Following the decision of the BBC to apologise to the Queen over the incident where she was wrongly accused of having a temper tantrum during a photo-shoot, I feel that I too must add an apology to her husband whom I accused of giving his name to a scheme of outdoor training which revelled in gratuitous discomfort. (See "Is A Bit Of Discomfort Good For You").
When my son eventually returned from his five days spent walking up and down mountains in the Lake District, I questioned him carefully on his experience. It was, he claimed, the most difficult physical challenge he had ever faced in his life. At times he was cold, wet, tired and hungry. The rules were strict and he was not allowed to pop into a passing Post Office for a Curly Wurly Bar (or anything else). He had to share a tent with three others. He was deprived of his lap-top, his MP3 player, his games console, and his television. What food he ate had to be cooked over a little paraffin stove. And, of course, he had the time of his life and would not have missed it for the world.
I tried offering him a deal. If he could have undertaken the same journey with a little chap carrying his bag for him and nightly stop-overs in a decent four-star hotel, would he have taken me up on the offer. He thought about it briefly but turned me down.
It causes one to question what has become of the youth of today. We try to bring them up to appreciate a nice, comfortable, materialistic lifestyle and they throw it in our faces and find enjoyment in tramping around muddy fields and swimming in ice-cold rivers. There is no justice in this world.
OK Your Royal Highness. You were right and I was wrong. Sorry
(err ... will I be alright for my MBE now?)