Eating throughout the divide: ‘He stated: don’t go there. So I used to be like, we’ll positively go there’ | Life and elegance


Alex, 32, Isle of Wight

Occupation Social employee

Voting file Typically Labour, Inexperienced from time to time

Amuse bouche When Alex was a toddler, she as soon as appeared on CBeebies’ Teletubbies

Alex Williams (31) and Robert Jones (69) sit down for dinner at the Smoking Lobster restaurant. Cowes, Isle of Wight, UK. 9th September 2021.

Robert, 70, Isle of Wight

Occupation Artist, freelance journalist

Voting file Labour

Amuse bouche Robert used to maintain rats as pets


For starters

Robert Alex arrived later than I did. I used to be ready on a very excessive chair, which, with my little legs, was a little bit of a problem.

Alex I used to be exterior with the photographer. I joked that he’d stood us up however he was inside on a regular basis.

Robert We shared a seafood lobster platter. The largest divide was a generational one. We’re each middle-class, comparatively well-educated, pretty clever individuals. The probabilities of us falling on the ground and beating one another over the top with a croissant weren’t nice.

Alex Robert had by no means had lobster. I couldn’t inform if he was a bit anxious in the beginning, or bored. He didn’t ask me a variety of questions, however generally I believe he has a extremely heat coronary heart.

Robert I’m used to coping with people who find themselves politically concerned. Topics arose about which she actually didn’t have an opinion. I assumed I’d discover an space of controversy on the Palestine query, however she stated: “You’d have to coach me about that.” That’s uncommon within the circles I transfer in.

Alex Williams (31) and Robert Jones (69) sit down for dinner at the Smoking Lobster restaurant. Cowes, Isle of Wight, UK. 9th September 2021.

The large beef

Alex He stated: “Don’t go there with trans,” so I used to be like, we’ll positively go there then. I used to be introduced up in a really open family – my mum was in a relationship with a lady for a few years. I’ve a variety of associates who’re homosexual and transgender. He stated that when he was a boy, boys had been girls and boys had been ladies.

Robert It’s a phenomenon I don’t perceive. It doesn’t imply I’m not sympathetic. I’m simply ignorant with reference to trans points. I’ve recognized three or 4 individuals who modified intercourse; one who was pretty aged, and his lifetime stammer disappeared.

Alex He didn’t speak about his personal sexuality. He did say some issues that had been a bit “old-mannish” – one thing about having had numerous sexual encounters. I believe he stated he’d wish to have extra. I stated, “Proper, I don’t assume we’re right here to debate that.” He’s not married; he may very well be homosexual, however I don’t assume it was that simple.

Robert I’m as homosexual as a gang of gibbons.

Alex Williams (31) and Robert Jones (69) sit down for dinner at the Smoking Lobster restaurant. Cowes, Isle of Wight, UK. 9th September 2021.

Sharing plate

Alex He actually challenged my views on the vaccine. I really feel those that wish to be vaccinated ought to be: I’m. However I hate the media in the mean time for persecuting anybody who just isn’t vaccinated. I perceive some individuals being anxious about it, and don’t really feel they need to be labelled as conspiracy theorists. Then Robert stated: “Do you assume all carers working with probably the most susceptible individuals ought to be vaccinated?” And I assumed: “Oh God, I believe I do, and I don’t wish to.”


For afters

Robert I do take delight within the establishment of the royal household. I used to be anticipating her to say they need to be elected, but it surely was the sense of privilege she objected to.

Alex They’re up to now faraway from something I’m conscious of – there’s nothing relatable. My husband grew up within the Netherlands, the place the king was a pilot with the airline KLM, and the Dutch are so happy with that.

Alex Williams (31) and Robert Jones (69) sit down for dinner at the Smoking Lobster restaurant. Cowes, Isle of Wight, UK. 9th September 2021.

Takeaways

Alex I positively gained’t go into conversations with 70-year-olds considering they’ll robotically have completely different views from me. Based mostly on age, I assumed we might be much more completely different than we had been, and I believe that was ageist.

Robert Though there was a 40-year age distinction, it actually didn’t matter. There have been issues she didn’t find out about and I did, and there have been actually issues she knew that I didn’t. Folks typically have a hard and fast view, however our dialog was extra interactive than that. Neither of us was standing on a soapbox … even when the chairs we had been sitting on felt prefer it.

Fast Information

Saturday journal

Present

This text comes from Saturday, the brand new print journal from the Guardian which mixes one of the best options, tradition, life-style and journey writing in a single stunning bundle. Out there now within the UK and ROI.

Thanks in your suggestions.

Alex Williams (31) and Robert Jones (69) sit down for dinner at the Smoking Lobster restaurant. Cowes, Isle of Wight, UK. 9th September 2021.

Extra reporting: Rachel Obordo

Alex and Robert ate at Smoking Lobster, Cowes

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