I took my nephew skateboarding on Sunday morning. The echoing space under the Westway, filled with the whirr and click of skateboards, provides a really high-quality sonic environment for reading, that is not at all spoiled by the upscale W11 Mums who see skateboarding as yet another field of activity for their offspring to over-achieve in so they can feel ok about throwing up everything they eat, still, at 37.
My nephew, at seven, is by far the butchest member of the Comstock family. A kind of thrill-seeking savant, he basically rode out of my sister on a Harley. In this picture he's the figure travelling at tremendous speed on the far side of the park, not the anaemic looking child closest to the camera, who's faking it in that hoodie that his Mum blatantly bought for him.
This is the rule: you're only allowed to skateboard between the ages of 7 and 17, beyond that it's demeaning to man's natural dignity.
Children have a great time these days.
There's something plucky about a small person who comes round to your house on a Sunday morning so that you can take them somewhere where they can pursue some really basic neural satisfaction.
I suppose the equivalent would be my going round to my uncle's house in Northampton and insisting that he buy me loads of cocaine and then watch, from a sufficient distance that I wouldn't find it embarrassing, while I snort all the gak and then finally, when I'm good and done hoovering up the ya-yo I'd come over all slack-faced and sweaty and jaded-looking and demand that he take me home.
And furthermore my uncle would have to derive some sort of wholesome satisfaction from doing this, actually endorse it and feel like it was just what a man my age should be doing.
Sadly I never had that kind of co-dependent addict relationship with either my own uncle or indeed Uncle Chang. But perhaps a major Bing-session-slash-reunion might be just the thing to re-light the old avuncular fire. I hear that the Boutros Boutros in Northamptonshire is just wow it's so good.
As you can tell from my vintage terminology it's been a very long time since I've had anything to do with cocaine. No one would take it with me anyway because my use of street argot was just too aggravating.
Ok, I'll stop that now.
Children have loads of culture, designed especially for them. We had Bagpuss, Rainbow and Why don't you! They have whole channels of carefully designed media and their brains are finely tuned instruments for learning stuff you've already forgotten.
Here are a few things that my nephews are not impressed by:
- Tiny remote controlled helicoptors
- Video messaging
- The Wachowski Brothers
What are your nephews not impressed by?
(Since Scamp has quit (never had you down as a quitter Simon, but you know, you do what you have to, don't feel any obligation to you readership or anything) I'm going to end all my posts a question. This week. Apart from Monday).
Got a really special new feature on tomorrow too.