Saturday, September 7, 2013

A fear of flying

I’ve just returned from four idyllic days in Cyprus which is a beautiful country but one that still falls within the category of ‘uncivilised’ in that you still can’t put loo paper down the pan, but have to put it in the little basket at the side. Surely it isn’t that advanced a form of plumbing is it?


Anyway, that’s not my beef. My time away was cracking as they say in Barry! It was the getting to and from my house to my hotel that got me losing my patience.

  •  It wasn’t the engineering works which meant I couldn’t get a direct train to Gatwick but had to lug my case on the underground.
  • It wasn’t the inconvenience that the threat of muslim terrorists put me through at customs (can I really make a bomb out of a 50ml bottle of lacoste aftershave and some toothpaste?)
  • It wasn’t even the incredibly unprofessional trolley dollies that Easyjet now employ who giggle through announcements and in particular the one who actually said ‘It has been your pleasure to have us on board’
Oh how we laughed…

If only!
Nah, the scourge of my life were and are…..children.

Case in point: The little fat kid who sat in front of me on the plane, aged about 8 who played his Nintendo without the use of headphones and who actually made it difficult to concentrate on my John Grisham novel !

Every few minutes he would shriek ‘Alfie slap’ (whatever that is!) and whack his Dad!

fat xbox kidI have to say, I had some sympathy with him here as parents were everything which make you so ashamed of brits abroad: Lobster pink, No 1 haircut, overstated fake Rolex, Gold necklace,heavily tattoed, earing piercing in which you can put your finger right through the hole (that will be such a good look when they make old age)and flip flops. 


And that was just his mum.

The point is, these parents were oblivious to the noise the kid was making. Can our flesh and blood really do no wrong? Flight EZ545 from Paphos was more like a kindergarten with crazed  children  running up and down the aisle pumped full of liquid sugar, treating the flight as if it were an extension to a trip to Disneyland which  is something every parent feels they have to take their kid to nowadays.

No you don’t! Stuff them. The holiday is for YOU because it’s YOU that has worked hard for the other 50 weeks of the year to fund the PS2, bike, designer Nikes et al. But no, you think you have to go somewhere that they will enjoy. I used to have to go to the Lake district and initially I hated it. No telly, no radio, no sea, no rides, just mountains, clean air, streams, valleys, wildlife…I grew to love it.

You choose!
Back to the fat kid.  Why does any 8 year old boy (unless he’s a Romanian gypsy or something) have to have an earring?

Sometimes I quite literally despair.

I watched a ten year old, privileged to be taken out for a meal, screw up her face in disgust  as she was presented with her nugget & chips which she ordered. I think by the time I was 11, and taken for a Chinese meal after spending the morning taking a schools common entrance exam, I had been to a restaurant about 5 times. It was a treat, not a right! With so many in the world starving, I was tempted to force feed her, via her nose, but if her mother pampers her, you have to wonder where the blame lies.

Perhaps I’m being hard on the nippers? On the way out to Cyprus, the two kids behind me were pretty irritating, but  listening to the inanity of the conversation with Dad, you’ve got to wonder what kind of example is being set. As for Mum who sat opposite and who had drunk enough Bacardi in the bar to make us all lashed on her breath, and who announced belligerently that she ‘didn’t care’ as she got up to get something out of the overhead locker as the plane was still at that landing phase where that little smidgen of doubt has crept in to say ‘is he struggling to stop this thing?’ does make you wonder why you shouldn’t have to apply for a licence before you are allowed to procreate. Let’s put it this way, if I was a social worker, I’d never put this woman forward as a foster carer.

Maybe I’m blind. They say Love is blind, and perhaps our kids are our blindspot? Perhaps people who came across me and my children were glad when we had left? (I’m proud of my kids but just wish that not all of them had chosen to be tattoed, I just don’t understand where they got that from!) We spent these few days in Cyprus with a mother & father of two gorgeous boys age 3 & 8. In my eyes they couldn’t put a foot wrong, they were a delight to be around and impeccably behaved. However when we turned up at the hotel pool it did seem like those sun worshippers who were already there were physically bracing themselves. Come to think of it, we were the only ones there after a couple of hours…!

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