...young people at a seminar on journalism and the media. They are polite and rather predictable...discussing topical events I introduced the subject of the Royal Baby, and raised ideas about what could be written in a feature on the subject. Baby names, the resonances of history, the awkwardness of having a name that might turn out to have the wrong associations...the future of Royalty...does it have any role...what on earth will things be like when William is king, let alone when his child reigns...but the girls, when left to produce ideas, came up with things about which brand of baby clothes Kate would choose, and how long it would take to get her figure back again.
London in sizzling heat. The girls at the seminar were cool and charming in summery wear: still in school mode, they had dressed for a warm busy day in London, not for the beach. Alas, moving on and writing this in Oxford Street, I'm viewing a different and unattractive scene: a great many people are rather plump these days, and wearing tight skimpy clothing in a hot city doesn't flatter them. Tight teeshirts over bulging tummies, tight shorts,...many look uncomfortably hot, some look scorched. Baseball hats make for a comedian-being-unfunny sadness, as do teeshirts with old slogans. Oh dear.
There's a feature in today's Daily Telegraph about my generation: 60 and up. It gloats that the over-60s are having a wonderful time, self-indulgent, 3 holidays a year, suntanned and relaxed, spending money that earlier generations either didn't have or felt should be passed to children and grandchildren. Oh, and apparently we're cheerfully abandoning marriages and finding "romance" via the Internet. It all sounds ghastly, and if that's what lots of us are really like, the young will loathe and despise us and see no reason to care for us when we are fading and frail.
It is easy to offer some respect to the generation that is 80-plus...childhood and teenage years in war and then a young adulthood coping with its aftermath. We were taught to honour them. But today's young people, who have in any case not been trained to think in terms of respecting older folk or honouring the status of parents/teachers/authority figures, will not necessarily see any reason to regard the newly-emerging elderly of the 60s generation as being of special worth.
Waddling about bragging about new sexual exploits in one's old age sounds simply horrible.
Christianity is the only sanity, a call to that "more excellent way"...