This weekend I’ve had a lovely 17 year old and a clever 14 year old staying with me.
Nope, not related to me, but hey.
Achille is from Belgium ( my ski buddy’s son ) and Ethan from Oxford ( Wendy’s son )
The ever so switched on Belgian is here for 2 weeks and he’s gonna give me a hand with stuff, while I talk to him in English and his improves.. since I’m a bit of a pedant for words and grammar ( innit ) I’m good as a teacher, even though i say it myself. He’s a very fit lad, so I thought we’d shoot off and see the locality by Triride and vélo ( that’s a french synonym for bicyclette – which is also french for bicycle )
Anyway, we went about 15miles and saw the Palace at Hampton Court, rode the roads and along the Thames path, and drank a little vin blanc. Then we cooked on the pierrade at mine, and had a laugh. Yes, I get to practice my French, aussi.
Blimey I’m more Frenchy than the Frogs are.
Ethan educated me on numerous aviation facts, that being his thing, and I’m well up for learning anything, so that was cool, and different.
As im in the middle of 3 flight paths ( that do all miss me ) it’s a plane spotters heaven, so that works for Ethan.
Wendy’s other son is a little on the bright side. After getting 5A*s at A level at 14, he’s just finished his first year in Oxford University and got a distinction in Maths ( at 16 )
It does put the whole ‘ talented/ clever ‘ thing in perspective, I feel. Lots of the ( posh ) schools around here push the kids to apply for Oxford and Cambridge, and a low number of those get in. There is an awful lot of kudos for the school by a child being accepted, or even applying . The schools boast about these figures in their prospectuses. Personally how do I feel about that? Well I applied for Oxford from a school in Wales, without any coaching or ‘ preparation ‘ I didn’t get in. Had I been ‘ schooled and prepared ‘ by tutors or a private school, then possibly I could have. Would I have flourished in Oxford? Almost certainly not, as I am sure I wouldn’t have been dedicated enough, or smart enough to even pass exams, let alone do well.
The 16 year old I just mentioned doesn’t even take notes in his lectures, he just listens and at the same time does his homework, so he is free in the evenings to play his Electric guitar and go to his martial arts classes ( he’s a karate black belt, and does other arts ) Now that’s talented- and to my mind the sort of brain that ought be there ( albeit he’s probably at the upper end of the scale, even there ).
If you meet him then, and he thrashes you at Connect 4, don’t get narky and give him a shove or anything, cos you may end up being put in your place (twice ) by a 16 year old!
Wendy was such a superstar at the weekend, and we did loads.
I now have a new Electric bed that enables me to sit up and change the position of my legs ( brilliant ) have lots of storage solutions in progress, an amazingly clean home, and far less jobs to do left on my extremely long jobs to do list.
When Moby came round a couple of weeks ago, one of em said ‘ Christ, it’s like Steptoe and Son’s yard here ‘ ..
Hilarious…. and yes, I laughed. His feeling was that the only remedy was to throw stuff away. I thought ‘ no, the remedy is to use my available space well, and the place will absorb everything I want to keep ‘
Anyway, I’m right, not him.
I won’t mention which end of the Pantomime Horse said the words – the brains end, or the arse end, as it doesn’t matter.
And no, I shall not be smug when I see his look of surprise when he’s next here.