Friday 23 March 2007


I feel deflated after reading, my inspiration and, if you like, my writing benchmark. She is currently describing the trauma of a spate of bullying that her 6 year old is being subjected to at school. I can FEEL her anguish, helplessness, and hopelessness. This is writing par excellence and although I have no words to describe the empathy I feel I have to make a modest attempt.

I have come across bullying twice. My daughters were bullied at school when they were 8 and 10. Because we were in the course of moving home anyway it wasn’t necessary for me to confront the problem, but I can still remember the gut wrenching horror I experienced.

The other incidence was when my grandson was abused, bullied and attacked on the school bus. He was in his first term at the grammar school and the abusers were two brothers from the comprehensive school. Again, nothing can make you feel more inadequate than trying to protect a helpless child. My daughter handled it amazingly well, did not hold back in the pursuit of justice to protect her boy and the two villains were eventually banned from the bus.

The scary thing is that this had happened to other kids during the preceding year and nothing had been done about it. The school took the line that anything happening outside the school was not their province and the bus company said it wasn’t their job to police the bus, they simply carried passengers. My daughter reported the matter to the police and eventually it was resolved. Where are the dreaded Health and Safety wallahs when you need them?

On a lighter note, old grumpy has just announced he bought himself a pair of roller boots. I suspect that the maniac is probably dyspraxic, he has no sense of balance or rhythm and probably will end up killing himself or some other poor sap.

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