THE travel writer Simon Calder has an amusing piece about the former seven-sector flight from Gatwick to Sydney.

"Before it was banned from Europe's skies, Garuda Indonesia provided a pleasingly slow-track to Australia." It went Gatwick to Zurich, on to Abu Dhabi where the "plane refuelled on the apron and the passengers refuelled in the duty-free".

Next was a sling in Singapore, on to Jakarta, Bali next, a stop in Melbourne and finally Sydney. Some flights have a +1 or +2 next to them - this had a +3.

"Jet lag was irrelevant: you had no idea what day, or indeed planet, you were on."

For my mum and I, who did this journey several times, it was an eight-sector flight because we had to get from Glasgow to Gatwick. I know this because I recently showed Ma Stewart Mr Calder's piece, thinking it would entertain her. 

She went upstairs to her bedroom and was able to immediately lay her hands on a menu from just this flight. I'd known we travelled a lot when I was small - and I have memories of various flights and various layovers - but I hadn't ever imagined we were regulars on the Garuda extravaganza.

I mention this because I would have been flying this route from the age of six months and doubt I was well behaved all of the time. I vividly remember the horrendous travel sickness I used to suffer as a child and I cannot imagine how many passengers would have had to endure my relentless vomiting.

Apologies to you all. 

My mum, however, speaks of nothing but kindness from her fellow travellers and the air stewards. Is this good luck or have people become less tolerant of children in public spaces? 

Last week I boarded a 13 hour flight and, full transparency, my heart sank when I saw my nearest seat mates. In the immediate rows around were seven young children and two babes in arms. 

It doesn't gladden the spirit, young kids on long haul journeys. But if I, an adult on a fun adventure, am knackered and in need of peace, imagine how those parents must feel? A bit of empathy is vital.

Yet not so for everyone. Two incidents on planes have recently gone viral.

One was video footage of cabin crew asking a pregnant woman to clear up after her child. The other, the more volcanic of the two, was a disgruntled man baby who chucked a tanty over a crying baby on his flight.

This went viral due to his screamed retort in response to complaints of him shouting: "So is the baby! Did that mother****er pay extra to yell?"

Those who either had angel children, no children or are just unsympathetic grouches make the case that babies should be neither seen nor heard in certain spaces. But I was really struck by the increasing hostility towards kids when I saw a post on social media from a local mother.

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Her little boy has autism and she has found people in our community so difficult and unhelpful she felt the need to share a photo of her son with an explanation for his behaviour. The post came with a plea for tolerance and for the child to be treated compassionately.

Particularly, in a time of increased awareness of learning disabilities, what a a damning indictment. I hope her post has the desired outcome and those it's aimed at feel a decent amount of shame.

Children belong in museums and libraries, pubs and restaurants. The desire to remove them from these spaces should be a minority position and yet this intolerance is becoming increasingly normalised. 

Hostility towards children is a failure to accept that you are part of society and children are part of society. No matter whether you're a parent or not, children are the collective responsibility of everyone they come into contact with - even if that's just a stranger modelling decent behaviour in public. 

If you can't keep a lid on your temper because of the mild irritation caused by a noisy child perhaps you ought to stay home. Maybe spend some time on the naughty step and think about what you've done.