YOUNG MINDS

What do you know about the following? Star Wars, magnetism, Brussels sprouts, causal conjunctions, Frozen, family cohesion, why snow is white, biodiversity, God, Horrible Histories, distinctive features that make each person a unique human being, rugby, grief, Tim Vine one-line jokes…

Being with children, with their enquiring minds, is a tonic that helps a more ageing mind to keep young. A couple of days with three generations together sparks lively conversations, as wide-ranging as the country walk we enjoyed, en famille, over dew-drenched grass and muddy fields in the damp blanket of fog that enfolded us. Skylarks, unseen, sang in the still air, as wellies and walking boots tramped their habitat. The children in our party ran along ancient droves between bare hedgerows where snowdrops nestled beneath soon-to-bud twigs. We paused to play Pooh sticks at a bridge over a chalk stream. Conversation, while out and about, and at home, flowed like that stream – on all manner of topics, including those listed above.

Cross-generational communication was evident yesterday at the Principality Stadium before the Wales/England rugby match, when Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones looked after junior player Jack, the young mascot. He gave Jack the ball, took his hand and bent down to talk to him, before they went onto the pitch to the accompaniment of pyrotechnics and the Welsh roar. After the anthems, he showed further respect and care to the lad with more conversation, then shook his hand before the whistle blew and battle commenced. Jack will remember the day forever. Communication between generations inspires and energises all concerned.

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