Birmingham,The Stirrer, Black Country

news that matters, campaigns that count

for Birmingham, the Black Country and beyond

Laurence Inman’s Blog

A FATHER’S FOND FAREWELL

27-08-2009

sorry to re-use a pic but it seemed to fit.

Laurence Inman’s youngest child is about to head off to university, finally leaving the nest empty. But put away your hankie, Laurence can’t wait.

Like the man who spent years sitting in his local waiting for a complete stranger to sit down next to him and say, ‘Looks like rain,’ just so he could lift his pint to the light and reply, ‘Yes, with just a touch of hops,’ I have been asking front-row members of the audience at gigs what their name is, praying for one to answer ‘Neil’ so that I can sink to my knees (‘kneel’ – get it ?) and say, ‘Okay mate, whatever you say. Now, what’s your name?’

It has never happened.

The last audience-person I spoke to was a soon-to-be student. He was going to do Film at Nottingham.

I asked him if he really wanted to do Film at Nottingham, or was he simply intent on going to live in a city which was different from the city his parents live in, to do ANYTHING?

He was forced to admit the truth.

My daughter has just heard that she can go off to the university of her choice and do the course she wants to do. It is in a very pleasant part of the country and she will probably enjoy it immensely. My son is already a student, at the opposite end of the country, so that our trips to and fro to deliver and collect them will soon be of maximum inconvenience.

It doesn’t matter. As long as they’re away, which is what we all want at the moment.

Because there comes a point in the development of all families when the young ones just have to go elsewhere. The strains and frictions generated between the old gits and their basic desire to sit still with a good book and the fledglings who want to invade the world and smash it to their shape, are too great to be contained. Why, just a few days ago, one of them, I can’t say which because I wasn’t really paying much attention, swore that if he/she didn’t get out soon they were going to going to kill me in the slowest and most horrible way they could devise.

This is what university is for.

Young people have to live somewhere reasonably safe while they learn how they world expects them to behave. How to get their clothes clean. How to pay bills. How to organize their days. How to feed themselves.

Come to think of it, they don’t even have to do that. I certainly didn’t. I was too busy playing football, writing poetry, acting, chasing women and drinking vast quantities of alcohol.

I emerged from three years at a very good university in a great city with….what exactly ?

Well, it enabled me to get a job which was not badly paid, so that I could contribute to buying a large house and affording a family, and which entailed a pension scheme which is now paying out very reasonably, allowing me to lead the same kind of life I did when I was a student: reading, writing, acting – but not chasing women. And certainly not killing myself with toxic chemicals.

You can earn enough prosperity by just being a little careful. Prosperity is no more than having something to eat when you get hungry, having somewhere to go when the rain falls. But you’ve got to be a little careful all the time.

Anyway, my two will be learning that soon enough. I hope.

And in other cities.

DISCUSS THIS ON THE STIRRER FORUM

Google

The Stirrer Forum

The Stirrer home

valid xhtml

©2006 - 2009 The Stirrer