25 MARCH 2006, Page 53

Q. One Saturday, a fellow pupil of my daughter’s was

taken home for the weekend by a helicopter which landed on the school’s playing fields. Totally unfazed by this unusual transport, the girl explained that Mummy had taken the Mercedes and Daddy would not bring the Aston Martin because he said it was too low-slung to clear the trafficcalming bumps on the school drive. He therefore flew over in his helicopter. I thought this might add a certain perspective to E.D.G’s dilemma (11 February) as to whether to take a green Granada or the decaying Fiat Panda to school functions.

D.I.B., North Yorkshire A. Thank you for supplying this anecdote. It was indeed insensitive of the parents to send the helicopter to school. In the past the girl’s peers might well have been impressed by such a James Bond-like gesture. Nowadays, however, the parent arriving in a hybrid car like the Toyota Prius would score many more cool points than the eco-lout in the chopper.