Since Our Boy Jack came to stay, the realisation has dawned upon me that Mr B is, actually, a Born Again Teenager.
he doesn’t actually stay in bed until eleven, he is inclined to exchange his bed for the armchair, preferring to laze around and not to get going until a more reasonable hour – say 11 a.m. Meanwhile Jack is still in bed unti about the same hour.
Mr B when he finally goes upstairs, apparently to get dressed, will somehow, on his way to the bathroom, take a diversion into the spare bedroom where the computer lives. Time will elapse. Jack, when he arises from his bed, will bring his trusty
phone downstairs with him and tap away while munching his way through his pain au chocolat. You are, I am sure, beginning to see a pattern here. Teenagers, the pair of them.
Jack tells me that he is busily deleting his Facebook friends on their birthdays. I am astounded. Is this not a trifle heartless, I enquire. Picture the scene: “Happy Birthday! I hope you have a fab day. Now please consider yourself deleted.”
Jack is unruffled and explains, patiently (as you do to your Nan who doesn’t know about these things) that he is rationalising his list of friends by considering, as each one’s birthday comes up, whether he actually knows them any longer or whether
they were added in those days when quantity of friends mattered more than quality. This method saves him going through the whole list of on-line pals and will mean that by the end of the year he will have a pared-down list of “real” friends.
I am impressed by the logic of this. Should I, too, apply the birthday test to my 350 Facebook friends? However I can’t think of anyone whose birthday has come
up recently who I don’t want to continue having as a Facebook friend, however suspect the way in which they became my friend. You need to know that my family have actually set up a Facebook group entitled “We love our Mum, Jaqui Ball, but
she steals all our Facebook friends.” There are only five members of the group (Mr B joined as a gesture of solidarity, even though I am definitely not his Mum) but I think they are making a point. I have only to meet one of their friends –
say at a little one’s birthday party, or a Limelight concert – and they immediately become my friend too, just as soon as I can log onto Facebook. Well, they can always say no, can’t they? Mind you, I am now wondering how many people deleted
me on my birthday last month...
We drive to the Tangmere Aviation Museum where two of the staff take a special interest in Jack and introduce him to all the aircraft
housed there, from the reproduction Supermarine Spitfire prototype, to the Hawker Hunter and the English Electric Lightning F.53. We listen in silent awe to the matter of fact voice of Flight Lieutenant Jim Nicolson describing the action in the skies
for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross. We eat hot sausage rolls in the NAAFI style cafe and try on the flying officers’ greatcoats for size (see pic.)
Jack takes to the simulators and, with some instruction from our helpful guides, does pretty well at being a Magnificent Man in a Flying Machine. The best of the simulators, we agree, enables him to “fly” right along the coast where
we live – past the Spinnaker Tower at Portsmouth Harbour, across the Isle of Wight, back along to the River Arun at Littlehampton, left turn at the river, heading inwards to Arundel, then back to Tangmere to bring the aircraft down safely on the runway.
Jack thinks he might like to try flying lessons – once he’s mastered the art of driving a motor car, of course.
Back home, I give him his first lesson
in cribbage. We sit in the garden where a gentle breeze keeps threatening to lift our cards from the garden table and waft them up into the embrace of the sunflower plants. I think it might take some time for Jack to pick up the rudiments of this rather
tricky card game but I had reckoned without his mathematical brain. He beats me in our very first game. It didn’t oughta be allowed, as my dear Dad would have said.
Today the two teenagers are off to the driving range. Mr B has selected the right clubs for the task. Jack reminds him that he has never lifted a golf club in anger before. On present evidence of everything else he’s tackled this holiday,
I rather suspect this will not prevent him doing really rather well.
Flying high, Our Boy Jack.