Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Zach flourishes in the Languedoc

ST JEAN DE LA BLAQUIERE 1. Five-year-old grandson Zach (Or The Zachster as RW (zS) inventively calls him) tells me that Birmingham, West Ham and Blackpool were relegated from the soccer premier league this year and Swansea, QPR and Norwich were promoted. Impressive but depressing – soccer isn’t my thing.

As compensation he rattles aloud through Horrible Henry’s Underpants, a work of dubious literary merit and is seriously attentive listening to passages from Fungus The Bogeyman. This is really an adult’s book and includes quotes from Milton (“The Bogey, subtlest beast of all the field.”) and Herrick (“Putrefaction is the end/Of all that nature doth entend.”). Casually Zach refers to silent letters, citing “know” as an example.

He brought a schoolbook: OUP’s monumental Building A House (Sample quote: “The electricians put wires inside the walls. The wires will bring electricity into the house”) which he reads competently but boredly. I ask him if he’s the best reader in his class and he supposes he is. He ponders then offers, “Perhaps Lisa is.”

After strenuous rehearsal he addresses the village baker with Bonjour monsieur le boulanger adding Je suis en vacance. the next day. Goodish accent.

On the long drive down he marks his I-Spy book regretting, as we all did, that the French edition isn’t out until July. Played the French version of Snap at the overnight hotel.

Parents – especially grandparents – tend to overdo their offpring’s intellect so I limit myself to a phrase which never appeared on my report card: Satisfactory work and progress.

Here he is as referee (with a tendency to cheat) at a game of marine volley-ball – mother and sister on one side, dad and sister’s boyfriend on the other.