Old folk at lunch

Monday, March 24, 2008

A good Easter Sunday

This year, Easter Sunday coincided closely with two family birthdays (of Paul and Russell) so we had a big bash to celebrate both birthdays and Easter together. There was no church involved however as there are no religious people in the family -- a common thing in Australia.

We had the do at Paul's place -- which is a large house in a quiet suburb with both a tennis court and a swimming pool. The pool was not used but the tennis court was. It was a lunch with the food impressively catered by Paul's wife Sue, assisted significantly by the twinny Suzie. The weather was warm and sunny -- very different from England's Easter -- so we mostly sat outdoors under a big sunshade. We had a visitor from England present who must have been very glad he was here and not there. They are having a very cold and wet winter over there at the moment -- all due to "global warming" supposedly.

I had a talk with both Paul and his twin sisters, Suzie and Vonnie, about babies -- making clear that it was about time they had some. The girls will be turning thirty next month. The girls were onboard with what I said but Paul was not at all keen. Anyway, I was glad I raised it as I now feel that I have done my duty in pointing them to where wise priorities lie.

I spent a lot of time talking to my son Joe too. We talked mainly about things that were rejected in their day but which became accepted later. The great example of that for me is that the composer of the most popular opera of all time -- "Carmen" -- died thinking his opera was a flop. Poor old George Bizet!

One of the kids present had dental bands on his teeth and that inspired me to mention to Joe the "grills" that young American blacks often wear. Blacks saw that rich white kids often had orthodontic bands on their teeth but almost never had them themselves. So they started wearing a blinged-up version of dental bands as a sign of high style. When I had told Joe about the phenomenon his comment on it sounded just like the sort of thing that I would say. He had himself had orthodontic treatment at the appropriate age so the idea of someone voluntarily putting ironmongery in his mouth did not impress him.

I also mentioned something he had not known: That when there was a literacy and numeracy test done on all the kids at his primary school some years back, the highest literacy scorer was not -- as one would expect -- a 7th grader but rather a pesky little 5th grader. And the pesky little 5th grader concerned was Joe. He seemed a bit embarrassed to hear that. But, like me, he is good at academic things.

I used the word "bling" above, which shows how often I read American websites. It is quite a recent term and originated among American blacks. It refers to any shiny personal decoration, such as the ostentatious and extensive jewelery worn by many American blacks on social occasions. "Grills" are usually shiny and can have gemstones of some sort set into them.

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