The opening of chapter five describes what I would call a bad scenario of possible future events. If the trend towards privately run kindergartens continue then the future of a child’s success in life could well be determined by which Kindergarten, he or she attends.
The gap between rich and poor seems to be growing in the educational sector. And I can understand why. My own childhood is filled with stories of school violence and disruption. If I could, naturally I would send my children to a school where I thought they were safe. Where I thought they would be mixing with the right kind…
And this is where the problem begins. Suddenly I am deciding who is the right kind. Suddenly I am letting the business world tell me what is best for my kid. Yet, in all my working experience in kindergartens I have never found any kind of discrimination or racism among the children, other than that which was brought there by the parents. Children don’t see the world in this way. They do not see black or white, Panda or Banana children, they only see friends. By segregating our children at such an early age, between have and have-nots, we are breeding all the horrible aspects of society we wish to stop.
Anyway, that is only part of the thought that went into creating this opening.
The next section is also a question on what is best. This time I present one possible cause for the environmental collapse: No one did anything but talk. A simple reason built up on what I would call half-truths, as it is very difficult to know what percentage of political meetings are bias, manipulated, or brought. Maybe none. I do not have any proof of any of these accusations, fortunately, (it would be terrible if I did) But I do remember once, when I was in Bonn in Germany, there was this huge world meeting of UNICEF or UNESCO, I am not sure which. It was some world initialism, I don’t remember right now which one, but it is also not worth googling as that is not the point to my story:
‘There I was, playing in the bar entertaining these people in the evening, feeling really honored to be even a tiny part of something so big and wonderful, that I happened to mention how chuffed I felt to one of the leading delegates, who to my horror, with a sad but honest look, pointed over to a white-haired gentleman sitting in the corner and said: ‘Do you see that gentleman over there? Well, his job is to say no, no matter what anyone suggests. All of this is a waste of time.’
I knew from the way he said it, he meant it. The whole week of debates and discussions would bring nothing, as one of the leading world powers had come simply to say no. Nothing of any significance would be changed. The major issues were to remain unsolved for the next two years, at least, when they would meet again.’
I don’t believe this experience directly influenced me in the writing of this section, but I am sure it must have had some part in its creation subconsciously. The whole attitude the ruling bodies seem to have concerning the earth are sealed with the one phrase: ‘nature daily being proved inefficient’, as if it were out of date, its time of looking after the planet had expired, far more cleverer humans were now in charge.
And although this might seem all a bit politically too much for a simple science fiction fairy tale, the idea behind its writing, is to help emphasize Peter’s wish to go outside. For someone like Peter, to want this, it is clearly huge. It is a very special wish, and hence undeniable by his parents.
The next section about Martha the homewrecker, took a lot of research. In all my accounts on nature and wildlife, I have tried my best to be as accurate with my descriptions as possible. I kind of enjoy searching the web for it and surprising myself when I discover that my inspiration is inspired. (smile). I often wonder if I am being inspired or just thinking really hard.
Like I mentioned earlier in one of my blogs, the story was written in one mad rush. A kind of race to the finish. I never really checked up on whether the events and feats I was describing were possible. I had a rough idea, partly because I have read a lot, but I was never sure. My daughter jokingly says I am schizophrenic. (smile – I hope she is joking!) But maybe she’s right, and one of the other voices living inside my head knows all the answers and takes over, when I let him. (This crowded house feeling I have given to George. I think it first shows in the next chapter.)
All I can say is, I am honestly surprised by some of the coincidences that I have discovered in writing this tale.
After this, my ‘Voltaire’ moment, the rest of the chapter carries on as a story should, developing George’s relationship with his dad and describing some of the events that led up to the death of George’s mom and his brother. An event which instead of bringing him and his father together has pushed them apart.