At least now I know that I have upset people with my questions about bouncy castles. I spoke to a member of our parents association yesterday about my concerns and suggested that we put up a sign to say the age limit on the castle. When I walked away, I heard him mutter ‘miserable cow’.

Now, I know I am setting myself up for this, but I want to know if it is miserable of me to want to be sure that the children are safe, that people working on the bouncy castle know what rules theyy are implementing and that, should there be an accident, the school will not be sued. I don’t for a minute want to suggest that things haven’t been done right in the past (my kids have only just joined the school, so I wouldn’t know), nor am I unaware of the hard work that the parents’ association put into the fete. However, I think that is the way it was taken. Ho hum.

I’m going to be even more miserable about the whole affair next year and this is where I want your opinions. All parents have been given a plastic bowl to fill with a pounds worth of ‘goodies’, which will then be sold for a pound. Threehundred and fifty kids in the school – you do the maths, it’s a good fundraiser. Now, here’s where I get all bah humbug about it. WE ARE AN ECO SCHOOL. WE ARE A HEALTHY SCHOOL. But what are these plastic bowls filled with? Essentially, more plastic and sugar. Now, if other parents want to let their kids eat sweets filled with gelatin and sugar, that is up to them. However, I really object to a) the number of plastic bowls being handed out when a jam jar or paper bag or even a recycled flowerpot (Yum, hygenic!) would do and b) These are being filled with plastic toys made, most likely, in China and probably by children of the same age as our little darlings in not very nice conditions.

So, thanks to this plastic frenzy, we get 350 pounds to spend in our leafy, middle class school where  the kids want for nothing and all at the expense of (possibly) children elsewhere in the world. Personally, I would like to do without the 350 pounds and, instead, spend some time talking to the children about what they would like to have at the school fete and why, the implications of their choices and any alternatives that they can come up with. I wouldn’t be very surprised if they decided that it would be rather nice to run the school fete to raise funds for others who are less fortunate than themselves.

So, you tell me. Am I a miserable cow?