Smoker’s dirty habit left me all shaken up

Kate Livingstone
Kate Livingstone

How marvellous is the weather we have been experiencing this week?

I realise this is not the most original way to start a column, but it’s really all anyone has been talking about.

And, luckily, I booked to have this week off work, so have been able to make the most of the glorious sunny days.

I’m usually the person whose holidays fall on the most miserable weeks of the year, so I’m thrilled to have been lucky this year.

Well, I say holiday but really this week has been more work than going to work.

Emma’s childminder is ill so I ended up with two hyperactive kids to entertain.

On Monday, I took the pair to Dollar Park and let Jack run riot while little Sophie was entertained by the baby swings.

All was well until a man and his infant son took up the swing next to us.

Unbelievably, he lit up a cigarette as he pushed the baby – who couldn’t have been more than a year old – in the middle of a very busy children’s playground.

I was horrified and, judging by other parents reactions, I wasn’t the only one.

I tried the not so subtle glares and coughs, but the man seemed oblivious and continued with his dirty habit.

“Excuse me,’’ I said. ‘‘Do you really think that is appropriate when you are surrounded by children?’’

I wish I could say the man apologised and stubbed it out, but he didn’t.

Instead he gave me a mouthful of abuse and continued to smoke, even when I pointed out the nearby ‘no smoking’ sign.

It took a dad who was also in the playpark with his kids, to come over and reiterate my request before the smoker stubbed it out and promptly left – just glancing back to give me a couple of dirty looks.

It put a real dampener on my lovely sunny day off and I was physically shaking by the time he left.

It may have been easier not to say anything, but I’m glad I stood my ground and saved the kiddies suffering for his dirty habit.