by a squeak. Not a mousy squeak but an evil squeal. It’s possible he may be unsafe to drive. We trundled off to the garage where I left him with the mechanics for diagnostic tests.

Both Gordon Ramsay and my niece are well known for the liberal use of anglo saxon swear words and tantrums. In an attempt to be safe and not gay I’ve made several excursions into emultating their trendy linguistic, emotive, style.  For example

wendy: when can I have my mini back?

mechanic: are you missing your mini? (wry smile)

wendy: Fuċk, am I?! (stamps foot)

The mechanic understood, but 

I went on to fuċking fail

to maintain a modern fuċking focus

on using one fuċking word

Fuċking fuċk. Fuċked (fuċk)

Meanwhile,  Thomas pootled out onto the garage forecourt with the stone that caused all the squeaking surgically removed from his disc brakes. Phew!

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escape from it all

Monday, September 28th, 2009 | tags: , , , ,  |

My nieces look like they’ve escaped from Bananarama.   Having mislaid their dictionary during the breakout they are now tackling the ravages of teenage boredum.   Dedum.  

Grunting and liberal misuse of the original anglo-saxonisms helps alieviate the condition.   I’m thinking of trying it,   small doses.   But, as yet, I can’t bring myself to part with my 1982 Collins concise.

Banarama sang ‘Robert DeNiro’s waiting’

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pronunciation police

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008 | tags: , , , ,  |

During a conversation about films  that are substantially at variance with the books that provided their original  title and approximate plot and characters:  

Wendy:   W’thering Heights

Bros:   WUH,   Wuh-thering Heights

Wendy: yes,   that’s what I said W’thering Heights

Bros:   Wendy,   Wuh-thering has a U in it

niece & her friend: (snigger,   sniggger,   snigger,   hiding mouths behind hands and flashing smiles at each other and checking to see if we ‘adults’ notice)

Bros:   (shakes his head and tuts)

 Wendy:   (decides not to mention that Bros appears to  have  failed to count the double-u)

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seasonal lists

Friday, December 21st, 2007 | tags: , , , ,  |

Mini Wendy’s are herded by their parents into providing their Maiden Aunts with helpful lists lest they get the normal bizarre undesirable obscurities she normally offloads their way in the name of goodwill.

Lets take a moment for a thematic analysis of these lists.   The 13yr-old has covered her back against seemingly being disapointed by adding the item ‘surprises’ to her clearly titled pink,   heart-bulleted, picture illustrated, word-document  list.   Outstanding job,   not least the request for a hair straightner,   dropping the clearly superflous e was a stroke of pure genious.

By age 15yrs the Mini Wendy has grasped the usefulness of hyperlinks and chosen them over pictorial representations.   The top-shop and over the kee socks references are clearly fashion references that perhaps I could learn from.   Hmmm…     And the lassie has clearly dealt with my impending myopia,   excellent forward thinking there.

Good to see the mini Wendy’s are developing the Wendy trait for list construction.   Clearly the girls are growing into fully rounded capable young Wendys

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whow will I play with?

Friday, November 2nd, 2007 | tags: , , ,  |

Christmas day 1999

After christmas I found this note from my 6yr old niece  tucked in the cover of a book I’d been reading.   It now marks a poem  drawing parallels between life and staying on a hospital ward where we do not make our beds but we do lie in them by Roger McGough in his  book “The way things are”.

The note cleverly demonstrates that the word hasea hoase house, unlike home,  is terribly tricky to spell.   Probably because there are three of those infamously tricky vowels  conglomerating in ‘house’.

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Je tu deteste

Sunday, March 25th, 2007 | tags: , , , ,  |

Niece (teenage):   “I HATE YOU

Bros: “do you know how to say that in French?”

Niece: “Je tu deteste”

Bros: “shouldn’t that be Je  vous deteste?”

Neice: “NO, you are tu and I hate you”

By this stage I’ve fallen off my chair giggling and started dribbling tea on my woolly jumper (It was cold in England).   During my 4 day stay I managed to avoid my niece’s wrath without ducking or walking into any nearby walls.

Je tu deteste
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