Joanna works with us as an administrative assistant. She came back to work today and I asked her how she was as she was off last week. She has a 13 year old son and it seems he is finding adolescence a problem at the moment and has disappeared from home. Joanna knows that he is with a girl (“he seems to be going mad for girls at the moment”) and knows that they have been befriended by a man in his 50s who gives them money, but other than that she hasn’t seen him for a week. The police are looking for him but so far there has been no news. Joanna is beside herself with worry. My neighbours get to hear a lot of what is going on around town so I said I would ask them if they have heard anything about the girl concerned, although it is a long shot and I don’t imagine they will know anything.
This evening I was watching a documentary about a village in North Cornwall that has become a very trendy holiday spot for the rich and young, including Princes William and Harry! Teenagers from the public schools break up and head down to the beach for a spot of chilling out (which seems to mean getting drunk and stoned). I watched as I saw a group of boys having their alcohol confiscated on the beach and I swear that one of them was my nephew, happily telling the police he was 18 when at the time the programme was made he would have been 14. I will have to phone up my brother to check.
Perhaps memories of my own teenage years have just got a bit fuzzy over the years as I know I did some pretty embarrassing things when I was 14 and thought nothing of the consequences at the time.