Practically Z

Incoherence dipped to a new low last night – actually, that’s not right, is it – I mean, coherence dipped or incoherence soared.  I was sober but tired, a poor combination.

We received our census form yesterday.  I have no objection to filling it in, it’s rather less intrusive than many of the questions that many businesses ask.  For the first time in our marriage, we will just fill it in for the two of us.  I remember the last time, taking some time to work out how many rooms there are in the house and I’ll have to do it again – it’s a bit odd because a bathroom isn’t counted but a utility room is.  Our bathroom is fairly large, having been converted from a bedroom (in 1960, when the Sage’s sister got married), but we’ve a very small utility room that I wouldn’t really have counted at all, which is smaller and less of a room-like space than the hall, the cloakroom or the landing, none of which is counted and all of which are converted from rooms.  Still.  Maybe this is an unusual house.

On Dave’s blog, he was talking about his ideal house and its location and, in the comments, daydreaming as a comfort or therapy was mentioned.  That would be the opposite of therapy for me – a ‘safe place’ in my mind would not feel safe or comforting if it were unattainable.  For that reason, I can think more easily about what I wouldn’t like in a house rather than what I would – which is rather the same attitude, now I think about it, that I took when talking about an ideal holiday and an ideal dog.  I started with what I don’t want.

Friends of ours look after dogs for their owners when they are on holiday – in their home, it’s a fairly informal arrangement, not a boarding kennel.  They have two dogs themselves, one a charming little spaniel, very small, that I love, and the other a black, setter-shaped one, which is a delightful dog but which is untrainable, especially around chickens which it kills, and I wouldn’t have at any price.  Our friends have run into a problem.  This week’s dog, which is a small terrier of the Jack Russell type, managed to get out of their back yard by squeezing through a space they didn’t think any dog could get through.  They can’t now find it, and the owner is due back tomorrow.  Apparently, she never lets it off the lead when it’s out, as it can’t be trusted not to run off.  I’d see no point in having a dog that I couldn’t take for a run off the lead.  It would be no pleasure for me or the dog.  Trust, and freedom within understood parameters, is fundamental.

18 comments on “Practically Z

  1. Dave

    I think the point of my daydreams is that I don’t believe they are unattainable. They are aspirations which, one day, may be fulfilled (mainly if a large sum of money appears from out of the blue).

    You’ll be saying next that my dream of being chaplain to the British colony on Mars isn’t going to happen either.

  2. Z

    If I can’t, by my own efforts, attain them then they are unattainable in practical terms. Or even if I could, but frankly am not going to bother.

  3. Z

    I’d have to make an exception for Lily, because she’s adorable. Even if she does have to sit in a plastic box in the front seat in the car.

    Chasing chickens is not allowed, however.

  4. Gledwood

    Did my last comment get lost? I was just saying I got my cencus form as well and am tempted to be half Chinese half American Indian and a native Berber speaker…!

  5. Z

    Go for it, Gled! Tick all the boxes that I’m too sensible to tick – I’m tempted to as well, but I know I won’t.

  6. PixieMum

    Do let us know what happened about the Jack Russell dog.

    We had one when I was in my late teens. Uncontrollable, I suspect though it was highly inbred because it can from a farm in the wilds of Exmoor.

    Could never tire it out, I walked it for miles and never succeeded. It was called Bill, our surname was Bailey so the old song was so applicable.

  7. Dave

    Having used census records a lot in my family tree researches, they tell you much that is interesting. The ones publically available (over 100 years old) were filled in my a census-taker. Now we can fill them in ourselves, I wonder how much use they will be in 100 years time, as researchers will always wonder how much is fiction.

  8. allotmentqueen

    Just because the old censuses were filled in by someone else (the census-taker) doesn’t make them any less likely to be fiction, Dave. Still interesting, though. Doubt that anyone said their religion was Jedi Knights then.

  9. Dave

    I’ve certainly found patent lies on the census (like an umarried couple being married) but at least the independent writer would query things (like Jedi as a religion) which were obviously untrue. I shall blog about this next week.

  10. Z

    You can call yourself English and British if you wish.

    I’ll let you know what happens about the dog.

    I think most people will play it straight in the census. The religious question is voluntary anyway and there isn’t much that will matter in 100 years. I don’t suppose its primary purpose is the thought of family trees being researched several generations on, in any case. Doesn’t a touch of misinformation add to the fun?

  11. Mike and Ann

    Tosh!!!!! When answering the nationality/racial background question on N.H.S. forms, I always cross all their suggestions out and put in:-“English, and I consider this question offensive and unnecessary”. I’ve yet to have this reply queried.

  12. Z

    Behave, yes LZM, but some of us are better at it than others.

    It seems odd that the religion question is voluntary, when you can say ‘none’ or there’s a space for anything you like, but the question of how well you speak English is compulsory, when it’s rather a subjective matter. I quite like it that you can tick all that you wish under ‘national identity’; whilst primarily English I am also British and will tick both.

    I have heard that they quietly fill in the form again with their view on your nationality – since it all goes on to a computer record, this seems very likely.


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