Monday, 26 May 2008

Teenagers

Well, I had signed off for the night and then settled down to watch the news before bed. Yet another story of a murdered teenager but this time the event occurred outside a bar about 200 metres from Ian's home. We often see and hear people from the local bars coming home after a night out but when something like that happens so close to home it brings you face to face with the reality of life for some young people. When I left London about 6 years ago I can remember walking down the street on my last day and overhearing three children (about 11 years old) asking each other if they had 'the blade' and discussing who and what they were going to do with it. I can remember feeling sad and glad that I was moving. A few months later my local shopkeeper, who had sold me things I had forgotten or needed at 9.30 in the evening for the previous 12 years, was murdered by two people trying to steal a bottle of whiskey from his store.

However, not all is bad. On Saturday Ian decided to try his first ocean swim in preparation for his first attempt at a triathlon. He donned his wetsuit for the first time, spoke to the life guard, who was probably a teenager, or not far off and set off into what was a very rough sea. I thought he looked like he was relaxing but after a while the life-guard noticed that he wasn't going anywhere fast and started to dispatch a fellow guard into the ocean. Fortunately at this point Ian managed to swim to the shore and landed on the beach tired and with a bit of a battered ego but basically OK. After getting his breath back we went to speak to the lifeguard and thanked him for his attention and for looking out for Ian. He was polite, concerned and matter-of- fact about it all and seemed quite pleased that we had thanked him. On the window of the station there was an add for a lifeguard offering the grand salary of £6.50 per hour. Too little for such work I think.

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