We’re full of mixed emotions

Alistair's choice to drink with a sausage supper, Running with Bulls Tempranilo

ALISTAIR GIBSON: Australia’s experimentation with grapes is paying off

0
Have your say

This summer my 21 year-old musician son Scott is hoping to move to Los Angeles for a year.

Naturally, my wife and I are full of mixed emotions. We have always encouraged our children to follow their dreams and give it 100%.

My wife and I are secretly hoping they get signed by a record company and stay here!

On the other hand, we are worried at the thought of him alone in a big city so far away!

With the internet we will be able to enjoy daily ‘Facetime’ video phone calls and, I dare say, despite my fear of flying, we have the option of taking the 11-hour flight to check he is still regularly brushing his teeth and keeping his room tidy.

But when you consider the true hardships past adventurers faced, it puts things into perspective.

The first English attempt at settling the Americas was that sponsored by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1598, in which John White was official artist and mapmaker.

The expedition was blighted from the start and the settlers suffered many setbacks, including failed crops and supplies running low. Furthermore,they had not made land at their intended destination, so any supply ships probably wouldn’t find them.

White was chosen to make the return journey to England for supplies, reluctantly leaving behind his daughter, son-in-law and infant granddaughter Virginia, as assurance to the other settlers that he would not abandon them.

Virginia was the first English Christian child born in America, so was given the name of the state of her birth, which had been named in honour of England’s Virgin Queen.

On reaching England White found that, in anticipation of an attack by the Spanish Armada, Queen Elizabeth I had banned ships from leaving port.

So by the time White made the return journey, nearly three years had passed.

The settlement was long abandoned and no trace was ever found of White’s family or the other settlers.

Whilst White himself clung to the hope that they had moved to another area, they could have been slaughtered by Native American Indians.

At the beginning of Queen Victoria’s reign in 1837, few people travelled very far from their place of birth and those wealthy enough to do so were limited to protracted bumpy journeys in horse-drawn carriages, riding in fear of notorious highwaymen.

By the end of her reign in 1901, bicycles, railways, steamships and the motorcar had changed travel forever.

Our Scott and his band Columbia have just finished recording another EP, so my wife and I are secretly hoping they get signed by a record company and stay here!

Antiques expert John appears on TV shows including Cash In The Attic and Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is and also runs Nesbits auction house in Southsea. E-mail auctions@nesbits.co.uk or call (023) 9229 5568.