I sometimes get a sneaking suspicion that Blogger's word verification displays are created by taking a dictionary of truly rude phases and scrambling them ever so slightly so they're still vaguely recognisable, but not so offensive. Seriously... the ones I get are always like two letters away from being plain disgraceful.
Randomness aside (not really), thanks for all the comments on the previous post about lurking. I found them fascinating. Just to clear things up: I do not dislike lurkers (how can I dislike you when I don't know who you are?) - it's just really awesome when people de-lurk because I discover someone new who cares enough to read this bizarre blog.
I think I started on this train of thought because I discovered the other day that my dad has been reading my posts occasionally (and lurking) over the past few weeks. This immediately made me want to check my spelling and grammar on every update. He's really interested by the whole concept of blogging and keeps asking me how things work. He asked about Twitter too. I explained as best as I could (not being a Tweeter myself). I think I shall have to take him into the back-end of Blogger to show him how things are done, because for someone who works with words all day long, I'm not very good at explaining things. But it's nice to be able to teach my dad something for a chnage, seeing I regard him as my walking encyclopaedia.
I realised again while my folks have been in Russia how much I adore them. It hasn't always been like that. We weren't particularly close when I was younger and used to have quite a stormy relationship. I've always been fiercely independent and I think I felt the need to prove that I could do things without them. But things started to change when they moved away and I went into boarding school for grade 11 and grade 12 (my choice). I began, albeit very slowly, to appreciate them more and be grateful for all they do for me, which is a helluva lot.
Since we've been living in Jozi, only half an hour's drive from them, I've come to relish spending more time with them and being closer as a family. I've really, really missed them while they've been away. And I love that we're finally in a great place in our relationship now that I'm "all grown up" (haha! whatever) and that we can do Sunday lunch together without tempers flaring or someone sulking (that was usually me as a teenager).
The fact that I started to understand what family is all about when I started boarding school (which I loved) has made me think that if I ever do spawn children, I would probably consider sending them to boarding school for the last few years of high school. Not from a young age (TSC was a boarder from age six, which I think is way too young), but just for grades 10 through to 12. Maybe.
I've had many discussions about this with friends who disagree with me (most of whom didn't go to boarding school). Now I don't believe that a parent should ever abdicate responsibility to a school for teaching children discipline, obedience and all that other good stuff, but I do think boarding school helped me to learn a few important lessons: that I wasn't the centre of the universe, that sometimes you have to do things you don't want to do (like washing your own sheets and shining your school shoes) and also to appreciate my family and the time I have with them. I also had to learn how to live with people I didn't particularly get on with and I made some incredible friends.
I have friends who feel the same way and other mates who went to boarding school and hated it. I think a lot depends on personality and all that jazz. But boarding schools are really common in South Africa and while any hypothetical kids I may one day birth are looking very unlikely at present, should they one day exist, as far as I can imagine now, boarding will definitely be an option.
Or maybe I'll read back on this in 20-odd years time and laugh at myself. Who knows ;-)
K, enough brain farting for a Monday morning. Need some muesli. Bye.