Turns out my parents were right after all | BBC Radio Solent's Alun Newman
It seems that, on occasion, it doesn’t matter what’s being said, if it’s falling out of the mouth of your old folks it becomes irrelevant before it even hits your ears.
There are books about how to communicate with teenagers but teenagers don’t have a book on how to communicate with parents.
There are even parenting courses that you can attend where the expert, whose family is essentially a collection of mini-deities, explains how they get everyone together to ‘work as a unit’.
It’s futile. It would be like stopping Darth Vader on the high street and asking if he wanted to start a direct debit for the Dogs Trust.
There’s no point. He might stop to chat. Sure, he’s changed over time. But he’s not going to sign. Let him go about his business and queue for Primark with everyone else.
I, of course, don’t take my own advice and persist with the relentless pursuit of parental hawking.
Circling over the heads of my children with constant wisdom, nagging and mentoring. It makes little difference.
I still haven’t managed to get anyone to, ‘just use one bath towel at a time’, ‘put the lid on toothpaste’ ‘don’t open new toothpaste until the other is finished’ or ‘use a light switch for off as well as on’.
There are also statements that we make as children that haunt us.
Claims we made in our late teens that were cast iron.
At the time of shouting them, it felt like you were stating a powerful fact. You’re drawing a line in the sand. This far and no further.
Recently one of these returned to haunt me.
Partly due to the exhausting boredom of lockdown I’ve had to draw on the small pleasures of life.
I think I’ve gone too far now.
Many years ago, I lost my rag with my parents when I walked into the kitchen.
They were making and discussing what would be the best combination for the first attempt at home-made muesli.
I must have been preoccupied with something. I was probably about 19 years old. I declared that ‘I will never be so dull as to talk about and waste time creating, my own muesli!’
I couldn’t understand what would have to happen in your life for this to be interesting. For some reason, it infuriated me.
I stormed out of the house and jumped in my Ford Escort Mk2 and sped off to the local shops to sit in the car park and listen to my cassette tapes.
I now need to confess that I was wrong.
It is with great sadness that I can report that it’s worth buying quality oats. Include some whole grains. Don’t over-raisin.
A good quantity and variety of nuts are absolutely paramount to the breakfast pleasure.
I’m not too proud to repent publicly. Sure, this pandemic has pushed us all to the edge.
It’s shown me some harsh realities.
Firstly, my parents were right on so many points.
Try and avoid large loans, everything with children is a phase, and your own muesli is nicer than the shop-bought stuff.
When we’re properly out of this Covid-related global pain, I pledge to never ever talk about breakfast cereals again.
Until then. Hello Fibre.
Don’t be sloppy with solidus
The figures fluctuate widely, depending on super hoards, but vven with that in mind, on average in the U K 2,900 Roman coins are found every year.
(Source: Intarch and my own maths so read with caution).
The coins vary in quality but on average every archaeological dig on a relevant site finds, at the very least, one coin. Sometimes. Of course, one dig can produce over 1,000 coins.
If we bear in mind that the Romans had pretty much bailed-out of this country by 400AD, then it’s remarkable that we’re still finding so many coins.
The Romans invented central heating, roads, concrete, sewers and modern calendars to name but a few ground-breaking inventions. They were the most forward-thinking race in our part of the world. More advanced than us Brits.
However, one thing they seemed to be incapable of was inventing a quality wallet. My family leave things behind when we visit people but how on earth did the Romans manage to forget, drop, not need to worry about, millions and millions of coins?
It’s an embarrassing legacy. For all their great inventions, they had a careless attitude to loose change. Maybe an indication as to where it all went wrong for Caesar. Remember, look after the solidus and the denarius will look after itself (not as catchy).