Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Giants, Bankers, and other witterings

Bankers have been at the forefront of our minds in the Potty household in the last few days.

It started last week with Capital Radio's 'Beat the Banker' competition; the Boys picked up on the rather scary-sounding Scotsman who does the voice-over for it, and are now stamping around the flat shouting "I'm the Banker! You won't beat ME" at the top of their voices, chasing each other from room to room and generally using him as a monster character in their game play (any parents of girls reading this, welcome to a whole new world). I don't imagine for a moment that was what the creators of this promotion had in mind when they came up with the latest wheeze to build listening figures, but just in case they ever read this post; please, next time, can you do something that doesn't grab their attention quite so much? My Queens-English-speaking sons' attempts at a Scottish accent are driving me crazy!

Then, on Monday, both the Boys were home and in an attempt to build Boy #2's enthusiasm for his nursery school play in the afternoon, they watched Mary Poppins on dvd for the first time.

For those of you wandering why 'nursery school play' and 'Mary Poppins' appear in the same sentence, I refer you to this post of 2007 which demonstrates just how grandiose the drama teacher at Boy #2's nursery's aspirations actually are. I should probably just write a whole post on her called something like 'When Nursery Drama Teachers Go Rogue' or similar...

Anyway, Boy #2's section of the play was based on a couple of songs from Mary Poppins, and in true 3 year old styley he had been refusing to learn even a single line from 'Let's Go Fly a Kite' or 'A Spoonful of Sugar'. I thought seeing the movie might put it in context, which I have to say worked, to the extent that whilst he didn't actually join in when they did the play, he did know to wave his kite. (The fact that he did this in front of his face so I couldn't do the proud parent photographing him thing was unfortunate, but you can't have everything...)

What I wasn't anticipating about watching the film though was the impact the banking scenes would have on the Boys. First off, there were the references to 'giants of banking'. They now imagine The Banker from Capital Radio is an honest to goodness giant, and as such, are convinced this is incontrovertible proof giants exist. Boy #1 especially is expecting to see one walk around the corner at any time.

Then, they know Papa used to be a banker (and, just to harden their belief in giants, he is 6' 5"). They know he isn't a banker right now due to our old friend the economy (and possibly, in their minds, also because he can't do a Scottish accent). And suddenly, the scene where there is a run on the bank took on a whole new meaning, not just for the Boys who were extremely concerned about Jane and Micheal's escape from the crowds, but for me.

Though I think that what really stopped me in my tracks was Dick van Dyke's line as the Senior Partner, when trying to persuade Michael to invest his tuppence in a saving account. "Whilst England's banks stand, England stands. If England's banks fall, then England falls".

Seemed so impossible then, didn't it?


  1. I now have a picture in my head of giant bankers striding around the country. Very funny!

    (Of course, the reality stuff behind it is not so funny - but you have to smile when you can.)

  2. I remember taking my youngest sister to see Mary Poppins, she was quite upset by the 'shouty old men'. Most of the rest of the film she found to be quite enchanting. Such an innocent and trusting view of the world and, my goodness, such a very time ago. How things have changed. I can just envisage your proper little English gentlemen stomping around being Giant Bankers. Too funny.

    Our Banks still seem to be quite strong, perhaps our bankers are of Scots descent...? Mind you, now that the commodities bubble is collapsing, one wonders how long that will last!

  3. Tasha, too true!

    Sharon, hopefully you guys will have avoided the full brunt of the storm on this one (I certainly wouldn't wish it on anyone), and yes, as Aussies are often quite tall, I guess there may be more giant bankers there than here. Perhaps that will help?

  4. Well, if they think bankers are scary, they have the right idea!

    I remember finding Mary Poppins very funny as a child, because my Dad was a banker at the time, but looked nothing like those City gents.

  5. Buy them bowler hats and pin striped umbrellas - might as well go the whole hog!

  6. Gordon Brown has a Scottish accent, and he got to be Chancellor of the Exchequer and Prime Minister (which is sort of the ultimate banker, if you think about it), so I guess there's something in your boys' theory.

  7. NVG, I imagine Husband is hoping that the Boys don't see too many similarities between him and those bankers in the movie!

    Mud - you are of course assuming they don't have those things already...

    Iota, hmmm. That's all I'm saying. Hmmmm.

  8. Hang on, I'm confused. D Van Dyke was the chimney sweep. What on earth was he doing making statements like that and pretending to be a banker? Especially with that terrible accent.

  9. Ever heard a London banker with Dick Van Dyke's 'mockney' accent? didn't think so!

  10. Ever heard a London banker with Dick Van Dyke's 'mockney' accent? didn't think so!

  11. EPM and MdP, think it's time you watched Mary Poppins again (assuming you needed the excuse) and paid close attention to the elderly gentleman heading the bank (he dies laughing at the end, though not on camera). It IS our friend Dick - and doing a much better 'queen's english' accent than he did cockney as Bert the sweep. Thank the lord.

  12. Yes, we've watched Mary Poppins this Christmas (the film and the show) and there were quite a few ironic lines!

  13. Oh yeah. It's been a while. All those films we have are on VHS and we now don't have a player!


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