The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


Don’t Know What You’ve Got Until It’s Buggered Off To Become A Dark Distant Memory …
January 24, 2011, 6:40 am
Filed under: Comment

So as I wrote/complained about last week, it’s been snowing in Shanghai.

Even though I’ve not lived in a place that has had snow for almost 20 years – and have been perfectly OK with that fact for all those years – I can’t help but accept it’s quite nice to have around.

Sure it’s cold and has forced me to enclose my feet in contraptions that I am sure were created to be torture machines from the past [that’s shoes if didn’t know] but because my reference point for the white stuff was frozen in a time to when I was much, much younger – my initial reaction to a city covered in white was that it was time to play.

I think I mentioned to some of you that within minutes of getting out of the apartment, I found myself making snowballs and throwing them at people. Sure, they were the wrong people [ie: not who I thought it was, which resulted in me having to try and apologise using a few words of Mandarin and some excessive hand gestures] but the fact that was the first thing I did kind of makes me feel good.

Mad eh!

Well, probably more sad.

Anyway, the thing is because it’s been so long since I saw the stuff falling out of the sky, it felt like I was seeing it for the first time and the whole concept of ‘experience innocence’ is one I find fascinating.

Without wishing to sound like a weirdo – or a pervert – one thing I love to do is watch a kid experiencing something for the first time.

It could be their first interaction with snow … circus’ … animals … it doesn’t really matter, I just find watching their faces and actions amazing and end up feeling kind-of honoured I was there to share it with them, even if they don’t realise it and will have forgotten it when they get older.

And that is why I am secretly quite excited about the snow.

It’s more than just nostalgia, there was a sort of ‘discovery’ element to it … and so not only did it make me wish I could clearly remember how I felt the first time I experienced stuff, it made me re-think and re-evaluate a whole bunch of things that go way beyond just the category of icy water and that’s nice because when you get to my age, the thought that you can still be enchanted and inspired by something from your past is rather pleasing, especially in my industry which is almost exclusively focused on the new.

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51 Comments so far
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That is, more often than not, the trouble with “your industry.” Kind of you to take on the burden, but let me assure you there are more worthy carriers around.
Mind you, I’m more aware of that now because I’m watching my grandchildren – with my own children I didn’t watch, I participated, because I wanted to experience the feeling again. Which is true of any worthwhile experience, which, in turn is where our focus should be.
Right now we’ve had 2 feet of snow here in the Berkshires, with another foot on the way, my grandchildren have gone back home to where they live, but I’ll survive on the memories of their being here, and throwing snowballs again.
Ciaran

Comment by Ciaran McCabe

Thanks for this Ciaran – I like the distinction between how you behaved with your kids vs your grandkids.

OK, so you’d be quite a bit older as well, so that might impact your behaviour somewhat [though I doubt it, given the comments you make further down on this post] but it paints a lovely picture and I wonder what you feel was the difference for you – interms of understanding how they felt – between watching and participating.

Comment by Rob

youre being too fucking nice to campbell ciaran.

its snow campbell. fucking snow. deal with it.

ps) good job on the snowball violence. that was literally the only fucking thing that stopped me flying over to you right fucking now and smashing your teeth in for this pile of bollocks post. that and the lack of a fucking visa.

those commies and your bad fucking eyesight saved your poxy little life.

Comment by andy@cynic

Yes, I appreciate that. Even Jill said my recent posts have become pants – so I’ll try my best to give you something you’ll like tomorrow.

Of course I’ll no doubt fail, but it’s the thought that counts isn’t it?

[We all know it isn’t, that was just invented by someone who forgot to buy a pressie for his kid or something]

Comment by Rob

Weather forecast here is -30 tomorrow Rob, so if you want to experience something for the first time, I reckon you could make it just about in time considering the time-zone difference.

Comment by Rafik

My wife is desperate to go back to Canada because she goes on about how much she loved the cold and the snow. In fact, if it wasn’t for the fact she complains that she’s cold when the A/C is on for about 12 seconds, I’d do it – but alas, I’m a ‘Canada in the summer’ kinda guy.

Wrap up warm. Or move.

Comment by Rob

touché.

Comment by Rafik

BTW, just before you write me off as some foot-in-the-grave neanderthal(close), just did a not-for-profit ad that caused some locals to brand me a Marxist c*** (of course that word would offend their sensibilities) – took pleasure in agreeing.
Ciaran

SORRY CIARAN, I HAD TO EDIT THIS COMMENT A BIT FOR THE REASONS ANDY DETAILS BELOW!

Comment by Ciaran McCabe

well fucking done ciaran, you probably remember karl quite fucking well dont you. quite nice you got branded that when you did a not for profit ad. perfect fucking harmony there.

by the way, the “c” word isnt allowed on here for campbells mums sake. she doesnt like all the fucks, pisses or shit either, but she loves me so lets me off. c on the other fucking hand…..

Comment by andy@cynic

If you can’t remember a first time experience, then I’d suggest it wasn’t that significant and so you don’t need to hang around kids under the guise of ethnography.

On the other hand, I’m sure there are things that Billy hasn’t yet experienced and you could use him as a subject.

Comment by John

youre an evil bastard dodds. but youre our evil bastard.

and can you remember when the priest first wanked you off? no didnt think so but that is very fucking significant. or so my psychiatrist claims.

Comment by andy@cynic

There’s nothing John except you talking any fucking sense.

Comment by Billy Whizz

hell be shitting himself now billy.

Comment by andy@cynic

Are you calling me a pedo John?

I’m not the one who sends random birthday gifts to young ladies he’s never met. Mind you, they’re all beautiful and over 21, so I guess you’re a granny fancier, at least in pedo terms.

What the hell am I going on about????

Comment by Rob

Not at all – just stopping you from trying to impress kids with the look at my cool gadgets strategy.

Comment by John

I hear you have snow balls Rob. Is that because you’re half italian?

Comment by Billy Whizz

have you just opened your christmas crackers billy? what other fucking reason can you have for the shittest joke this side of kelsey grammer latest fucking divorce.

Comment by andy@cynic

.. or you could just watch australians experience snow for the first time. i was like a bloody child when i first saw it come out of the sky! and then when i was in sweden, in a proper blizzard, and everything really was all white, like some kind of XXX/Inception scene, i was off the chart.

seeing people throwing snowballs on the morning of the first big snowfall in berlin was a goddamn joy. teenage boys decided it would be hilarious to throw them at me (hey mädchen!), to which i responded with using my poster as a baseball bat. you don’t get that kind of playful mischief/social divide reduction shit happening with much else i reckon.

Comment by lauren

why is everyone taking this fucking post seriously? its shit. oh just lauren is. fucking germans have pissed about with her mind.

Comment by andy@cynic

oh rack off. spoil sport. xx

Comment by lauren

rack off? you can take the aussie out of etc.

Comment by andy@cynic

Because they’re all lovely people Andy. Or stupid. Probably stupid.

Comment by Rob

You’re right Andy, me and Karl were good buddies, he’d get back from the British Museum after a hard day, I was living in Hans Crescent at the time, next to bloody Harrods no less, so we’d go down Beauchamp Place to the Grove Tavern for a few. Richard Dipple, who ran the pub at the time, very anti-Irish, but tolerant, would reluctantly join in the dialectic, if you know what I mean. And, of course, there were ladies.
Ciaran

Comment by Ciaran McCabe

id buy you a drink ciaran and theres fucking no one i woud normally do that for.

Comment by andy@cynic

Apologies to your Mom, but you know I’m not sure where to go next. I’ve no desire to upset your Mom, but the “f” word doesn’t hack it anymore, so I moved on to the “c’ word – used sparingly because it has always struck me as the most unattrative/offensive – from every angle – word to come out of one’s mouth.
I still believe that – so genuine apologies – but I
bet E.B.White or Kurt V. could handle it – where are they when you need them.
Ciaran

Comment by Ciaran McCabe

It’s OK Ciaran, you’re still new around here. If ‘fuck’ is too gentle for you these days, how about adopting Andy’s “fuckface”? Sure, it might sound Disneyish, but if you imagine it expressed in the tone of an Eastend Gangster to a victim you are about to beat up with an iron bar, I hope it will give you the same sense of satisfaction the banned word used to give you.

Comment by Rob

I wanted to be a bit naughty and throw in a curve ball about the first time you have a fag as a kid, or sleep with your best friends girlfriend but no…it’s too sentimental to sully with my filth so I’ll just sing Ave Maria while you all conjure up deeply embedded pictures of those first snowball fights.

Spontaneous fun is deeply embedded in our psyche and we willingly lose for other pursuits.

Historically it hasn’t always been this way, even for adults.

Comment by Charles Frith

Do you think spontaneous fun still in our DNA Charles? Maybe as kids … but it feels we are getting more and more to the point where we have to ‘plan’ our spontaneity, which is tragic on more levels than one.

By the way, “the first time you have a fag as a kid” could be completely misread if you were a homophobic sad twat … so it’s a good job Sarah Palin doesn’t come to this blog. Much. Hahaha.

Comment by Rob

I should add. It’s a lovely post.

Comment by Charles Frith

Rob,
Having ignored your question way back in comment 2, as to how I feel with my grandchildren, about the difference between watching and participating – I think that’s a pretty good question for planners, don’t you?
it’s not a bad question for all of us experts.
Ciaran
PS. I had great fun joining my grandchildren.

Comment by Ciaran McCabe

Experts? I’m strictly amateur …

Comment by Rob

Re: Spontaneity/DNA. There’s some stuff in evolutionary anthropology about archaic behavioural patterns. It was all fruitarian, arboreal dwelling spontaneous polymorphic sex which we lost as the African savannah dried out and farming (ownership of land and storing of grain/value) came into our lives as a concept and then we lost our spontaneity.

I try to live it once in a while nipping out for a “very” traditional Thai massage, but others like to throw snowballs. Not much snowballs in Bangkok but lots of massage joints.

We may have started burying our dead and extrapolating art around this time to so you win some you lose some. Personally I love the word polymorpic 😉

Comment by Charles Frith

Agencies are all about archaic behaviour.

Comment by John

have you been reading that book ‘Sex at Dawn’? It’s not as bad as it sounds. But reminds me of what you’re saying here.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sex-Dawn-Prehistoric-Origins-Sexuality/dp/0061707805

Comment by andrea

Everytime you make a comment like this that I understand it makes me feel 10% smarter.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Just to be clear I don’t nip out for massages as I don’t like it when it’s not up to standard and so I prefer those armchair massagers but the temptation to be outrageous on this blog is very seductive. Just ask Andy. He never goes anywhere else 😉

Comment by Charles Frith

I love watching dogs react to snow, they go mental!

The joy of the new, never let it go.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

you mean dogs who wear burberry and push a fucking pram? but you dont even live in fucking nottingham do you m?

Comment by andy@cynic

Great book reference Andrea. All our tick tock mechanisms are rooted (excuse the synchronicity) in sexuality.

Rob…Charles *flings as hard as he can* a metaphysical snowball from the tropics. 🙂

Comment by Charles Frith

campbell once conned us into paying some swedish quack a fucking fortune for some research he had that “proved” everything we did was motivated by shagging. i kept telling the fucker i could tell him the for free but did he believe me? did he fuck. and colgate still didnt give us the work for our “ugly mouths dont get laid” campaign. wankers.

Comment by andy@cynic

Andy. It’s OK..I’ve got a crush on Rob too. He’s just one of ‘those guys’.

Comment by Charles Frith

you mean “want to crush”.

Comment by andy@cynic

ha ha ha ha ha… That’s so odd. I am a brand rejectionist first. So after working my way through every other toothpaste in the universe including homeopathic and twig toothpaste I finally went for a big jumbo Colgate tube and …buck me …it’s a better toothpaste.

*notice how i said buck because Mrs C & Me is important too

** Well that and my Mom isnt speaking to me because one of my status updates fed into Skype and it said trucker mother or something.

I’ve no idea why Colgate rejected your profanity Andy. Are they bucking stupid?

Comment by Charles Frith

Colgate is one of those brands where I dislike the brand but buy it because the product is good.

Homeopathic… really? You??

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Crush. Want to crush. Sim-Same Andy.

As an aside I once read a book that described the similarity between pathological hate and love so I dropped hating someone.

Basically it’s LUV, lurve and indifference. The rest isn’t that much different.

Comment by Charles Frith

OK OK. That was my nutty…wait it was two nutty girlfriends who brushed with the same Twig toothpaste (How odd is that? Bit of post coital comedown doing the teeth brushing in the morning – they always invade my mirror space)

So I didn’t quite BUY the homeopathic toothpaste. But yes I’m very familiar with it Rob.

I see you as a kind of dynamic Mancunian Aquafresh kinda guy. But I might be wrong 😉

Comment by Charles Frith

If I’d heard you were buying homeopathic stuff your ‘Ad Pit Aceness Rating’ would have dropped by 5 points.

Aquafresh tastes awful… dynamic maybe, but with 12 hours of fresh breath!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Adpit aceness is exquisite alliteration.

Comment by Charles Frith

Thanks 🙂

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I just googled “charles frith is fucking stupid” and this is the fifth search result. I just wanted to share this with everybody 🙂

Comment by Charles Edward Frith (@charlesfrith)

Errrrrm, can I ask why you were googling that in the first place?

Comment by Rob




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