When will the young earn more than experience?

PIC PHIL WILKINSON.TSPL / JOHNSTON PRESS

JANET CHRISTIE ,  MAGAZINE WRITER
PIC PHIL WILKINSON.TSPL / JOHNSTON PRESS JANET CHRISTIE , MAGAZINE WRITER
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Middle Child is about to return to the mothership and since he wasn’t actually being paid for his work (pity today’s young generation for whom the concept of exchanging labour for wages is a quaint outmoded concept that’s been replaced by internships, work experience, volunteering and generally someone’s-having-a-laugh-but-it’ll-be-good-for-your-CV exploitation), I’ve paid his flight.

Bagged at the bargain price of £28, I’m chuffed with myself and message him to tell him the good news.

“Thanks! I’ll pay you back,” he says.

“Aw, doesn’t matter,” I say, full of bonhomie and looking forward to having all my eggs back in the one basket again.

“And did you book my guitar on too?” he messages.

Sigh. I immediately go back to the website, where I quickly drop another £42.42 before I can change my mind. Well, he loves that guitar.

To restore my equilibrium I gaze out of my bedroom window at the trees, all 13 of them flourishing in the back greens of our block of tenements, secret oases you’d never know were there from the streets. Squirrels bounce around in the foliage, wild and free since the nutter neighbours who used to trap them with peanut butter have moved, and our fox slumbers on the shed roof, blissfully unaware of the pro-hunting PM, half in, half out of the ivy which is threatening to take over. I’ll get Middle to help with a bit of gardening when he’s home. Good for his CV.

Eldest joins me and we smile at Foxy McFoxface.

“Theresa May supports fox hunting,” I say.

“‘Ken,” he says. “And there’s the people stuff they’re up to as well. Austerity, the NHS, cuts to disability benefits...”

Sigh.

“Do you know I’ve just paid twice as much to fly your brother’s guitar home as I’ve paid for him?”

“Hmmm. So why did you not just book two seats, one for him and one for the guitar beside him?” he asks.

Duh. I hate it when he does that.