Postaday2011 – The mistakes we make

Learn from your mistakes, a common maxim often trotted out by teachers and parents. If you put your hand on a kettle it is likely to be very hot so why do we continue to do it?

We all learn from our mistakes, I have bought houses that quite frankly were totally unsuitable. One example stands out, a small detached property purchased because it was a) affordable at the time when I already had a house in another part of the country that I couldn’t sell, b) it was convenient and c) I thought correctly that prices were starting to rise again. Why did I do it, well I was sick of camping out with my wife and small son in my mother’s home while I waited to sell my existing property in Birmingham. I moved for work just as housing market collapsed. This property was close by and I could make the numbers work. About the same time I also bought a nearly new car, a Saab saloon. One day it wouldn’t start and yet it was only months old. The trusty Renault 5 noted for refusing to play on a wet day roared into action as if to point up that the Saab was a mistake. Both the house and the car went within months and we moved on.

There is a point to this, I learnt from these errors and have tried, often in vain, to urge caution in my children before they commit themselves to properties they can only just afford that with hard won experience I wouldn’t touch with a very long barge pole. People learn from their own experiences and rarely want the benefit of yours.

This is true with almost every aspect of life, you know instinctively that telling a son or daughter that the girl / boy they are currently seeing is the wrong one will only increase their ardour and place them more firmly in the arms of someone completely unsuitable. Although I would never advocate the concept of parents choosing partners for their children I can see why such a system has evolved. For all young people it is a sad fact of life that rather more often than they would care to admit mum and dad really do know best. Sorry about that but all the mistakes you are currently making we have already made, read the book, seen the film have the T shirt. We didn’t listen to our parents either. C’est la vie.

And that’s another thing don’t give up on French, no matter how useless it may seem now…

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