Sunday, 1 November 2009

What is value for money?

We have had an awesome week, and absolutely awesome half-term week.

These last seven days were something I was so looking forward to, having lost my son to the misery of school since September.

To the surprise of some (one), I did not compile a spreadsheet, nevertheless each day had an outline plan, and was jam packed with activities.

We had various days out, varying in degrees of complexity and cost.

The part wondrous Hughes family even came to visit, bringing pumpkins amongst their charms.

For Halloween, an event I have pretty much ignored for the last 31 years, we got tickets for a Halloween spectacular event at RAF Cosford.

I use the verb ‘got’ as technically my folks bought them, and they are unlikely to ever see the money for them, and ‘got’ is so much more polite than ‘stole’ or ‘feltched’.

The museum at RAF Cosford is one of our favourite go-to visits. It is all undercover, there is no charge for the museum - although there is now a parking charge – the exhibits are great, and their Fun ‘n’ Flight Interactive corner is good fun AAAANNNNDDDD educational.

We thought supporting an event there would be a good thing, and would most likely represent excellent value for money.

They certainly made an effort, two of the museums hangers were decorated to a Halloween theme.

Scary tunnels linking it all together, with a few activities, like lantern making, sticking a witch on a broomstick and face painting scattered around.

But essentially it was a glorified fair.

And to call these things a fair is a gross misuse of the word.

I estimate you can spend around £20 an hour, per child, while frequenting one.

The boy went on the dodgems, a merry-go-round, hooked a duck – or two – with his grandma, convinced his granddad to fire an air rifle and also got me to make a rather embarrassing effort of knocking tins from a shelf with wooden balls.

Thing is, while I felt a smidge aggrieved at the horrendous profitability of such stalls, I realised my son was really enjoying himself, and thus me watching him.

There were also fireworks, and the display on its own was worth a few pounds, but still, without a child I would have felt totally ripped off, yet with one, I was happy to be ripped off.

And I type ‘I’, when ‘I’ really mean, happy to watch the grandparents get ripped off.