What I learnt this week: 8th November 2018

Turning 21

I know, I know, that could easily be about me, right? No? Damn, my photo gave it away.

It was my eldest son who turned 21 recently, and I was amused to find he’d Googled what he could now do, that he couldn’t before. It wasn’t an exhaustive list:

  • adopt a child
  • supervise someone learning to drive (he’s held a full licence for three years)
  • hire a car
  • apply for a licence to fly a plane/drive a lorry or bus

Legalities aside though, turning 21 feels like a major milestone. At eighteen he was a teenager. At twenty-one, he’s all grown up – at least as far as the world is concerned. Clearly to me he’s still my baby.

So celebrating his coming of age seemed like the right thing to do. It also seemed like a fabulous excuse for a weekend in London.

I set about planning the occasion. A night at a gorgeous hotel overlooking Tower Bridge. Dinner at the Shard. My younger son would come home from university to join us.

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I was looking at a lunch venue – maybe the Sky Garden – when my husband asked the question. ‘Whose birthday is this?’

Guiltily I handed the daytime activities over to him to plan.

We ended up at a football match on the Saturday, and a driving range on the Sunday.

That’s the thing about having boys though, I end up doing things I wouldn’t have chosen…and often (secretly) enjoy them more. The match (West ham vs Burnley) proved to be a cracker, 4-2 to the Hammers. And I was thrilled to see the Olympic stadium for the first time.

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The driving range on Sunday had such spectacular views I happily forgot I couldn’t hit the ball further than 10 yards. My swing is about as smooth as a rusty weather vane, yet unlike the weather vane nothing about it points in the right direction. Who cares though, when you can sit down and look at the Greenwich peninsular in-between embarrassing yourself?

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I hope we gave my son a twenty first to remember in years to come. I’ll certainly remember it, even though I didn’t get to go to Sky Garden. Then again, my youngest son will turn 21 in two years …


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