Busytown by Jolisa Gracewood

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Busytown: It's like a jungle sometimes

15 Responses

  • giovanni tiso,

    It's like teleporting, albeit very very slowly.

    My new favourite sentence.

    Like the Guggenheim, if the Guggenheim were made of tree fungus.

    My new favourite concept.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7412 posts Report Reply

  • Nat Torkington,

    Lovely story! Let's hear it for free-range kids.

    Ti Point • Since Nov 2006 • 100 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    Loverly, who needs to travel when we can read things like this

    Mind you it does make me glad that I was brought up in different times and so were my boys...climbing and going adventuring was just out the back door

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 548 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    My parents used to take us rockhopping up a river on the slopes of Mt Taranaki. It was fabulous fun. We got bruises and scrapes and twisted ankles, but never a broken bone.

    But... it is hard to let go and let our little ones do dangerous things. Nevertheless, they do it, which is why we frequently find them about 6m up a tree in our back yard. Their technique for getting up is quite impressive - the lowest branch is nearly 2m up, so they clink to the trunk like little monkeys, and lever themselves up until they can get one hand on the branch, from where they can pull themselves up.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1330 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB,

    It's tough being a parent....

    One moment you think to yourself "I need to let them have more freedom, not make so many rules, let them adventure"

    And then when they come to you crying... having just minor-ly injured themselves while doing something that went entirely predictably (by an adult) wrong... and you say to them "So, why do you think I told you not to do that?".

    You cant win :)

    Are you a vindictive arsehole or enabling their learning if you let them into foreseeable prat-falls?

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Living across the Bay from San Francisco I probably went into the city every couple of weeks - but I worked with a couple of coworkers who hadn't been there for 20 years (in fact travelling to Berkeley for work was a novelty - and this was back in the mid 80s)

    I guess from the point of view of suburbia the cities have become scary places

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2200 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    And then when they come to you crying... having just minor-ly injured themselves while doing something that went entirely predictably (by an adult) wrong... and you say to them "So, why do you think I told you not to do that?"

    My daughter is the fearless unmanageable daredevil. We leave her to it, as she appears to be nearly as invulnerable as she thinks she is. My son, however, runs into trees. Five times now. Perfectly stationary trees.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4378 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    I think that one of those parenting skills they never teach you is how to deal with kids falling down - you have to learn to recognise that look from them that is basically "is he looking? should I cry?" - if you give just the right smile at just the right time they jump up and keep on running

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2200 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Emma- has his eyesight been properly tested?

    Serious question: I used to run into trees/doors/large objects like adults, until it was discovered at age 6, I was a high myope (which definition I used to be quite proud of.) A generation later, my niece was doing the same thing - her parents were onto it smartly, and at age 2, she started wearing glasses. Another high myope, & effectively blind in one eye...

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    But... it is hard to let go and let our little ones do dangerous things. Nevertheless, they do it, which is why we frequently find them about 6m up a tree in our back yard.

    I don't have the power-to-weight ratio for climbing any more (obviously) but I'm told I was climbing boldly from about as soon as I could walk. I recall my poor father having to rescue me after I'd got stuck in a high tree at a grown-ups party, but I think I negotiated trickier situations without my parents knowing.

    Even as a teenager, I climbed up the outside of buildings at Canterbury university with my mates. Thinking about the consequences of a slip makes me shudder now.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • richard,

    Russell,

    Something like this:

    http://www.insectnation.org/projects/nightclimbing

    Oddly enough, I remember someone (who had spent several very happy years at Cambridge) showing me a copy of this book back when I was a student at Canterbury, and it was clearly a treasured possession. But they do this sort of thing properly in the old country.

    And, as it happens, I was in Cambridge a couple of months ago and popped into Heffers, and saw a big stack of the reprinted edition for sale -- what was once dangerously underground (or dangerously above ground, in this case) is now safely retro...

    Not looking for New Engla… • Since Nov 2006 • 260 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Emma- has his eyesight been properly tested?

    Oh, he's blind as a bat, gets it from his mother. He's short sighted and has astigmatism. He wears glasses, and still runs into trees.

    Even as a teenager, I climbed up the outside of buildings at Canterbury university with my mates. Thinking about the consequences of a slip makes me shudder now.

    Sheesh. My *cough* friend Mike and I used to smoke on the huge concrete ledge outside the fourth floor Honours common room of the English building - a mixture of bravado and being too damn lazy to walk all the way down the stairs. People never look up.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4378 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Yup. Glasses dont necessarily help a lot - but, like his Mum, that doest mean he's disabled. Just, he wont have the same abilities as his sister-

    and running into static trees isnt funny.

    Running into *moving* trees on the other hand, is-

    LIVE ENT CAPTURE REWARd NOTICE! $1 MILLION DOLLARS FOR

    etc.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    Running into *moving* trees on the other hand, is-

    LIVE ENT CAPTURE REWARd NOTICE! $1 MILLION DOLLARS FOR

    etc.

    Ehehe. And just to take things to another plane of geekiness, this is the first thing I thought of with moving trees.

    The yeti was much worse though.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1574 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    When I finally got glasses I was astonished to see that trees had leaves. I'd never been so blind as to miss the trunks, though. Blimey!

    Somewhat related to this thread: an impassioned piece on the sort of words being slowly filleted out of the Oxford Junior Dictionary:

    "It is difficult to read the list of words excluded from the new Oxford Junior Dictionary without a sharp sense of regret. Here are some of the words that have been culled: catkin, brook, minnow, acorn, buttercup, heron, almond, marzipan, ash, beetroot, bray, bridle, porpoise, gooseberry, raven, carnation, blackberry, tulip, catkin, porridge and conker. ..."

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1431 posts Report Reply

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