Since returning from Toronto life has been a blur with commitments each day...mostly good ones! Yesterday was my birthday which brought my London family to see us (also to enjoy a Chinese buffet!) which added zip and zest. I spent a couple of hours with my 11 year old grandson, Anton, while the rest of his family went into Cambridge. He has just left his junior school and is stepping out into his new career as a secondary school-boy. Rarely have I had a chance to speak to him alone and I found myself in an extraordinarily imaginative world of big possibilities.
Anton told me that he really wants to become a 'Professor of Swords'. Apparently there are only nine authorities extant who have devoted themselves to the story of swords and daggers - a passion he has shared for a number of years. And what really interests him is inventing something new which would really make its mark in the world. For example, a light sabre which really destroys evil. 'If I gave my name to a new weapon,' he said, 'I would only want it to be used to stop bad people!' Mind you, he would not mind inventing any number of fantastic creations some of which he described in breathless detail....all for the good of mankind you understand.
Part of our conversation took part while walking through fields behind the house. Unfortunately, since I last walked there thistles have grown so abundant (and up to Anton's height) that the pathway home was almost impassable. We tried a couple of options without success, eventually beating our way through with my furled umbrella. Reaching home he texted his friends that he had got lost in a field of thistles with his Grampy!
I know ageing has its downside but there's nothing quite like accompanying a lively 11 year old with the world in front of him, some high ideals, and immense imagination. I am sure I enjoyed the experience more than he did!