Shaken not Stirred? Not me.

Does anyone else find school holidays ‘challenging’? You rack your brains all night to come up with the killer idea that a) you haven’t done before; that b) the youngest will be old enough for and the eldest won’t think childish; and that c) you won’t need a second mortgage to pay for.

But by the time my kids had stirred themselves from daytime TV and I’d managed to surgically remove the laptop from their clutches, it was lunchtime. “How about Brighton?” I suggested. “We haven’t really got time now – it’s the afternoon” they chorused. I wasn’t about to point out that they were the reason it was so late, so I loaded them into the car and drove down the Hastings.

Ten quids’ worth of tokens at “The Stade” and they seemed happy as the eldest stood the youngest against the red line ‘height test’ for “Shaken not Stirred”, the James Bond ride. Quite what it has to do with James Bond eluded me, other than the fact that James Bond was probably the only person other than a child who could have kept his lunch in his stomach after this ride.

It’s funny, but I can quite happily fly a light aircraft over Kent and practice “spinning and stalling” for hours (spinning you can probably guess at – stalling involves cutting the power and pulling the wings up until there’s no more lift and the plane falls backwards out of the sky).

Yet the thought of emulating Ian Fleming’s hero, whirling around for five minutes on this instrument of psychological torture has about as much appeal as eating a whippy ice cream dipped in hot chocolate. Okay – I lied. I had the ice cream, but left the ride to the kids.

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