10 Downing Street a personal view (pt2)

I Follow an American blogger (a poetess who incidentally doesn’t follow me 🙂 ) and she wouldn’t mind me saying I loved reading her most recent post, briefly the lady shared photographs of her family’s recent vacation to London, after all the terror news it’s great to hear tourists have enjoyed our great Capital City, lightened my heart 🙂

Continued from part one………. Click Here 🙂

 

I have a certain amount of respect for Richard Nixon, yes you did read that correctly, although I enjoy reading and discussing politics as a general rule I’m extremely careful when commenting on another Countries governance for the simple reason both a naivety and ill informed opinion could get me into a lot of hot water, especially if I’m patently wrong, however I will discuss political issues with people I respect and trust…….. such as a lady named K. from America.

😀 perhaps Nixon’s photograph alongside mine affects my judgement!.

And yes for fear of repeating myself I did say I have a certain amount of respect for Nixon, yes he was a flawed paranoid man and I wouldn’t buy a used car from him but I’ve seen the superb Anthony Hopkins movie, I’ve read ‘All The Presidents Men’ several times, the Hoffman Redford movie twenty times and watched the spine tingling Nixon Frost interviews notably the “I wish to apologise to the American people!!” But you do have to give him credit for his brave China visit, a triumph of friendship and diplomacy, a message to Donald Trump politics is the art of the possible!!!………….and perhaps the success of Nixon’s visit to China is the overriding reason both superpowers have coexisted peacefully for nigh on forty years?

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Donald, Trump and our Queen riding down the Mall together?

……. and further still I don’t remember Nixon being labelled a misogynist racist pig two appalling and disgusting character traits Trump seems to unforgivably possess when tweeting, so when he visits Britain this autumn, sits alongside the Queen in her golden carriage riding down the Mall, you can forget all talk of trade deals he just wants to parade with our Monarch and I hope he enjoys himself. (Hint of sarcasm there!)

However I’m worried he won’t be accepted with the same warm reception every other US President has received……………… I fear riots, bombings and political unrest as we’ve NEVER witnessed before…….. already the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has publically stated he won’t shake Trump’s hand, he will he’s a politician!…….. Hopefully the visit ends peacefully.

Time to continue with my Downing Street post before I have you unfollowing in droves, I’d like to suggest the photograph of Mark above remains relevant to a Britain of present day, WE two are more than just boys standing either side of a ‘bobby’ Policeman outside 10 Downing Street, the very heart of Political power, for that brief moment in time Mark and myself have a direct physical connection with the very centre of British Democracy ………the fact we are no longer permitted to walk up Downing Street is in my opinion a freedom lost, one example of how my Country has changed for the worse.

Police holding weapons is an unnerving sight in the UK and to be truthful I’m not totally comfortable with guns in open view, but times have changed so I’ll have to get used to it. If you look to the far right beyond the black and yellow striped ramp you can just about make out Prime Minister Theresa May’s official residence and the Chancellor of the Exchequers next door at No 11.

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2017 and this’ll be the closest I’d get to number 10, we walked up there!

You’ll understand after recent horrific atrocities London is now in a state of security lockdown, walking the City’s streets are a little more worrying, my discoloured childhood photograph is one small example of how Islamic terror has changed the way we British live our lives, no longer permitted to visit important places now deemed a security risk. But people adapt to troubled times, we’ll be OK, sixty years ago German bombs were raining down upon London and we survived, Democracy stood up to Nazism and won.

Each one of us understands that at any given time, God forbid a guy could drive a white van along Westminster Bridge and mount a curb into members of the public, just imagine the propaganda coup ‘IS’ would claim if a suicide bomber detonated himself outside Number 10 Downing Street, that’s why the entrance below resembles a war time fortress, gates and machine guns confront you but Wednesday last as I walked through HorseGuards along Whitehall turning into Parliament Square I witnessed peaceful demonstrations, a comforting sign Britain’s Democracy is alive and well.

Here’s a ‘Free Society’ question for you, is President Trump visiting London a great idea? Or should democracy prevail and grant Trump a State visit, he’s Tweeted he wants to ride down the Mall sitting next to the Queen in her gold carriage!

We took Obama to our hearts but Trump? Riots? Bombings? F*ck!!!! ……. being as this is my blog Post perhaps I should answer the question should President Trump visit Britain later this year? I’ve given this question a great deal of thought and I’m saddened to say perhaps put off the visit for a while, ……… my apologies America.

😦

© Andrew

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10 Downing Street a personal view (pt1)

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Andrew (left) and my brother Mark standing outside number 10 Downing Street, London.

Remember the days when a British ‘Bobby’ didn’t have to carry an automatic weapon, in 2017 he’ll have one hand tightly gripping a gun barrel and the other trigger finger ready!!!

At the time this photo was taken Mark and I were still quite young children and if you read ‘A happy childhood’ you’ll recall my father had little time off from his chosen employment, so in place of fixed holidays my mother would take us boys on day trips instead, don’t go all tearful on me, there were no week long holidays in theme Parks or overseas sandy beaches to build sand castles on (I’m joking) but that’s ok, isn’t a happy childhood all about life experiences just as much as expensive holidays in exotic Countries?

Usually travelling by train we’d visit places of interest often educational, other days the three of us would cycle Oxfordshire’s country lanes with a picnic for lunch, all lol very Enid Blyton………. perhaps Google her name the lady’s a famous writer of childhood fiction much criticised and frowned upon these days for political correctness reasons, unfairly in my opinion, I enjoyed the youngster’s scrapes and adventures in a picture book 1950’s England that never was.

I love the picture of Richard Nixon. 

Where was I? Yes, mum would take us on day trips to places of interest and this particular day we three travelled by train to London visiting attractions like Buckingham Palace, The Tower of London, incidentally the day that picture above was taken, us in our smart brown anoraks, London was a new adventure being our first time in such an historic City………..

……..and yes of course we two are standing in front of 10 Downing Street the iconic home of British Prime Minister’s with a Policeman always at the door.

I say iconic because whichever Country you come from you’ll recognise that shiny black door with white lettering, and American readers will be naming their five US Presidents all standing next to PMs of their day. They are of course Presidents Nixon, Reagan, Bush Senior, Bush Junior, Obama and not forgetting our own heroic Winston Churchill PM.

To think I’m standing exactly in the foot steps of probably the most powerful man of his time, Richard Nixon! Wow, even all these years later I find my discoloured fragile photo quite awe inspiring……………….. and certainly NOT photo shopped!!!

So there you are, yet ANOTHER treasured family photograph and for those of you who’ve read the odd family post of mine you’ll be aware I’ve shared many special snapshots, incidentally my most liked and commented posts.

HOWEVER times have changed, I visited London a few weeks ago knowing the City would look very different after the many recent atrocities 😦 threats of Islamic terrorism are the reason 10 Downing Street now resembles the fortress below, no longer would I be Free to wander up and stand in front of that iconic black door so my mum could take a family photograph, a UK citizen’s right now gone forever!

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Entrance to 10 Downing Street 2017

(To be continued)

© Andrew

 

Sexual Politics and childhood awakenings

Original and written by me Andrew

🙂 My promised London terrorism Posts will have to wait, you see I read an internet News story, as you do, became distracted and started writing about something completely different instead……..anyways I enjoyed myself which is all that counts.

I’ve a question for you. 

Am I unique or unusual or both never seeing a photograph of a fully nude woman until child age 10? Sleepy Town upbringing and all that!

Skip forward one year. Me age @11, my brother, Paul Townsend and his older sister Helen and a nameless girl I can’t remember, are standing inside my parents garden shed and Helen says “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours”…………..SECONDS later my mother who had been listening outside, flings open the door and angrily says “all of you go to your homes” 😀 one minute longer I’d have seen a vagina, it would be three more years before another!……………..

(Helen and I started different schools soon after this incident!)

1 minute longer!!!! Why do I remember this story so vividly?

Hold on, don’t leave me yet that’s the tacky part over, this is a tale of first love childhood innocence and a Sex Ed. lesson I’d never forget. However my teacher left out one important ‘fact of life’, omitted something which took many years to find out, a fact that still angers me…………well it used to 🙂

Be aware this Post is not at all creepy or sordid, possibly not every ones cup of tea but it’s all very sweet and gentle, retelling one of those milestones in life you think about time to time, possibly prompted by a story of present day sexual politics like this one….. a World gone mad?

https://www.theinfong.com/2017/06/lady-banned-pool-inappropriate-swim-suit/

Is the Manageress correct? Is the bathing suit inappropriate? Would the children be mentally scarred for life misunderstanding it’s the adults who are over reacting? Is a butt tooo big for its bathing suit harmful to young minds?

Or am I the one at fault thinking she looks fine?

(Btw I have age 8 and 10 nephews, I get it! I also see the work my brother goes through with ‘locking’ passwords!)

Back to me never having seen a full frontal nude woman…………mollycoddled and all that, no interweb!

I don’t envy parents in 2017, a 10 year old if ‘unlocked’ could show his friends all manner of sordid pictures on his iPhone, picture a group of confused bewildered babes watching acts they shouldn’t be, or images no one should see in their lifetime, and all via school playground free WIFI. You think I’m joking?

😀 Returning to me! If you’re at all curious, back in the day I never came across photographs of a woman’s vagina until age 10, honest! My first time being in a Primary School’s ‘special events’ classroom consisting of 30 immature students listening incredulously to a sex education class taught by one Miss Aspley……….lol a wonderful woman!

Decades have passed now and most of my youthful memories, good and bad are forgotten, however I do remember being first aware of a female’s sexuality at age 10 but at the same thinking her attractive more than sexual. We can all roughly date our blossoming sexual maturity milestones can’t we? I remember taking a bath one evening, looking down and seeing my first pubic hair, honestly, an image burnt into my mind then stored in my brain’s picture folder.

Good that!

I do remember one unusual observation, discussing ‘hardness’ with my friend Martin Ashby age 10 though not understanding what they actually were for! No the only real memories captured by my imagination were for a certain teacher called Miss Aspley, she stirred first feelings of attraction, a childish love perhaps brought on by a sweet smile, a dress that looked nice, her pretty face who knows? But I know I liked her!……..And incidentally a model teacher in every way. 

Would Miss Aspley wearing a high cut pink bathing suit have corrupted my young mind?

A child’s first intellectual relationship in formative years is with their Primary School teacher, parents not withstanding. My Miss Aspley was bright, seemed to have answers to all life’s questions reading imaginative stories at end the day, and like with us all childhood literature stays with us for life. Miss was engaging firm amusing all attractive qualities irrespective of age and certain ‘bomb shell’ facts taught by her in class come back to me, true, and incidentally my mother met her many years later at a funeral and she’d a daughter of her own, and isn’t it written as gospel children will have a crush on their first teacher, or are we talking adolescents?

Where was I, oh yes reasons to be romantically attached to that special school teacher even children in early formative years and again I ‘loved’ Miss Aspley as much as a 10 year old can ahh. I never described her did I?

“Miss” was a tall slim fresh faced lady, thirtyish (old) classically English rose in appearance always most definitely wearing below the knee skirts and always conservatively dressed. Though I can’t recall her face I know for certain she was very pretty with long flame red hair as fine and straight as is possible to get, I’ve refrained from using the word elegance that gives visions of sophistication and remember I’m only 10! Pretty fits nicely.

Returning to a young child’s knowledge of sexuality, do women with big buts walking around swimming pools really have a bad influence on their minds? Common! I cannot remember a woman’s body remotely sexualised at age 10, honestly. Are things different now? Yes the internet and dark web!

My young nephew said “ouch you kicked me in the penis” when his brother hit him down there……………….and my mother swallowed hard!

So yes pretty Miss Aspley stirred inexplicable feelings of attraction, an immature sexual awakening , a warmth of feelings plus a little bit more. Whichever lol all I know is I did like her, knitted jumpers in winter buttoned to the neck blouses in summer, nothing ever remotely revealing perhaps I was just enchanted by her appearance and femininity, as far as a 10 year olds perception goes. Why do I recall my first crush so clearly? Yes there’ll be serious infatuation’s with educational goddesses in years to come, but Miss Aspley is remembered because she’s my first love, as an aside isn’t a girl’s first crush her best friends father?

So back to those 30 mixed sex pre pubescent children sitting cross legged on a coarse itchy carpet in the headmasters ‘special events’ classroom. Curtains were drawn, lights turned off Miss Aspley standing at the back operating a slide projector. I can vaguely remember thinking there was something special about today, anticipated, 30 suspicious bemused children or perhaps I’m looking back through rose tinted spectacles? So there we all are, seated gazing up at a stand alone white screen on the opposite side of the room……waiting!

And so the slide show begins with room hushed to total silence (unusual for 10 year olds)   Miss Aspley behind me narrating with her knowledgeable soft calmness, saying very little as black and white photographs passed before our eyes, dwelling longer on the reproductive diagrams AND THEN for the first time in my life I saw a photograph of a nude woman and her vagina, AN image that’s etched into my visual mind for all eternity, I see her face now yet many other Primary School memories are lost……so strange only particular photos remain for life! Neurons synapses fused visible for years to come.

Good that 😀 (only joking)

The nude young lady in the slide show hadn’t a particularly appealing face, bored even, a short woman with a typically English pear shaped figure wide child bearing hips and not in the least bit sexualised. As for her breasts, large, no drama here, I’d watched my neighbour Mrs H. breastfeed daughter number three plenty of occasions! …………. And again I can’t remember female breasts being sexualised at age 10, probably because I’d viewed them as producing milk keeping her infant alive.

Back to the swimming pool, a bathing suit? Really?

Don’t prompt me for any more facts gleaned from that Sex Ed. lesson because I remember little else, apart from that is, a photo of a tall naked gentleman with beard and glasses having a mass of jet back pubic hair surrounding his penis………again no big deal, unfortunately I’d caught glimpses of my father to understand hair sprouted from that region down below, yuck!!!!!

So there you, a life changing day for me at least, a Sex Ed. lesson over very quickly, we’re imparted the basics of reproduction, diagrams depicting a tadpole’s travels from testicle to egg via insertion of the bits, a series of un-sexy black and white photographs of the naked male and female human mammal, and again for reasons of a need to know basis I cannot remember the library having ANY sex education books.

Shouldn’t all childhoods be this way, a never to be forgotten lesson, a first attraction to a female but not understanding why? I’m back to Enid Blyton literature now……………..did you Google?

All in all my sex education lasted half an hour with NO questions and very much on message narration by ‘matter of fact’ Miss Aspley, but I do remember her as humourless without a hint of embarrassment and almost definitely bored witless. A brief memorable Sex Ed. lesson with graphic content little more than a series of photos (I think!) accompanied by sketchy diagrammatic theories of reproduction, no placing rolled up condoms on the tips of bananas, a fruit chosen for length diameter and curve, giggling excited children unfurling sperm barriers by use of their mouths. I’m KIDDING!!!

So there you are that was the breadth of my sexual knowledge for years and years to come and still amuses me till this day that I no comprehension of what a vagina looked like until age 10, if you’re interested the next was age 14 and only then after purchasing that copy of MAYFAIR from a boy in the sports hall changing room…………ahh but for one minute more…….remember Helen!

How times have changed…………………..horrifically for the worse, the dark web, abuse.

STIs and masturbation came years later, but annoyingly Miss Aspley said NOT a single WORD OF MASTURBATION, I had a right to be informed my body was capable of giving intense feelings of pleasure, special, safe enjoyable healthy for mind body and spirit, yes at age 10 she should have told me, but not a single word, I’m kept in the dark for years to come. Ignorance did have harmful consequences later in life and I’m still annoyed about that, I didn’t work out ‘how to’ for many years to come and not being told is inexcusable, even Biology at Secondary School was just as bad, 

A personal friend Emma says “I think I worked it out for myself ” hmm why didn’t I?

We should live our lives without fear of censorship shouldn’t we, education is empowerment, knowledge gives us judgement, lets us make informed decisions, corrects mistakes.

Tell children how to masturbate and the reasons why!!! Of course now I’d go to the NHS website but back in the day? ………..Word of mouth and a 4 channel TV set.

The internet, an innocence lost…………. 🙂 I get it!

So returning to my school lesson for one final time, Miss Aspley’s unwrapped and opened her Pandora’s box, 30 children have just realised adults have been keeping them in the dark and no harm was done. Sex Ed. lesson over, lights are switched on, curtains are drawn and this slim pretty lady with flame red hair walks calmly to the front of my class, stands by the white silk screen and as God is my witness I can remember thinking………….

‘Miss take all your clothes off!’ A sexual awakening if ever there was one 😀

The End.

© Andrew.