I was not designed to be overly practical. It doesn’t much suit me. Given a choice between changing a light bulb or ruminating on something vague, I would rather ruminate.

This week all sorts of things have drifted through my head. This is far from a complete list but it includes:

  • Does the Buddhist ideal of being free from all wanting just make people impossible pains up the arse?
  • Can we ever truly discern motives, and even if we could, does it matter?
  • What is the definition of “creepy”?

Oh, and a whole bunch of stuff on cheating, incentives, altruism etc, some of which arose from my memory of the contents of Freakonomics by Steven Levitt. I would love to ramble on about this stuff right here right now but I cannot because it is all so vague and ill-formed in my head, and would likely make no sense. This week I have been neck-deep in practicality. Sometimes, this is necessary.

I can do practical. It just makes me uneasy. It’s a lot more comfortable speculating on the follies of our brief lives.

But no, my 16 year old son is now suddenly  living here and practicality has seized me by the short and curlies. Today I asked him to cook dinner. He said he could not because he had never done that before. I said he damn well could and I would show him how. He (although he doesn’t know this yet) will now be cooking dinner with my supervision every single day until such time that he can figure out what we are going to have, make sure we have the necessary components, and produce it unaided at any stage of the process.

If there is one practical thing I can do insanely well, it is cook. And he is going to learn this skill if it kills me. It might do, in fact, and perhaps I should pre-stock on dysentery medication.

Tomorrow I am going to teach him how to make bread. He will complain bitterly because a) you can just buy it at the shop and b) it will not come out of the oven pre-sliced. He will say there is no point. I will ignore his protestations. At some point I will be introducing him to the washing machine. It is his friend. Without it, he will run out of clothes to wear.

I am thankful for my ex-sister-in-law. She confirmed for me that that this practical life-skills approach had worked wonders with the two proto-Vaughans she bore, and that I was probably on the right track with this one.

The ruminations will just have to go on hold for a bit until we have reached an even keel.



5 thoughts on “Practicalities

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