Quiet? You must be kidding! writes Roy Edmonds

Our meals and nights out have changed gradually since retirement. It isn’t just being on a fixed income. We  have more time for cooking at home, and to enjoy different activities during daylight hours.

Thursday, 30th January 2020, 5:00 pm
Noisy children

We no longer seek out fashionable places but, rather, somewhere relaxing to spend longer over a meal, drinks or just chatting and reading.

January and February are notoriously ‘quiet’ for pubs and restaurants, as many people are hard up and the weather uninviting. However, I use the word ‘quiet’ meaning numbers – but not necessarily noise. Now many dining places are less crowded there’s even more room within them for rampaging children to run amok.

Last weekend, I was savouring an afternoon beer or two with pals inside our cricket club, when our ears and nerves were assaulted by a barrage of excited shrieking from tiny, but healthy, lungs. We couldn’t hear ourselves think and stared at the offending family in reproach, as did others until then enjoying a pleasant meal overlooking the surrounding greenery.

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The parents, however, seemed completely unaware and indifferent to this high-decibel mayhem.

It used to be heavy smokers or drunks we avoided when dining out previously; now it’s uncontrolled children. Complain and you are met with disbelief, contempt or even abuse – from those selfish parents.

“Can’t you put a dummy in their mouth?” She Who Knows appealed to one such mother, when our special evening at a favourite restaurant was ruined by screaming.

“He’s only a baby!” she protested (he wasn’t), looking outraged. But isn’t that just the time to start behaviour training?

Of course, the real dummies are these anti-social ‘grown-ups’. I’m afraid they deserve all the unruly disruption and chaos they’re nurturing, which will blight their family lives for years to come.

However, please, allow the rest of us some peace and consideration!