Comment: Communications issues all part of the festivities

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IT’S nearly time to draw a curtain over the last ten years of columns in Country Week so rather than the usual mild musings it makes sense to say something forthright.

People who don’t tell their children off should be publicly named and shamed. We were at a Christmas event and it was completely ruined by squawking, spoilt children.

The thing that fanned the flames was that the wet parents never once said “Be quiet”. They got out toys, they got out books, and they even rustled up plates of food. But they never, not once, said that old-fashioned thing that we were all told - “shut up”.

Just over a month earlier, a Remembrance service had been spoilt with similar selfishness. We all had our heads bowed for the minute’s silence when a child - we’re not talking babies - started.

“The mother didn’t tell it to shut up,” we chuntered afterwards. “No, that’s because she was texting…”

She was probably on Facebook. Seems yours truly is the only person who isn’t. We were supposed to be going ice-skating and this family seemed to be the only one who didn’t know it was cancelled.

“It was on Facebook,” people said afterwards. Perhaps that will have to be a resolution for the New Year; to get some more modern communications installed. There hasn’t been a “tweet” on the Twitter thing for a good month now. Low boredom threshold probably has something to do with it. To flick on the page seems to involve reading other people’s banalities. Having made a career of writing about my own it seems unfair not to want to read others. But the whole thing leaves me feeling tattered.

Christmas. How was it for you?

Our numbers were a little depleted but with the re-opening of our village pub we were able to get proceedings off to a festive start. Somehow not getting crosses on all the sprouts and the annual problem of the Aga losing all its heat and leaving the roast potatoes mushy rather than crispy became less of a problem after a pre-lunch tipple.

Could have done with Father Christmas to bring a new car - or horse lorry/Mini combination would be better still - as mine conked out on December 23. The garage says that it’s being killed by towing the trailer. Suppose that when the children first started riding we’d only go to about half-a-dozen shows a year whereas now there aren’t many weeks when The Husband isn’t being nagged to hitch the trailer up for something or other. Suppose their four-legged friends inside are getting bigger (and heavier) as well.

The Son is obsessed with cars. He has such expensive taste (weird when his father is so tight) there is a very real worry that when he grows up he will end up living in a car rather than a house. It will be a very sporty car, but the fear is he won’t own anything else. He made an unannounced pre-Christmas visit, ‘Spotters Book of Cool Cars’ clasped in his hand, on a local businessman. He not only got to tick off the Aston Martin in his book, but got to have a sit in it and have his picture taken. He walked home beaming with a worrying glint in his eye.

Maybe he needs publicly naming and shaming to nip this flash taste in the bud. Or at the very least steering towards a horse box with built-in living accommodation…