Oh to be young again…

So, a couple weeks ago I had some visitors from Canada. The son of a close old friend and two of his mate. All 19, and all wide eyed about seeing a bit of the world. What I absolutely loved, and was completely horrified by, was the fact they had no plans. None. Not a clue what they wanted to do or see.

I’d exchanged a few emails in advance, and though they’d spend a night or two with us before heading off elsewhere. I knew the day they were flying in, but not even the airport. That day arrived… nothing. No call, no emails… I contacted the boy’s dad, who said that they had indeed got on the flight, and he was pretty sure they were flying into Manchester (cheap flights from Vancouver, see).

Next day I finally get an email. “We’re here, decided to head up to Edinbourgh. Still OK if we visit?” I replied that it would, and inquired of their plans. Got back a couple vague responses, scratched my forehead, and let it be. A few days later I finally get a phone call. “We’re coming down to London today, though we might stop in York. Still OK if we stay?” I told them to call when they were close, and we’d meet at Waterloo station, under the clock.

We finally met the following day…

I found three gangly young men, two with overly large packs, one a bit more sensible. We got them home, and on the way I found out that they were hoping if they could stay a week. It made me laugh, but it was fine.

In the end, a week is what they did indeed stay. We did a bit of ferrying them about, but other than lots of advice on what to see, mostly left them to their own devices. I think they quite liked our place. We’re properly ‘int country’ and they were all outdoorsy types. They did a lot of long hike to see what they could see, as well as trips to London, Bath, Oxford and anything else they could get to with mares shank and trains. Our kids were well played with, and my kids still miss them. One was a professional musician (in training) and I don’t think our piano was ever so well played.

So, all in all it was a great visit. But I still couldn’t help but feel more than a little nostagia for that part of life when you could just show up at the house of a friend, see what you could see with absolutely no plans, then eventually move on. That is how youth should be…

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