Wednesday 17 September 2008

Men at Arms

The boy announced this week that he is going to joining the school army cadet force much to my horror. I practice utter respect for the professionalism of our armed forces, but cannot understand why anyone would (potentially) lay their life down for a dusty corner of a godforesaken corner of the globe fighting poeple who will never have the ability to launch attacks with just 40 minutes warning.

Young boys all seem to have a fascination with weapons of any sort and the boy is no different. I've never really known how to deal with this...when he was younger I let him play with cheap and nasty toys of war in the hope that if they broke quickly (which they did) he would lose interest (which he didn't). No doubt his enthusiasm is fuelled by any number of Playstation games that involve death and violence to an unnecessary degree.

Of course, there is a large degree of hypocrisy on my part, as I too was in the Cadets, albeit air focused rather than ground focused. My argument that in those days we were never at war with anyone, doesn't wash with me let alone him. I could simply say no, but that seems equally unreasonable...but any thoughts of a career in her majesty's forces would be severely frowned on. I think I'm over-reacting...after all, most of what they do seems to be little more than an extended outward-bound fact the outdoor skills, the discipline that they teach are pretty useful...and (selfishly) the camps will occasionally give me a nice little break.

So into uniform he will go, hopefully playing nothing more than toy soldiers as boys (and indeed girls) do. But woe be tide if he takes it too seriously.

Monday 15 September 2008

Splish, splash, vroom, vroom

It was finally sunny for the first time this summer in Brighton at the weekend. With nothing planned, it meant that on Saturday we dusted off the kayaks which we keep at Brighton Watersports and went for a paddle.

The kayaks were bought some four years ago when I had my arm twisted by the boy and was emotionally blackmailed by The Wicked Witch of the West (aka Grandma in Wales)..."the money's here, it would be a shame if he didn't get one, etc etc". We'd been to the Boat Show, and he'd got all excited...naturally enough...five minute wonders are like that. The problem was that living in a top floor flat, there was no where for the kayaks. Fortunately, if you're down on Brighton beach the watersports shop that will rent out kayaks to passing punters will also store those belonging to people daft enough to buy but not be able to look after their craft.

We have had some fun in them over the favourite was catching a is a soft fluffy one which was a pier prize that had been cast aside...I still have it. You also get great views of Brighton, and the West Pier that you wouldn't otherwise - if I could work out how to safely take my camera out to sea without the danger of it getting wet, or find itself in Davey Jones locker I'd take a picture or two. I've always been the strongest paddler, but this weekend showed that the boy now has arm muscles that a tennis player would be proud most of the two hours was spent with me huffing and puffing trying to keep up with him.

Sunday and it was time for Brighton to be overwhelmed with was the annual (I think) Ace Cafe Reunion/Brighton Burn up. So once roused from our slumbers by a friend who gave us just half an hour to get up and meet her for a coffee on the sea front (we didn't make it) we stumbled down to Madeira Drive to gape open mouthed at all the different machinery on display. I think initial enthusiam turned into a degree of boredom after five hours of walking up and down the Drive in the unexpected heat...which is good news because much as I like bikes and I want one (to supercede my much-loved Vespa), I don't want the boy having one before he's at least thirty five...I've told him so on many an occasion, but I suspect it's falling on deaf ears. So I'm hoping that if he gets bored, then he'll decide that once he's seventeen, a nice little Fiat will do him...nicely...