LESLEY KEATING: Restaurant ambience was ruined by shrieking children

Lesley found the noise in Wagamamas, pictured, intolerable
Lesley found the noise in Wagamamas, pictured, intolerable
Until earlier this year, Lesley had a rather lovely fake white Christmas tree. It ended up in a skip...               (Shutterstock)

LESLEY KEATING: To fake or not to fake, that is the question

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Noise pollution has been quite a hot topic in recent months with surveys done on everything from the effects of noise from motorways and aircraft to machinery at work.

Noise pollution has been quite a hot topic in recent months with surveys done on everything from the effects of noise from motorways and aircraft to machinery at work.

My mum and dad just wouldn’t have let me behave like that when I was little

Maybe someone should also be investigating the effects at restaurants during half-term.

I was with my daughter in Wagamama the other day having tea before driving home and the nose was nothing short of deafening.

There was already quite a hum of background noise when we were ordering but we weren’t aware of how bad it actually was until it escalated just as we were trying to have a chat while eating.

I couldn’t hear a word she was saying.

A table of four young girls aged about 14 sat near us but, rather than chatting, they were literally shrieking loudly at every available opportunity, bellowing at each other, then snorting with laughter.

The only time it quietened down was when they were stuffing their faces with pad thai or looking at their phones – although one of them certainly seemed to have developed an impressive technique for doing all three simultaneously.

At another table nearby several young children were ignoring their meals and running riot, shouting at a level which certainly gave the teenagers a run for their money and climbing about on furniture or under the table.

Their self-absorbed mummies with their glasses of rosé seemed to be oblivious to the noise – or perhaps they’d just gone deaf, like we were in danger of doing.

My mum and dad just wouldn’t have let me behave like that when I was little.

I really like Wagamama but the ambience at times like this is shocking.

I soon realised that shooting the cyber death glare on these occasions is absolutely no use so we just soldiered on, doing our best to communicate.

It was no surprise that one of our orders arrived slightly wrong – the poor kitchen staff probably didn’t hear everything the waitress was saying.

I can now see why so many people there were on their phones, texting furiously.

It was probably the only way they could communicate!

BOOZY BLOKE HAD A MASTERS DEGREE – IN BEING A NUISANCE

We recently had the misfortune of witnessing a salesman at a lunchtime business event ‘giving it large’ after partaking of too many drinks

at a free bar.

To say he could bore for England is a gross understatement. He lurched far beyond that level and soon the room was humming with gossip about

his antics.

He certainly had a master’s degree… in annoying people and being a general nuisance.

Eventually a colleague carted him off to their hotel where I assume he no longer had a captive audience.

Days later, we heard that he was blaming the fact there was a free bar.

Sorry, but no one forced him to rapidly guzzle what amounted to several pints of vodka did they?

NEW EXAM GRADING SYSTEM COULD LEAD TO CONFUSION

This year several friends’ children got their GCSE and A-level results.

It takes me back to a few years to when our daughter Eloise and her friends were all excitedly sharing their results and partying in celebration.

This year sees the first of the new 1-9 grades for certain subjects which will be rolled out over all other subjects during the next few years.

Grade 9 is now the one to aim for and Grade 1 is now the lowest.

In the days of the CSE, a Grade 1 was the highest attainment.

BTec certificates and diplomas have yet another form of numbering.

I hope that employers sifting through CVs will understand these new grades. Otherwise it could get very confusing.