Saturday, 26 July 2014

But she looked 14, Your Honour


The tourist season has reached its zenith here in Bath, and I only have to glance out of the window to see about five coach-loads of European adolescents walking up the street at any given time.

I suppose it must be something to do with how they structure the school holidays, but right now the predominant nationality of young tourist is Spanish. There are hardly any Americans this year, and this must be to do with the dollar being set at about $1.80 to £1. Their mums and dads really don't feel right about paying $7 for a small beer, even if it is stronger than Miller Lite and the bar is 250 years older than their local back home.

It was only after I got back from Spain with a 14 year-old girl that I learnt that the age of consent is 14 in that country, and I cannot decide whether or not I would have been comfortable knowing it at the time.

It set me thinking about the legal as opposed to moral dilemmas that might face the older man who has an eye for young ladies, coupled with a lack of scruples that govern most of our lives when it comes to self-imposed inhibitions about trying to actually acquire one as a playmate.

Two years is a long time in the life of an adolescent, and most of them like to hang on to as much of their childhood as is allowed to them these days, at the same time as not having to miss out on all those parties which their older brothers and sisters go to on the hot Summer nights. This is just one reason why adolescence is such a painful process. The transition between childhood and adulthood takes a lot longer than turning on a light, and can stretch - sporadically - over a period of many years.

But they hit the age of about 12, and suddenly find themselves the target of overt sexual imagery from all sorts of clothes and music-video vendors, then there is no getting off the roller-coaster that will eventually eject/reject them and make them invisible to the new generation of customers at the age of 50. That's where Saga takes over.

There is a new outlet of 'Primark' opened in Bath, and since the fanfare of the ribbon-cutting ceremony has died down, I see loads of girls and young women walking down the street with a Primark bag stuffed full of shoddy goods.

Primark is ideally suited to the youth of its core customers, mainly because it is so cheap. The reason it is cheap is because (I suspect) that the clothes are made by people in a distant land who are even younger than its customers, and work for less money than its customers get as weekly pocket-money to spend in Primark.

Primark have just been ordered to remove a mannikin from their windows which depicts a body that is either emaciated through anorexia, or has the natural bony rib-cage and concave stomach of an immediately post-pubescent girl. Either message contrasts sharply with the ever-growing population of obese children, made fat through cheap junk food.

In all the hundreds of Spanish kids walking around right now, I have not yet spotted one over-weight one - they are all just the size and shape they should be for their age.

I suppose they all eat good food in Spain, and have Zara rather than Primark. They also learn how to drink in moderation there as well, which is why you never see them rolling in the gutter either.

Maybe 14 is the right age for Spain.

39 comments:

  1. I've just remembered being in Spanish-speaking Cuba, where you will find every size and type of body shape, but the difference is that the big, fat women just LOVE their bodies.

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  2. What were you doing coming back from Spain with a 14 year old?

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    1. I didn't just come back with her, I took her there as well. My grand daughter, you understand.

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    2. More like your bloody niece.

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    3. I don't understand what you mean by that.

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  3. My eight year old grandson came home from school last week & announced 'We had sex ed today, we learned about the vagina & the clitoris' As DD & I were struck dumb, he continued 'I closed my eyes, I didn't like it' I'm all for being open & honest, but does an 8year old really need this much information?

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    1. I don't think so, partly because it is fun finding out for yourself a few years later.

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  4. We experienced something similar to Hester when L was given sex ed at the age of 9- the school offered a sit out clause, but what was the point when all the other kids in the class would be talking about it? Primary is too young. Secondary is about right.
    It's not just the junk food re overweight kids- lack of exercise and increasingly sedentary lifetstyles pile on the pounds.

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    1. I agree, but there is one positive spin-off which is a direct result of teenage boys watching porn on the internet - teenage pregnancy is going right down, because the boys copy the practices of the on-screen performers. I still think that porn is really damaging, though.

      The concept of T.V. dinners is where all the fitness and fatness started. Computer games are bad enough, but most of them are extremely violent, which is worse. Still, I suppose the next generation of fighter pilots have to come from somewhere. Quicker, faster, better, etc.

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  5. The age of consent in the Vatican City is 12. Whether that's for both boys and girls, I'm not sure.

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    1. Are there any children in Vatican City other than altar-boys?

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    2. Even the altar-girls are probably boys.

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    3. I hope not, otherwise I was ripped-off on my last trip to Rome. I booked a castrato.

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  6. In our fathers' generation, only bankers and post-menopausal women were overweight. Food took more time to procure and prepare, a lot less of it was eaten, and what was consumed was the real deal. The men who won World War II were percentiles below the weight of today's generation, and carried as much on their backs as the current soldier.
    Perhaps the world will sink under our weight. That's a thought.

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    1. Yes, the modern diet has changed our appearance forever. I remember when all Chinese people had stick-thin legs and no tits. Now look at them.

      I used to feel very big - or at least tall - when I was in my 20s, now I am very often much shorter than the young 'uns I see every day.

      Many Scottish conscripts were refused service in WW1 because they were under nourished and under weight.

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    2. I weighed myself on some marble scales the other day, and I am 195 pounds. Am I fat?

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    3. Viewn by my in all modesty quite good sense of proportion: no, you are not fat at all.

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    4. My legs make up about 40% of my height, though.

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  7. Overweight kids versus diet is obviously the issue Tom - if both parents work then it is all too easy to have junk meals that contain mountains of sugar and little or no vegetables. Spanish food is healthy - let's face it, the sun makes their fruit and veg so tasty nobody but an idiot would not want to eat them.

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    1. I've often wanted to eat them - the children, I mean.

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  8. I couldn't believe it that primark had moved into the bhs building. a sad day for Bath

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    1. Sign of the times. The City Elders are as incompetently corrupt as ever, and they all care not one flying fuck for the people they are supposed to be serving.

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    2. What so bad about having a Primark in place of a BHS? It is a clothes shop isn't it? It will be popular and busy and selling stuff not so much different to the old BHS made in sweat shops around the world.

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    3. True, but I didn't like BHS either. When I first moved to Bath, there was a Mac Fisheries on that site, and I once saw a six-foot cod in the window on a slab.

      The days of six-food cod have gone too.

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    4. The days of six-inch cod-pieces have sadly gone as well.

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    5. foot, not food, of course.... FACK!

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    6. BHS paid 4d a week to its overseas workers; Primark only pay 3d.

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    7. But at least Primark's factories don't collapse under the weight of the workers... do they?

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  9. Love your posts, and the comments are great too! I quite like BHS..bought a reduced price handbag there a few weeks ago! ( £19…I am a cheap date!!)

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    1. What are you doing next Tuesday?

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    2. Frances knocks Sherry off the top and puts Iris into third place.

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    3. This is what you do now the Tour de France is over?

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    4. No it was still on at the time.

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  10. I want to revisit Bath but most definitely not in high Summer. In my mind it is populated by Georgians, Stephensons and a few other real people. Spanish adolescents don't work at all for my vision!

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    1. No, we kept them out for hundreds of years, like the Dutch.

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  11. I hadn't read your post (too much to do at the moment) when I discussed with husband the reasons for so many fat children around us now - and I think the ultimate culprits are processed foods (but nobody attacks major commercial enterprises - even Michelle Obama nipped her campaign against sugar in the bud after a heavy reaction) and not moving enough. As you said.

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    1. I'm sure there are many factors, but if we didn't have so much 'choice' about everything, then that would help.

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