Since my children were born, I have tried to instil manners in them.
I nag about pleases and thank yous and the necessity to be polite and I imagine that I am not alone in this.
My own mother was exactly the same and I always make the effort to be polite, as does she.
It was disappointing, therefore, that when she was recently in a place that is practically wallpapered in posters reminding you to be polite to staff, and insisting that you’ll be, quite rightly, carted off by security if you get shirty, that the vast majority of people she came into contact with were simply rude.
My mother needed an X-ray and attended a local NHS establishment at 8am when she assumed, correctly, that it would not be busy.
In fact, there was only one other patient milling about.
For the avoidance of doubt, I’ve often raved about the NHS and its staff, so please don’t think this is bashing them. It’s simply bashing rudesters.
The staff that my mother needed to speak to on the way in for directions were miserable as sin.
The woman who did the X-ray didn’t even say hello or exchange pleasantries, and when my mother left the room and made a point of saying thank you and goodbye, the radiologist did not even reply.
As my mother wandered back past the reception desk, she said thank you and goodbye and, again, received silence in return.
The only way to describe this, especially when staff were hardly at breaking point, is rude.
I’ll reiterate again that this has nothing to do with the NHS, it has to do with humanity and basic manners.
I got the feeling that even if my mum had disappeared out of the door only to prance back in dressed as Liza Minelli a la Cabaret, sporting a top hat, twirling a cane and warbling ‘Good-by- ee’ for all she was worth, not an eyelid would have been batted.
Good manners cost nothing, as the saying goes.
So let’s all try to be a little nicer to one another.
DOES ANYONE STILL CARE ABOUT COWELL’S TUNELESS TWITFEST?
It was with a sinking sense of doom that I realised the latest series of The X Factor has commenced on ITV.
For the most part, it’s a tuneless twitfest. And even if the people can sing, who cares any more?
There’s Cowell, beaming along with the other judges, raking in the cash.
And there’s another show full of contestants that are, for the most part, forgotten six months later.
Surely the novelty of this television tat has worn off? If Top of the Pops was no longer popular enough to be deemed worthy of our screens, I fail to see how four months’ worth of this rehashed drivel, serving only to line Cowell’s pockets further by guaranteeing a Christmas number one, can be commissioned.
SUMMER HOLIDAYS CAN TEACH OUR KIDS AS MUCH AS SCHOOL
Children have no idea of how much effort parents put in to the summer holidays, but it’s worth every second – and every penny.
My kids have been for a twilight swim in the sea this summer.
They’ve swum in a river, a lido and off the Cornish coast.
They have stayed in a yurt, built campfires, had sleepovers, walked miles of countryside whilst investigating nature and visited National Trust sites.
They have been to the cinema, they have cooked, they have made new friends and pen-pals, and they have loved each second.
The holidays teach our kids just as much as school.
Children learn, truly learn, from experience, and my girls have had some great ones this year.