Adults Only?

The older I get, the more I feel the need for places that cater to over-16s only - or at least more places that have over-16 nights and such. I very much hope I'm not being discriminatory; it's just sometimes...well...let me explain.

I don't hate kids with a violent passion, but I'm not particularly keen on them either. I like some (my friend's two younger brothers are sometimes quite difficult to deal with, for various reasons, but both utterly adorable) and not others, just as I like some adults and not others; it's really that simple. I don't see why I should fawn over your child simply because they're small, and I will fawn over them even less if they get in my way and they're noisy (I have an anxiety condition that is aggravated by loud noises, and aggravating a condition that causes me to spasm uncontrollably and feel like I'm about to die from fear is not the best way to get me to like you). And while I don't expect or want your sprogs to be shut in the house all the time and don't expect them to cater to my every whim, I do sometimes want adult time.

Take museums, for example. I know how geeky this sounds, but I love going out to museums and have done ever since I was a child and my dad used to take me to the Natural History Museum. I get a sense of wonder from seeing and learning about new things - an almost childlike sense of wonder, in fact.

I don't want children to ever be deprived of that experience, as ultimately going to museums sparked my fascination with science and led to me wanting to become a physicist. But adults shouldn't be deprived of that experience either.

Now take the Horniman Museum in south London (you can stop giggling now, it's a real place). It's an awesomely weird set of buildings surrounded by 16 acres of gardens and houses a variety of odd and rare things collected by Frederick John Horniman, a collector and heir to Horniman's Tea, at one point the biggest tea company in the world - including a giant stuffed walrus, along with several interesting but terribly stuffed Victorian exhibits - and I went there last Saturday with my boyfriend for fun.

I am a small woman and can usually worm into even the tiniest of spaces, but I found it annoyingly difficult to move around in the room housing their natural history exhibit due to the young children running around and baby buggies that practically dwarfed me (seriously, why are they so big?). In all fairness, this was mostly my fault for turning up during their Halloween event and most of the other rooms were fairly quiet, but it still makes me wish we had more adult-only times - I know there are certain events already - at museums and restaurants. I don't begrudge children their times to go out, but occasionally I'd like some peace and quiet and more adult-oriented activities.