Posted in Family, Travel

Fishing for Votes

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.


Author of warm, witty and gently funny fiction and non-fiction, including the popular Sophie Sayers Village Mystery series, beginning with "Best Murder in Show", inspired by her life in an English Cotswold community, short stories and essays about country life. As Commissioning Editor for the Alliance of Independent Authors' Advice Centre, she writes guidebooks authors. She speaks at many literature festivals and writing events, and is part of BBC Radio Gloucestershire's monthly Book Club broadcast. She is founder and director of the free Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival which takes place in April, a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association, and an ambassador for children's reading charity Read for Good and the Type 1 diabetes charity JDRF.

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