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Monday, July 23, 2007

England, my England! [two]

There are many dangers associated with foreign travel. I imagine that these dangers multiply considerably depending upon the number and ages of your traveling companions.

We live in suburbia in San Jose in Jolly old California, but once a year we make our annual pilgrimage home to England. Many people would not describe such a visit as ‘foreign travel,’ but that would be a mistake.

In our case we discover a new and heretofore unknown, phenomenon. [translation = danger] Whist many autistic children are drawn to light switches and enjoy turning them on and off for considerable periods of time, [translation = stimming] we have not had direct experience of this with our own children. [translation = perseveration] Although we have visited this same rental [translation = holiday home] for three years, I hardly even noticed the table lamps. Although our Californian home enjoys the wonders of modern electricity too, we do not possess a table lamp anywhere on the premises.

Nonetheless during our annual sojourn to England, we find that there are no less than 8 table lamps, the same table lamps that have been in situ on each visit, but this time they truly make their presence known.

I can confirm that I’m not a fan of table lamps, a highly dangerous domestic appliance in my humble opinion. Why are there so many of them? Why are they all so unstable? If you pick up a table lamp surreptitiously and try to run away with it, you are instantly horizontal on the floor clutching your tale lamp, because the plug in the wall refuses to let go. Maybe that’s the true problem? If we had American outlets instead, then the plug would simply fall out of the ball with accompanying blue sparks to allow the child on the other end, to depart complete with table lamp. [translation = jettisoned] Such matters are so hard to evaluate.

I can’t accurately account to you, why exactly they haven’t featured in our life style to date, but they’re definitely in a whole new category of ‘things to be avoided.’ There again if we had packed duct tape to bring with us, perhaps that would have been a way to make the darned things less portable? Either that or nail them to the furniture. [translation = lose deposit on rental] How many table lamps can a six year old carry in one instance? Is this something that we wish to test? Are there any studies that have already been completed in this matter that we might benefit from?

I am uncertain as to why he is suddenly fascinated with them? [translation = probably because they are new to him and they're quite pretty] I do know why he is collecting them and lining them up, because for me, that particular little light bulb was switched on some time back. [translation = stress due to 'new' place, where organizing things is calming and gives a child a sense of control]

When I tuck them all into bed,
I let him sleep with just one of them.
[translation = but remove the bulb]
If a lamp had magical properties in days
of yore, then who am I to deny him his

As we attempt to evaluate
if we should stay in the States
or return to old Blighty,
table lamps will be fairly
high on my list of cons.

At least that is one item that I will not be buying either side of the pond, because I detest "shopping."

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