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Monday, 20 June 2016

Risking being sentimental


This year may be the last we share a French villa with grandson, Zach. We've regularly sneaked him out of school in June when villa rentals cost half of those in July and August, when roads are not choked with French holidaymakers and when the temperatures are not so brutal.

Yes, he's missed two weeks' school but his reports have shown him succeeding to the point where frustrated teachers say he does "just enough" to get good ratings when he could, trying harder, be monarch of all he surveys. However, next year is high school and the long miserable grind towards making himself employable. We can't interfere with that.

Sport dominates his life. He swims far better crawl than I do, even does butterfly. Despite his skimpiness he plays rugby as well as soccer (the latter to a high level). He asked to go karting, did so separated from the adults and bearing the stigma of a baby's flag; now he races with the adults. Last year thunder and lightning kept him off the Arbor-Aventure course of high-level transits between conifers; this time he raced round the progressively more difficult routes and repeated the hard final section out of sheer exuberance.
But it isn't all sport. In restaurants he likes to order his own meal in French, sometimes off the à la carte rather than the limited Menu des Enfants. And he accepts VR's suggestions about books worth reading. He asked me if I knew of a certain string quartet he'd heard at school. No, he didn't like their classical music and I'm glad about that. I'd hate to sicken you.

On Thursday VR and I will vote to remain with the EU in a referendum that will influence the UK for decades to come. I dare say Zach will be in our minds as we do.

5 comments:

Avus said...

Hope the holiday went well, RR.
Regarding the upcoming referendum, I am reminded of G.K.Chesterton's lines, "For we are the people of England, who have not spoken yet......" in his "Secret People".

Rouchswalwe said...

Love, absolutely love, the yellow and red shoe pairing. Ja, the Zachster is a lucky boy to have such amazing grandparents!

Roderick Robinson said...

Avus: See my most recent post.

RW (zS): I appreciate your enthusiasm and am rather in need of it. See today's new post.

Blonde Two said...

Take him out of school next year Robbie (and all of the other years). Education and employability are definitely not confined to the classroom, indeed in the current education climate, one has to wonder if they are actually going to be allowed to exist inside it.

Roderick Robinson said...

Blonde Two: I appreciate your anarchic view of what the future may hold, particularly given your background. But ultimately the decision is not ours to make, Zach has parents. I acknowledge your pessimism but (despite my own unproductive exposure to formal education) I must admit that schools have - from time to time - had a beneficial effect on kids. VR, for instance, was one who profited. In the end it boils down to a matter of bookie's odds; leaving Zach to the educators represents the better bet.