Coming downstairs this morning, my immediate thought was, 'I wonder if I can play the organ today?' This is an oft reoccurring thought I have and occasionally get the chance to ask a sympathetic cleric. You will be amazed at the understanding and patience of these people. When I ask them if I can have the opportunity to have a blow through their pipes, they allow me into their parish church, lock the door and fire up the bellows.
I have to report that so far, on every occasion that I have had the opportunity to validate the question, the answer has been a resounding 'No'.
Still, by asking questions of myself like this and by following through on them, I hope I am showing myself as a proper role model for my children. As they approach the point where (I hope) they are about to cut loose and make their own way in the world without further financial help, I'm sure that they have picked up the little life lesson, never give up on your dreams.
I'm quite proud of my two children (See Note 1). They have taken a number of my little life lessons to heart. In particular ~
"Never run when you can jog. Never jog when you can walk. Never walk when you can stand. Never stand when you can sit. Never sit when you can lie."
Both my children have reached Olympic standard at this and it wasn't for the fact that actually entering the Olympics require them walking to the postbox at the end of the street to post the entry form, both would be a certainty for 2012.
So it was that neither was forced into work involving hard manual labour. Work that involves hours in the elements, suffering the very worst the British weather can throw at you. Work that requires you to strap heavy loads to your back and drag them for miles through dark and foreboding streets. Work that requires you to confront viscous dogs. Work that requires you to take evasive action from rabid joggers. Yes, my perfunctified yeomen, I am talking about a paper round. (See Note 2)
On Sundays, the lot of the poor paperboy / papergirl / paperperson is all the worse as the various papers slip in additional supplements to try and lure in a few extra readers and to wring out a little extra value from the poor wretch forced to deliver them to our homes.
The arrival of the Internet means that this shameful situation could soon be a thing of the past. Society could well come to see us forcing children to deliver papers the same way we now view the practice of sending small children up chimneys to sweep them (see Note 3).
With the internet, you do not need to purchase those cumbersome lumps of pulped forest. Most of the newspapers are now available on-line.
So it is that I can save you, my lithe yeomen, from a hernia. I know you are all waiting for part two of the Sunday Times Top 100 Blogs, but you do not have to heave half of Norway home with you! For yah, the article can be found on-line here.
Note 1 : I would be grateful if you don't tell them this as one of my greatest fears is that it is statements like this that put off the time when, for the very first time in my life I hear the words, "No, no, Dad, put your money away, I'll get these!"
Note 2 : My daughter did once forget the life lesson once and sign up for a paper route. This lasted about half a paper route when totally unable to find the houses to which she was supposed to be delivering she returned her sack to the shop vowing never to return.
Note 3 : We did try sending my son up the chimney once. It was a complete failure, he found a ledge half way up and just curled up and went to sleep. It was three days before he ran out of snacks secreted about his person and realised that nobody was bringing him food and drink. It was only then that he wandered out - a lot cleaner and fragrant than normal.