Thursday, 6 August 2015

Modern communication.

We are currently staying at our friend Colin's house in Pontevedra. We in this case means Phil and me, our daughter and her three children. Coincidentally, next door to Colin is a family with three children of the same age. Not only the same age but the correct gender in each case. How convenient is that? Yesterday evening the three pairs of children got to meet other. The oldest pair should not really be referred to as children as they are 18 and 19, terribly sophisticated young ladies who managed to chat to each other reasonably well. 

What was really interesting was to watch the interaction between the younger ones. The two little boys, 10 years old, went off to play football on the Wii. The two 12 year old girls spent some time looking at each other, both being a little too shy to say anything in front of the assembled adults. When we sent them off to the other side of the room to look at photos on a mobile phone and all seemed to be well. 

The funniest moment was when the four of them worked out how to follow each other on Instagram. Suddenly, international communication was established! But in almost complete silence! Strange! 

Since then, it's the little boys' friendship that has made the best progress. With football as a common interest and some fun and games in the swimming pool, they appear to have become best mates. We also suspect that they might have bonded as a result their common experience as the youngest child in the family, both with two older sisters to boss them around. 

It may be easier for small boys to make friends on the basis of shared activities while my experience tells me that girls make friends more through chatting about anything and everything. It's hard to do that when your knowledge of each other's language is limited. But progress is being made. 

Maybe there will be a regular exchange of visits in the future. That remains to be seen. 

It's not just friendship that provokes travel, of course. I was reading recently about people in the USA who plan to leave their home land for the first time ever and visit the UK? What has led to this development? You may well ask. The answer is Benedict Cumberbatch, who is going to play Hamlet at the Barbican in London. 

Tickets went on sale in August last year and all 100,000 sold out in minutes. Tickets cost round about £65 and have been reselling for more than £1,500. Amazing! Each day during the Production, the Barbican will release another 30 tickets, selling at only £10 each. Particularly obsessive fans are expected to camp out at the Barbican to try to get their hands on them. I say again, amazing! 

It's not just the Americans either. Canadians, Filipinos and Japanese are following suit. Some have even become members of the Barbican in order to be able to book tickets more easily. Some of the comments make it seem that these people imagine that they are actually going to meet their revered Mr Cumberbatch. Will they be disappointed when they have to see him only on the stage, from their seats? 

I do hope they manage to see more of the UK than just the theatre.

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