Where is everybody?

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GRIDLOCKED: Traffic in London

THE rush hour traffic in the towns and cities of the UK have been much eased by half term, the schools have taken a week or two off and the great weight of 4×4’s or ‘Chelsea tractors’ has been suddenly lifted.

Mothers and their children have taken a break from the school run.

Even Michael Barnier of the EU has been affected, he was reported as disconsolate, no-one from the UK Government could accept an invitation to meet him in Brussels on Friday due to a ‘diary clash’.

I know how he feels, frustrated.

Before children I used to try and arrange business-related meetings during what I subsequently discovered was half term or the school holidays and was puzzled as to why people who at other times were accessible and engaged were evasive and distant.

Eventually, the penny dropped and I mapped on to my work calendar the school terms and holidays, clarity replaced confusion. Of course, once we also became parents the imperatives became sharply obvious.

We all know that children are very important and indirectly dominate the economy, now we may assume international politics as well. In deference to which the Mother of Parliaments Westminster has itself adjourned for a week; perhaps only coincidentally for half term.

Everyone in the know has been arranging trips locally and further afield and even internationally for ages.

Over the next week museums will be overrun with families on days out.

Cinemas have swapped from the usual fare to focus on that segment of the population that dominates us all. Children’s films headline, a restricted classification film a rarity.

Even now in the depths of winter trips to the zoo or to fun fairs or the seaside will be placed on the options for days out.

Theme parks though out the UK and even the one near Paris will see a wave of British children and their parents hurrying towards them.

This week is peak skiing season for families with the chalets and hotels of France, Switzerland and Austria filling with British families. Non-traditional ski resorts in Eastern Europe have been making their case on TV and in the press to grab a slice of the lucrative Half Term visit.

Of course, tourists visiting London will assume that the UK is overrun by children and very few business leaders will be visiting this week.

They have postponed until after half term.

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