It being half-term in good Ol' Blighty, Alpha, the rugrats and myself have escaped the rat-race for a week to sloth out and consume large amounts of croissants/ chocolate/ alcoholic beverages chez The In-Laws.
The In-Laws, who are delightful (I am a fortunate Mummy indeed) live in Geneva, which is a marvellous thing indeed apart from the fact that it forces us to experience the rancid charms of the Easyjet cabin crew. Why these orange-clad muppets act as if they are doing us a favour I have so far failed to understand. Added to this annoyance, flying with two children under the age of five is on par with being shut in a small box in the company of a pair of rabid baboons.
I am selflessly considering offering my darlings to Her Majesty's Secret Service as a powerful weapon for the War Against Terrorism. The loud and tuneless singing of the three lines they know from High School Musical; the repetitive kicking of the seat in front of them; the endless demands for juice/ crisps/ peanut M&Ms/ the loo; hitting, biting, pinching and the calling of names in strident, screeching tones - all on a constant loop for three long, long hours - is the kind of torture guaranteed to crack the toughest, meanest, most hardened criminal. Alpha, who had the good sense to sit on his own in a blissfully adult-only row, had to lead me from the plane at the other end, trembling, tearful and desperate for a restorative ciggie.
As I waited in the baggage hall waiting for our suitcase to appear, idly wondering how Swiss women manage to stay looking like sticks when faced with the daily temptation of the elaborate confections in every patisserie window, I noticed a new form of teenager. Possibly native only to Switzerland, this new type of teen exhibits all the (lack of) charm of his British cousin - the head bowed, the eyes dull yet defiant, the bottom lip jutting, the limbs gangling, the skin marred with angry pustules - but sporting trainers emblazoned with the Gucci logo, a hoody made from pure cashmere and the obligatory butt-revealing jeans hoiked down to show an Armani label. All hail the Eurohoody, a whole breed apart from our own home-grown, sportswear-tastic, alocopop-swigging teenagers.
The sun is now well over the yardarm, a sign that I am slacking in my pursuit of holiday hedonism. A bientot, dear reader... I am off to immerse myself in a blissful Beaujolais haze.