Sunday, March 27, 2011

The children visit

I took my kids to work with me on Friday (having no real choice if they wanted me to work) and my aunt took them to see Iris, who lives in The Courtyard (one of the middle-class areas of the village). You may remember Iris from her starring role in the Woofer anecdote. Iris' husband was a Spitfire pilot in WW2, and somehow in conversation last month she and my aunt had an hour-long chat about different relatives and their work in the armed forces. My aunt's brother was a decorated hero for destroying his small plane to take out a German tank on his own, or something like that. Iris told her the squadron he was in and when and where he served. Apparently they've exchanged war stories another dozen times, and every time Iris sees her in the office, they have another chat. I actually think my aunt tracks her down to have another chat every few days - she's quite interested in the war. Anyway, on Friday, my son Matty decided to make her a paper plane, and my daughter Kylie decided that all old people love hand-made greeting cards covered in every colour flouro highlighter that can be found in an office. (Well, they do love cards like that, don't they? I've no idea.)

Iris was most excited to see me that night at dinner time. "I spent the day with your children!" she exclaimed proudly, primarily, I suspected, for the benefit of the other dinner-table guests. They were suitably jealous of the so-called half-hour otherwise known as a 'day'. Stupidly jealous, I thought, since my two are hardly in hot demand... but hey, I wasn't going to tell them that. "They're lovely children!" she gloated. Doris asked their names, and Iris was most proud to tell her they were Kylie and Matthew, at which point the whole table agreed it was lovely, and that they were a Pigeon Pair.

"Your aunt showed me a spitfire on her television." It took me a moment to realise she meant the computer, but then she corrected herself. "Oh! Not the television, on the Internet!!!!" (Capital I for Emphasis.) Awed silence at such a miraculous invention.

At this point in my long and drawn-out story, I'm reminded of how great old people are. None of us young folk have any kind of awe for new stuff, we're all burned out on technology, but old people think new things are just sensational. It's beautiful. Hold that thought for a moment, because Iris had more to say.

"Of course," she said importantly to her captive audience, "I've no idea how she knew my husband was a pilot."

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