Finance: The Trader - No chance of a Flaming Ferrari where my folks come from

EVEN TRADERS have families, though if they live anywhere but London, there's rarely time to visit them. My mother thinks London is a frightful place, even for a visit, with a population that consists entirely of muggers and people in a hurry. "And everyone's so rude," she says, wide-eyed, as if 30 Women's Institute members waiting right in front of the ticket barriers at Tottenham Court Road Underground station while one of their number buys peppermints doesn't count as provocation.

Consequently, she and my father have chosen to bury themselves in a tiny village about a hundred miles from the capital where the quality of life is apparently far superior to city existence. "Just smell that air," my father says every time he drags me out for a walk along the local lanes (obviously we can't walk across the fields, because the footpaths are planted over). "You don't get air like that in London." No, I think; we don't have all those pesticides and herbicides in ours.

The other aspect of rural life that I find hard to appreciate is the fact that you have to drive everywhere, even to buy a pint of milk or a loaf of bread. Not surprisingly, my parents spend many of their waking hours in edge-of-town supermarkets. In fact, I think they may regard a visit there as a bit of a treat. I can't think of any other explanation for the fact that they always drag me off to one the minute I arrive at their place. "Don't take your coat off, darling," my mother says breezily as I stagger in after battling the motorway traffic. "We can have coffee there. It's rather good, you know."

Mind you, one look at the local town centre and you understand why the supermarket counts as an entertaining landmark. It's the sort of place that was innocently minding its own business for years until it had a terrible attack of the town planners in the Fifties, from which it has never quite recovered.

The local tourist office - an act of faith if ever I saw one - has optimistically created a leaflet on historical walking tours, with lines such as "turn left at the multi-storey car-park. The house that used to stand on this spot..."

There's one each of all the usual high-street shops, as well as a few dingy jewellers, a florist that sells only carnations and, naturally, half-a-dozen dreary tea shops that close at 4pm. There's nowhere else to eat unless you want burgers or take-away Chinese (with chips). You have to head out to some village or other for a proper, grown-up meal with condescending waiters and cream with everything. Not that we ever do; as my mother says, it seems rude to disturb the hush in these places by actually eating in one of them.

So for this weekend, it'll be meals at home in front of the telly, and all the better for it. After all, I'm here to relax, although it's also a pre-emptive strike in case I forget Mother's Day. As far as my parents are concerned, it's their chance to make sure I'm not up to anything potentially embarrassing at work.

"Look at all this business with the Flaming Ferraris," my father says. "More like the flambed Ferraris now," I reply. "Well and truly burnt."

I look across at my mother. "Isn't this when you usually say, `It's the parents I feel sorry for'?" I ask, but she just blushes and mumbles, "Oh, well... not always".

I smile, and tell them that they have nothing to worry about. After all, thanks to the way they've raised me - to be good and kind and honest - I'm probably never going to earn that sort of money in the first place.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Hewer, Lord Alan Sugar, Karren Brady are returning for The Apprentice series 10

TV
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey

comedy
Arts and Entertainment
Angelina Jolie and Winona Ryder star in 'Girl, Interrupted'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
From left to right: Ed Stoppard as Brian Epstein, Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Elliott Cowan as George Martin in 'Cilla'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Thomas Pynchon in 1955, left, and Reese Witherspoon and Joaquin Phoenix in Paul Thomas Anderson's adaptation of his novel, Inherent Vice

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Singer Nicole Scherzinger will join the cast of Cats

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Fans were left surprised by the death on Sunday night's season 26 premiere

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal

film
Arts and Entertainment
Lady Mary goes hunting with suitor Lord Gillingham

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Dunne, played by Ben Affleck, finds himself at the centre of a media storm when his wife is reported missing and assumed dead

film
Arts and Entertainment
Lindsay Lohan made her West End debut earlier this week in 'Speed-the-Plow'

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Artist Nathan Sawaya stands with his sculpture 'Yellow' at the Art of Brick Exhibition

art
Arts and Entertainment
'Strictly Come Dancing' attracted 6.53 million viewers on Friday
tv
Arts and Entertainment
David Tennant plays Detective Emmett Carver in the US version on Broadchurch

tv
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor goes undercover at Coal Hill School in 'The Caretaker'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Ni , Rock of Rah, Vanuatu: The Ni live on one of the smallest islands of Vanuatu; Nelson flew five hours from Sydney to capture the 'isolation forged by their remoteness'
photographyJimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style
Arts and Entertainment
David Byrne
musicDavid Byrne describes how the notorious First Lady's high life dazzled him out of a career low
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

    Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

    A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
    Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

    Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

    The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
    An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

    An app for the amorous

    Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
    Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

    Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

    Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
    Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

    Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

    After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
    She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

    She's having a laugh

    Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
    Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

    Let there be light

    Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
    Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

    Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

    Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
    Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

    A look to the future

    It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
    The 10 best bedspreads

    The 10 best bedspreads

    Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
    Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

    Arsenal vs Galatasaray

    Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
    Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

    Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

    This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
    Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

    The children orphaned by Ebola...

    ... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
    Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
    The magic of roundabouts

    Lords of the rings

    Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?