Friday, 29 April 2011

Five Days

Back from the caravan, back to reality. I was looking forward to getting home, cabin fever had started to set in. The closer we got to the house, the greyer the skies became and a small pang of sadness stirred. Being near the sea and experiencing bright, warm weather for five days was invigorating. Home, open door after a struggle with the pile of mail. "Look mum! Pizza letter, chippies letter, mmm!" All the mail bar one letter was junk;  take-away leaflets and charity clothing bags.The smell was pretty grim, a festering wee left in the upstairs toilet, and a damp, mildew dishcloth which had been basking in the sun all folded up on the draining board. Tiredness stung my eyes, I averaged 3 hours solid sleep per night, maybe another 2 of broken sleep. Long walks, picnics, eldest son's constant itinery/timetable requests, middle son's incessant chatter, and youngest son's worrying lack of health and safety concern to  contend with, it starts to wear you down.
The break wasn't meant to be a 'holiday' as such, more a change of scene. The pleasant weather afforded us a trip to Barry Island (or Barry's Island as we like to call it). I don't have a problem with Barry Island, I like it and have nothing but fond memories of the place. Sure, a bulldozer, several hundred million pounds, a ban on bikinis for the morbidly obese, and on anyone unless it's over 25 degrees would improve it, but it 'does the job'. Ice-cream, sand, chips, fair rides, and a coastal walk in the sun-the quintessential beach trip. Another day, we happened upon Nash Point Lighthouse after taking a wrong turn. We'd promised the boys ducks to feed, but got lambs and a lighthouse instead. The elderly and rather too helpful couple who ran the small cafe and took £1.50 for the car park suggested we walk over to the lighthouse, and go "all the way to the top".   This seemed to appease middle son, who was still feeling short-changed about the lack of ducks. It was quite a trek for small, tired legs. When we got near to the gate I saw a large sign which read 'Lighthouse Open' promising. When we reached the gate, I noted it also read 'Wed, Sat and Sun pm' (it was Thursday). Amusingly, a smaller sign read; 'also open Monday, Tuesday and Friday'. How we laughed (maybe 2 of us laughed).
We trekked back to the car to get the picnic, I stopped to tell the cafe couple that the lighthouse was closed, they replied "we know", what a pair they were. The next dubious bit of advice they offered was to climb down the steep, rocky embankment to enjoy our picnic at a spot which is "at least 10 degrees warmer". I asked if the pushchair would make it, they said yes (more bad advice). The picnic was successful, it was a scenic spot and the planes leaving Rhoose Airport at regular intervals and flying low overhead were a good distraction for the boys.
My mum arrived at the caravan last night, and was keen to watch the wedding this morning. I was astounded at her knowledge regarding this wedding and the history of the royal family (never usually mentions the royals). Mum relished the chance to have a pop at princess Di and Elton John, some of her opinions and commentary would have been great on youtube. "The Queen only likes men,I can't think of a single woman she likes". "Boris Johnson was a beautiful baby, look at him now". "What's happened to David Beckham's face, I think it's mask, he's going to pull it off half way through the wedding. "Oh, look at that poor old boiler, wobbling,  you can tell she's not used to wearing heels-they took the camera off her sharpish". "Beatrice and Eugenie are funny looking things aren't they? Eyes like cartoon characters' when they pop out"...
Just as Kate was about to emerge from the Rolls Royce, all serene and magnificent, middle son decided to expel five days worth of high-carbohydrate foods, filling his entire trouser leg and somehow smearing most of his midriff. Straight to the shower with him.
 Full of shit, that's my family. It is good to be home.


  1. Cafe couple - what a pair of I remember at school people would always go on about Barry Butlins - for years I thought he was some kind of holiday Redcoat. Caswell had some attractive characters too, for some reason I had 'Fat Children' by Jarvis Cocker running through my mind most of the time...

    Thanks for your lovely comments, you know I always enjoy reading your blog too x

  2. I really enjoy your blog and the way you write; you draw on detail that I don't often read in blogs but which I think many of us will recognise. I particularly empathised with your reflections on your mum's commentary about the Royal Wedding because a similar thing happened in our household yesterday. I love my mum and dad but really I just wanted to watch the wedding and not put up with a constant commentary. Instead I had to put up with criticism about Eugenie and Beatrices outfits, why David Cameron's wife wasn't wearing a hat, David Beckham and how bad Elton John looked. Its a good job we don't have a Royal Wedding every year; I couldn't cope.

  3. Hello,

    Glad to hear you enjoyed your holiday, I am jealous you got away in a caravan, five in blooming garden AND NOT ONE ROAD WORTHY! I have missed your witty comments, funny how you don't realise you miss something until its not there, (or is it, did that last statement make any sense?!) x


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