Thursday, September 14, 2006


So, my nephew has been with us a week. I like him, a good kid, and reminds me of myself in so many ways. A part of me envies the freedom, vigorous health, and the open mind. Then he’ll ask a question that shows he has yet so much to learn, and I don’t mind my age so much any more. I like the accretions of knowledge and life I’ve accumulated. To go back to that age would be to loose them, and I wouldn’t relive this life any better.

The most amusing thing is his absolute paranoia about spending any money. Here he is, early 20’s, free of all constraints and near London and he’s only been up once. That was only because I was despairing and paid the train fare in for him! He had a great time, of course, wandered the city and saw things I’d forgotten.

But when I offered to do the same for him today he declined. “No, I’ll probably need a day to recover.” Doesn’t he realise that a day, free to do what you want, is such a precious thing it shouldn’t be squandered? What would I do to have a day free to just walk around London? Lord, doesn’t bear thinking about. I suppose having a day free to just lie around the house and do nothing has its attractions as well, but he can do that at home. He’s in London for Christ’s sake!

Still, a few more days and he’s off on his adventure of the rest of Europe. He has only the vaguest plans. There is an intention to do some grape picking to make some money. He has no idea how to get a job grape picking. At the moment he just intends to hit some youth hostels in grape picking areas, and assumes there will be queues of farmers looking for strapping young men to pick their grapes! There are vague intentions of meeting up with a friend who’s doing the same thing. Yet when I asked how they were going to meet up, he wasn’t entirely sure.

You can’t but admire that. Its behaviour that’s anathema in a man raising a family, but for a guy wandering Europe. He’ll have lots of adventures.

I doubt he’ll get a job picking grapes though…


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