Tonight, we are watching the Brit Awards 2010. Can’t believe JLS won the breakthrough act of the year. And Lady Gaga...I just can’t decide, to be honest, whether she is an extremely cool singer or a very annoying transvestite.
I was talking to my father on Sunday. Just decided it has been a long time since I heard his voice. And my father has a beautiful voice. A lot of very young and very pretty girls back in the sixties fell hopelessly for that baritone, accompanied by some impressive guitar skills, over and over again. Who knows? I might have some illegitimate half-sisters or half-brothers scattered all over ex-Soviet Union.
There is however, one official half-sister that I know of, which my father produced at the ripe age of 64.
I felt obliged to ask how she was. She was fine, he said. Growing up and climbing everywhere. She pulls the computer chair to the piano and climbs on it, so that she could get on top of the cupboard.
I expressed my concerns about the two year old climbing on top of pianos and cupboards with glass doors. My father dismissed them by moving on to another topic.
He then stopped briefly, to tell me that the girl was now trying to repair something with his screw driver. Ha-ha, he laughed.
Papa,- I said politely- should she be allowed to play with screw drivers?
Oh, we tell her not to,- he says- but she takes it anyway.
Right,I said, right.
After a few minutes of discussing my dad’s killing smoking habit, we had to stop once again, this time because of a loud cry.
Oh,-my father said very calmly- this was going to happen. She must have got an electric shock. I told her not to stick that screwdriver into electric sockets. See what happens? - He said to the screaming child- I told you not to stick that thing in the socket and you keep doing that!
Dad!- I say loudly- she can die from that?!
Well...- his beautiful voice sounded calm- she will learn now, wont she. Come, he adds happily, speak to your half-sister in London.
I hung up in a stupor. How do Azeri children survive? Without car seats, socket and sharp corner covers, stair gates and door stoppers? Drinking caffeinated tea from the toddler age and breathing in clouds of cigarette smoke... I am not sure how I have ever survived, to be honest. Maybe, I am like a ticking bomb. Maybe, I am quietly rotting inside.
But back in the UK, at work, we studied safeguarding today. Do you remember me telling you how important sustainability was in the UK? Well, forget that one. It is no longer the ‘thing’ to get obsessive about. The thing of today is safeguarding.
You are probably thinking what does this 'safe-guard-ing' have to do with the price of fish? Well, it made me think about protecting children, about neglect as a form of abuse, about worrying too much and not worrying enough..…..about lots of things.