As readers of this blog may be aware, I like to visit Spain from time to time and I enjoy comparing and contrasting the state of play abroad with the situation at home in good old Blighty – particularly with regards to family values and culture. And one of my ‘pet topics’ (if you’ll pardon the pun), is the prevailing attitude towards children and animals.Well, it's certainly a lot different in Spain, I'll grant you! Particularly when it comes to animals.
Remaining in the land of beer gardens and drizzle (yes, Blighty), during a recent visit to a popular family pub in Fulking, I spotted a chalk board that stated: “dogs and children welcome”. This caught my attention: note that the canines were placed first, before the kids. Is this some sort of Freudian slip, I wondered? If the sign had read “children welcome” and then underneath “dogs welcome”, that would be preferable in my book.But it's not your pub, is it? So I fail to see why the owners should feel the need to consult you on preferred signwriting etiquette.
Get your own business, love, and you can have any sign you want outside, within reason...
I recollect another sign in a popular Hanover pub that read “children are welcome in this area if quiet and well behaved” . Hmm! How many toddlers do you know who will sit still for the duration of Sunday dinner without moving or making any noise?You mean, the pub should welcome children who aren't well behaved? I can't see that going down too well with the clientele, unless they expect to only ever cater for parents like you:
It is the concept of child movement that causes the most serious problems, it seems. Recently, my family was asked to leave a bar on St James Street because the kids were “running around” …Hmm, let's see: people walking back to their tables with glass bottles and expensive drinks in their hands, bar staff serving hot food with sharp cutlery...
Nope, I can't see a single reason why they'd be at all upset that little Willow and Kingfisher are running round the place at top speed, screaming their lungs out, can you?
… on a recent flight from Spain to Newcastle, an angry fellow passenger complained to me: “how would you feel if a child was standing up on his seat and looking at you?” Well, perish the thought! A child looking at an adult. Sheesh./facepalm
Look, sweetie, if this was in flight, you'd have the possibility of turbulance. If taxiing, the pilot might need to brake suddenly.
The reason the other passengers were looking aghast was not because your child had the temerity to look at them, but because in those circumstances, an unrestrained child is a potential hazard. And you are no doubt the sort of 'my kids can do no wrong!' parent who'd then sue the airline!
If the young and the elderly were better integrated into family life, and welcome in the same café/bar/restaurants as the ‘male vertical volume drinkers’ (yes, that is a bona fide alcohol industry term), perhaps the incidence of binge drinking in Britain would be reduced.I think it'd be more likely to go up! God knows, if I had to share a pub with your badly-behaved, noisy brats, I'd start necking the WKD and Bacardi Breezers like there's no tomorrow...
It also strikes me that, in Britain, we’re far more sympathetic towards animals than children. While I don’t condone the placing of a poor, unsuspecting cat in a dustbin, look at the national media brouhaha caused by the lady in Coventry performing her evil act against cat-kind.Look at the national brouhaha over Baby P...
I wager that the same crime wouldn’t have attracted attention in other European countries, where people aren’t so sentimental about their pets.It certainly wouldn’t in the Spain you’re so fond of, sweetie. And I know, as a consequence of that, where I’d sooner live.
Once, in a Northern supermarket, I viewed the results of a charity scheme where customers were given a green token at the checkout and they had the choice of three charities upon which to bestow their token and, hence, their support. At the end of the process, the store would donate money according to which box contained the most tokens.This scheme is used in Waitrose; even the colour of the tokens is identical. Since when was it a ‘Northern’ supermarket?
One was for a rotary club, and it was almost empty. The other two options involved help for local children or help for local squirrels. Guess which one “won” all the tokens? Yes, it was the squirrels.There you go, then, love. Can't argue with that.
The market has spoken! It says 'Discipline your children to the point where they don't make our nights out a living nightmare, or whenever we get a chance, what money we don't have to fork out for the like of you in tax, we'll gladly give to tree rats instead!'