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Published on September 10th, 2013 | by The Town Crier


Horse’s Mouth

At Town Crier, we occasionally get letters from readers seeking advice on all manner of personal situations. They could be questions of etiquette, social faux-pas or family matters. We are always happy to help and so we have enlisted the help of a local stalwart who in her own words has seen it all and calls a spade a gardener. Lady Ophelia d’Knight, (Offa to her friends, but we’re allowed to call her lady d’Knight), will be happy to answer any of your queries in future issues.

Dear Lady d’Knight

My 18-year-old daughter has planned a holiday to Malia, on Crete, her first with friends. I am thrilled she has shown her maturity by funding the holiday through saving from her part-time job. However, my husband and I are concerned for her safety after hearing gruesome stories about drunken nights out, and watching several programmes about the less celebrated aspects of the party islands.

My daughter and her friends are sensible, yet this will be their first experience where they are completely separate from any protective figures. I know I may come across as an overprotective parent, or simply a parent who cannot “let go”, but my fears surely aren’t completely unfounded? How can I make my daughter aware of the issues she may face, and give relevant advice that she will listen to?


Dear WM

You poor thing. You have spent 18 years getting your daughter ready for this moment and now that it has arrived it turns out it’s you who is underprepared. Think back, we all went on our first foreign trip and, yes, we all did stupid things and got into foolish situations, but with a happy combination of luck and upbringing we survived. Can you honestly say that you never did anything at that age that doesn’t now make you cringe a little? I’m sure her week in Crete will be one of the longest of your life, but at the end of it she’ll come bursting through the door with a backpack of dirty laundry, and experiences she will never tell you about, but then would you share yours with her? Hopefully the only unwanted thing she will return with is a doll in national costume or one of those inappropriate figurines of a Greek god. But…if in any doubt, please have the good/safe/sorry conversation. There’s nothing that spurs one’s offspring into inaction than a chat about the birds and the bees.

Looking on the bright side, if your children are old enough to pay for and holiday on their own, you can return to your own hedonistic holidays you had pre-kids.

Lady d’knight

Dear Lady d’Knight

Do you have any tips for toilet training our son? Whereas his friends of the same age are able to hit the target, he is constantly having mishaps.


Dear MB

I remember the days well. Not for nothing was our bathroom referred to as ‘the wet room’, long before it became fashionable. I assume your little one (and when I say that I mean your son rather than any attribute of yours), can actually reach the lavatory, make sure he has a step that’s high enough. A great tip that I was given was to place a ping-pong ball in the bowl. It won’t flush away and gives something at which to aim. It might even produce a table tennis champion of the future!

Lady Offa d’knight

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