Sometimes I am reminded how tremendously lucky my life is. Horrible things happen and there is a great deal (especially arguments wise) of my life that could have been avoided had I been nicer, more understanding or calmer. But I know some wonderful people and my friends continually amaze me with how nice, how understanding and how calm they are. I truly don’t deserve them sometimes, as Blue Eyes and FFG reminded me, in separate ways this morning. However I’m going to keep trying and maybe one day the more major of my two regrets in life will be put right, or more realistically maybe I can end up as nice, understanding and calm as my friends.
Monday morning got off to it’s sadly now usual start. Me stood to the side reciting in the lessons. Now, I have a British accent, it’s something I’m becoming more and more aware of in Japan. Mostly the Japanese learn from Americans, American tutors, American tapes, American homestay etc. Which is fine, I’m not going to get caught up in the silly argument over which accent is more correct because as far as I’m concerned they both are. They are both English accents just as are South African, Australian or Kiwi accents. But today in the second lesson I was told I was pronouncing ‘begun’ wrong. Now I know that I have problems with my ‘u’ sounds, they all come out terribly northern so in the next lesson I practiced to get that more southern ‘u’ sound. Not so much of an ‘uh’ you know?
It was almost humiliating to be told in front of the pupils that I was speaking wrongly. It was humiliating however to begin again, only to be stopped again, and for one of the pupils to be sent to the staffroom to get the CD. And then to stand at the back of the class whilst the pupils repeated after the correct (American) pronounciation was read out by the CD. I’m British but I can’t actually speak English properly. Why am I here? Oh I’m just a bit useless really, an ornament from the school, but for heavens sake don’t trust me to educate your children! It was bad enough being a tape recorder on Mondays but now I’m not even that.
Then of course theres the news about Peter Pan, there is to be a sequel. Now I can understand the charitable purposes behind this and thats all well and good but my obsessive love of childrens literature is kicking in. Barrie wrote Peter and Wendy as a play first of all (after he’d told it to the Davies children) and he deliberately brought the curtain down when he did so that the audience might not see Peter with a hook for a hand captaining the pirate ship. Now the book ends with Peter visiting Wendy’s granddaughter, still the same old Peter we know and love so we know that there is hope…but consider who is the villain of the piece? Its always really Peter, we only let him pretend to be the hero because we can’t help but love him so. Hook and Peter are always the best of duellists because they are so similar, and Hook is the villain in my eyes, primarily because he’s the grown up in Never Never Land.
Before you disagree with me let me just explain, why does Hook capture Wendy? Because the Pirates want a mother. Why does Peter want Wendy in Never Never Land in the first place? Because the Lost Boys want a mother. The Lost Boys under Peter take part in some very morally dubious crusades and are really hardly different from pirates…the difference being of course that they never grow up, that they are gay and innocent and heartless forever. Whereas the pirates are not gay or innocent but merely heartless, and under Hook seeming to seek that gayness and innocence that they have lost (thus are always to be suspect).
In anycase, if there is to be another story (perhaps post Wendy’s granddaughter?) Peter must have changed a little in some way or else the story is liable to be too similar. And the problem is that there are no more pirates in Never Never Land now, well depending on if you look at the play or the book. Peter defeats Hook…ergo the pirates leave. Who is there to fight now? The Mermaids have their own agendas…The vacuum the pirates leave must be filled…and the title of the next book is Captain Peter. Peter is always the villain, aided and abetted by Tink. I hope she gets the mix right, because if we don’t love him then he can be worse than Hook.
On a lighter note I think I might well back Carrie Ford for the National, if only down to feminist sympathies, which is a pathetic reason for backing a horse. There’ve only been two women to finish the National and no women winners. She’s riding a nice horse though, Forest Gunner, and the trainer is Richard Ford (her husband) not too hung up over him as a trainer to be honest. The horse is good though. Drattit I always back trainers not horses or jockeys…this is very probably my worst tip yet! Another horse I’m getting interested in is Joly Bey, he’s an amateur but Mr Frisk won…um probably getting on for ten years ago now so you definately can’t hold that against him in the National! Hmm on the whole I’m sticking to my notions of never backing Martin Pipe for a National (having said that I’ve broken my own rule twice!), I’m happy to back his horses in the smaller races but having looked at his little lot for the National I don’t fancy any of them.