Wednesday, 18 July 2012
Carry On Planning.
Here I go again, with some measure of luck.
My offspring are so good to and for me.
When I had children in my middle age (or even a bit more, as I was 39 and 42 at the time) people said they would keep me young. I never believed that, and still don't.
What they do is to give me a good shaking out of old age.
There are a few roubles here, and a passport with a Russian visa, but I don't know if they will be heading anywhere with me in a few days time.
Over the years I've done a fair bit of travelling, and I like to be sort-of organised. Now, in fact, I like to be really quite organised.
But my sons, one of them in particular, catch planes with the same sort of nonchalance that I nip down to Morrison's. They are citizens of the world, as are so many young people these days.
Their father made just the one journey by air in his lifetime, and that was to travel to Moscow to see our elder son when he was working there.
I have travelled a lot more, but always in a pre-planned way, usually to work somewhere involving visas and complicated travel that had taken some time to arrange.
Holidays in my childhood involved such complex issues as sending luggage in advance by rail (and it actually used to arrive, can you imagine?) and booking first sitting in the restaurant car (Brown Windsor soup, a roast with lashings of gravy, apple pie with custard or trifle, also with custard). Packing meant layers of tissue paper and things washed and specially folded weeks in advance. ("No, you can't wear that, it's ready for packing - wear your school uniform instead.")
Holidays for my children meant the caravan in Wales, crab-fishing, messing about in a dinghy, interminable board games and building dens with all the cushions while the rain drummed steadily on the roof.
Whereas this holiday, now..........
In a very few days I may be travelling with my elder son to visit his lovely Russian girlfriend and her family in Southern Russia..
May be, because the decision-making goes down to the last possible minute, in a manner only made possible by modern technology.
There are problems, of course. Passport and visa problems, of course. Weather problems, also of course. The area we are visiting made a fleeting appearance in the British news a week or so ago. There have been terrible floods and a great loss of life there. Then the news disappears from our sometimes parochial-seeming British service, and it is difficult to find any sort of up-dated account.
But could there be problems for young international travellers having to cope with ageing parent anxious about being abandoned in the departure lounge ?
No, not allowed.
Without my sons I would probably vegetate quietly in the garden, visiting friends and being visited, baking for visitors, feeding the birds, the badgers and the foxes, pottering round a bit, doing my voluntary work and my daily writing and drawing.
As it is now I have bags packed for a quick exit, a twelve hour journey and a few hours time-shift. I also have the freezer packed, the beds made, everything organised for the influx of visitors that will result if this trip is postponed at the very last minute.
The very, very last minute.
I thank my sons for towing me into their fast-moving lives, for including me, for making me believe I can easily keep up with them.
But have they kept me young?
I think they are preventing me from being old, which is not quite the same thing.