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Turn Up The Quiet!

This week, I’ve drafted the content of these observations from my usual cafe ‘desk’ to aural accompaniments an octave to two above the routine background mutterings I experience. This increase in soprano emissions sourced by West Yorkshire children ‘s vocal chords. Exuberant youngsters tarrying among the White Rose Shopping Centre aisles with, in many cases, their long-suffering guardians.

These kids’ parents adorning typical half-term school holiday body language. Brow beaten, their fraught visages displaying the strain all of us who’ve visited shopping malls with children will’ve exhibited at some juncture during our offspring’s fledgling years.

With little Harrison and younger sister Isabel tugging on both arms, despairing mothers endeavour to guide their fledglings in the direction of clothing and shoe stores. Their objective, securing new footwear and/or school attire for Monday, when the little munchkins return to their alma maters.

As a consequence of their perditious shopping experience, this week my writing has been regularly accompanied by the sound of kids receiving parental or grandparental admonishments. Long-suffering adult scolding their wee companions with rants of likes:-

“No you can’t have another Happy Meal, Jimmy!”

“We’ll go and watch Dolittle after I’ve bought your school shoes, Candice!”

“Do you think I’m made of money, Stacy?!”

“No, Archie, you’re not having £150 designer trainers for PE!”

“I don’t care if Tommy Treadwell gets his school uniform from Superdry!….. You’re getting yours from Primark, Ryan!”

“Never you mind what I’ve just bought from Ann Summers, George….. And yes it’s supposed to be buzzing!!”


Another consequence of the increase in youthful shopping mall attendees has been the perilous walk from the car park, along the centres aisles towards my cafe destination.

School half term introducing a higher risk of collision with fellow consumers, the result of higher than usual instances of familial emergency stops. An irritation which manifests notions that lack of human brake lights is perhaps the next thing evolution should look at addressing.

Kid’s holidays also carry with them a marked increase in the risk of being inadvertently head butted in the testicles by a whirling dervish of a toddler, even more excitable after escaping a parental grasp……. Unless you’re a woman of course, or a eunuch, or Aldershot spoon juggler Harry ‘No Balls’ Cheesecloth.

As I commence this paragraph, the background aural volume has ramped up a bit. No doubt a consequence of it currently being a kick in the ass from midday. A time when childly hunger pangs manifest themselves, particularly when located in an outlet boasting a franchise smorgasbord of McDonalds, KFC, Pizza Express, Frankie & Benny’s et al.

Footnote – Other eateries are available, and might be a bit quieter!!

When my now adult kids were in their fledgling years, my daughter Rachel was notoriously high maintenance. Her diva demands as a toddler being that she’d only eat alphabet spaghetti for lunch….. Consequently, every occasion we embarked on a familial day out it was necessary to pack a small tin of the pasta, praying our destination had a microwave.

That being said, if anything Rachel is even higher maintenance in adulthood. Now not only demanding an alphabet spaghetti lunch, but has also introduced an edict as to how many vowels and consonants should make up the tins contents!

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