The Owl and the Ipad By Trevor Plumbly


I read somewhere the other day that they are increasing funding for school leavers to help them cope with entering the workplace. This caused me to reflect on how us oldies get shafted when it comes to government funded lolly scrambles. If they can toss public money at adolescents what about the oldies, I ask? What about a training scheme for grandparents? I could certainly use one and I bet I’m not alone in this. Others may be too embarrassed to air their shortcomings but not I gentle reader. It’s high time they took us seriously, I bet these kids get buckets of cash and stuff to give them a kick start, but what about us? We live in the age of the super brat, the fairy tale has gone, Goldilocks and co. simply don’t cut it anymore, and the oldies are expected to find electronic replacements.

Once upon a website

My two, (names withheld to protect the innocent. Me.), age 7 and 9 are typical examples of the problem. There’s a whole world out there that I’m simply not part of, with a language that renders my command of English useless, and miniature gadgets that defy my hesitant and mildly arthritic fingers. This has created a gap that previously didn’t exist, once considered fonts of wisdom and tellers of happy ever afters, grandparents are in danger of being labelled boring old farts simply because they don’t know tweet from twitter. I’ve given some thought to working towards becoming a ‘cool’ grandad, but honesty continues to remind me that I’m not cut out for the role, so enigmatic antiquity will have to suffice until they can recognise dementia when they see it.

Night creatures

He may have rested on the seventh day, but we didn’t! They came to stay. I always view these events in much the same way as a hurdle race. No 1 is the initial attempt to stimulate them into tiredness. I have no further input into No 1 since being told that Harry Potter movies and ice cream are not acceptable stimulants. No 2 is what I call the revolving door manoeuvre. This involves either one of them getting up at repeated intervals for a variety of imaginary problems. Historically this has always been a concern. Pam’s family’s answer to this was comforting reassurance, whilst mine chose a quicker route by saying ‘if you come through that door again tonight I’ll smack your ass!’ I am banned from involvement in No 2. Being a sound sleeper I miss most of the No 3 ‘I can’t sleep’ ploy, but I do come into my own with No 4. This occurs about 6 am and starts by high decibel greetings followed by serious attempts to convert our bed into a trampoline. My offer of cartoon time usually buys an extra hour of sleep, broken by the cast of Scooby-Doo screaming in the background. By mid-morning they’ve gone and in the somewhat uncanny silence I’m left to contemplate the prospects of bridging the age gap. Maybe I could jazz up the teller of tales role to attain the much vaunted ‘cool’ status. Maybe Little Red Riding Hood could zap the big bad wolf with her cell phone, wouldn’t that be AWESUM!

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