Throwing economy to the winds, I decide to take my daughter to the notoriously expensive new aquarium in Bristol. The Easter holidays are nearing their end and that is all the excuse we need.
We spend a nice enough couple of hours strolling past tanks of all shapes and sizes, learning endearingly odd facts about fish that make me wonder whether I’ll be able to face eating them ever again.
But the highlight of the visit is definitely the 3D film shown in the IMAX theatre. For forty five minutes, we don the obligatory outsized dark glasses and experience the coral reefs at first hand. Shoals of fish swarm about not only on the screen but, it seems, all through the auditorium. “Finding Nemo” has nothing on the real thing: it is completely fascinating. My daughter is not the only child who is reaching out to try to capture a fish as it apparently swims past her seat or to pat a friendly dolphin on the nose. We are totally convinced that we are in the sea with them and again, this makes me feel much warmer towards sealife than I’d ever have thought possible.
Halfway through, it occurs to me that the political party leaders, due that day to make history by facing a live audience together on television, are missing a trick. If they really want to reach out to us in our homes, they ought to engineer a joint 3D broadcast. The viewer at home on his sofa would feel so much more politically engaged. And if he did feel compelled to punch any particular politician on the nose, well, at least it would get it out of his system.
A word of warning, though: only a couple of days later, I find myself tucking in heartily to a distinctly piscatorial dinner , delicious squid as a starter, followed by a succulent moules marinieres. So perhaps this is not such a wise idea for the politicians after all.