Friday, 1 June 2012

Blog from Butlins

Pleasure and pain. I’ve had a week of both. This week I have been on holiday in Minehead at Butlins. Minehead is in Somerset, about a 5-6 hour drive from Blackpool. It started off so well, sandwiches packed, everything planned for a great week of activities and fun. But I should know by now it’s never going to go that easily.

I relived that fear a child gets when they get lost, only worse. 23 miles from Butlins, about 4-5 hours away from home, our car started to clang and died on the motorway. We haven’t got RAC or AA cover, so we sat, baking in a car with 3 small children who had no drinks left. We sat there in the hard shoulder a long way from home and help and tried to start it to no avail. So I proceeded to panic and swear a lot. I googled recovery companies on my phone and rang one who offered to come out after I shelled out £108 quid there and then (they got the cash first of course). I sat there and listened to ‘Rescue me’ played on hold, yes, they really played it on a loop. Bastards.  So I sat there with 2 panicking kids and a 2 year old who likes climbing out of his car seat and doing a runner. There’s the pain.

I never thought I’d have delight at seeing a recovery truck driver, but as he sailed towards us with a ruddy surly face he may as well have been draped in the glow of a saint. I almost didn’t mind handing over the extra mileage cash we were fleeced for.

Our car is dead, completely unfixable. Apparently “The big end has gone” (fnar) is a real thing not just something bald cockney mechanics on the telly say.  We’ve had to shell out £200 for a hellish 5-6 hour train journey home today. Lots of luggage to carry, a buggy, sick husband, a toddler and 2 excitable boys. Pain. There’s not enough colouring books and smothering parental attention in the world to counteract the sound wall of tutting and huffing I receive on the train from passengers. On all 3 trains and 1 bus. 9 and a ½ hours.  But the holiday was pretty good; seeing the kids thoroughly delighted at all the fun things geared at them is worth it.

It’s worth staying in a shabby bungalow which hasn’t had new windows since they were built.  That my 2 year old has decided he’s going to spend the whole holiday climbing out of and running as fast as he can away before I get to the door. He spent an hour last night doing it on a loop in every room. ‘Are you half dressed mother? I think I’ll try the bedroom window that you have to go around the block to grab me when you’re in jeans and bra and traumatise the gardeners.’  At 7am. But he giggled when I aimed the bumper boat directly at his dad’s boat and made dad look like he’d peed himself so all is forgiven.

It’s worth the pain of watching a redcoat dressed as Bob the builder while children run around me screeching for blue candyfloss and puking. My son’s face was a picture, he actually thought Bob was someone he could take home and tried to get on the stage several times before he was restrained. Those Redcoats are like ninjas. The pain of the Spar here charging £5 for a packet of crisps is worth 3 kids doing things I can’t afford to do with them the rest of the year. It’s not posh, it’s not abroad and I don’t end up sipping fancy cocktails or relaxing, but they love it.  I’m now exhausted after my holiday, and need a break. But the pain to give my kids pleasure is outweighed by their joy.  

I have now come home to the news that we have won the Radio Wave award! The pain of self doubt and hair tearing every Friday morning as I wonder what to write is very much worth it all now! Thanks everyone for voting for us!


Ashley R Lister said...

It sounds like you've been making memories for those kids that they will treasure for the rest of their lives.

Sorry to hear about your big end. But I'm glad you're back safe and blogging again.

And I have to agree - it's obvious that we're being read and meeting with approval. My report from the ceremony will be posted tomorrow morning.


Danielle Rose said...

The whole car bit if fucking awful and £5 for crisps! However it sounds like the kids had a great time. Missed you xx