Sunday, 23 April 2017

Week 257- day time discos, shit reviews and holidaying like its 1983...

I’ve just been on a holiday for four nights for eighty quid for a family of four.

Let me recap. Four nights. Eighty quid. Four of us.

That’s a fiver each a night.

They say you get what you pay for.

Well.

I expected a fivers worth of holiday and I got at least that.

The offer was through the paper, and as an obsessive bargain hunter, I was all over it.  

Our best mates, who also like a good bargain, did the same.

You chose your resort online, put in the codes and Bob’s your Uncle, blah blah blah.

Thing is, I hadn’t really looked at what the resort was like other than it was less than a couple of hours drive and we had visited the nearby beach before, which was beautiful.

So it was a bit of a surprise when my mate e-mailed me one of what turned out to be thousands of awful reviews.

By awful I mean fucking horrendous.

The most recent of which, which must have been submitted whilst we were staying there, include:

The only good thing is the arcade if I'm honest but just bear in mind to bring plenty of money cause that's really all there is to do.

Food vile, staff were so rude, no activities were open. 

Please don't go here, I can't think of anything positive to say about the place.

I don't advise anyone to go there and certainly not if you have a medical condition. 

Or my personal favourite:

I THINK THIS PLACE NEEDS SMASHING TO THE GROUND.

‘Crumbs,’ I thought. ‘This is no Butlins.’


The local shop. 

But, bearing in mind we spend most holidays crammed in a hot tent using a rolled up coat for a pillow and squatting around a one ring gas stove to cook, this sounded like luxury.

And forewarned is forearmed as someone once said.

So equipped with our own bedding, pans, litres of Detol and enough booze to forget the whole holiday if necessary, we set off.

Now, the only thing I like better than a bargain is a bit of retro/ nostalgia.

And shit me, this place was bursting with it.

From the sticky-floored nightclub that stunk of fags where we were greeted by the Blue Coats who enthusiastically gave us our room keys, to the council estate/ prison-style layout of apartments.

It was like living out an episode of Phoenix Nights/ Prisoner Cell Block H. Both of which, I should emphasise, I LOVE.

OK, so the lawn in front of our flats was more fag butts than grass, but, as long as you weren’t planning to sunbathe there, then it was fine.

And a swing park on every corner meant the kids went absolutely mental for this place.

An all-time high for me was going to a disco at 11am with the children on the first full day, where the Blue Coats took them through the dance moves to Agadoo, Superman, and the Fast Food Song, all of which I knew so well I was half hoping that I might win the Easter egg prize for best dancer.

These songs would become the soundtrack to our holiday.

That and one about a Big Fish swimming in the sea that is set to a kind of gabba sound track.


Larging it in Lunars. 


Every time I walked past the reception the queue of people waiting to complain was getting bigger, whilst we were having a total ball.

And I realised, however obvious this is, as long as the kids are going nuts for it, you’ve got good friends to hang out with yourself, and enough wine to sink a ship, it really doesn’t matter where you are.

Even if you’re sleeping on a torn pleather sofa that doubles up as queen size bed.

So here’s to shit holidays.

And good friends.

And making sure that you never stay for longer than four nights.

As Donna from East London put it better in her review: Yes, the apartment is tired, and it is very basic, but if you want better.......don't be so bloody stingy and stay in a hotel! Let's face it, if you stay in budget accommodation here it's cheaper than the YMCA or a youth hostel at £69 for 3 nights. YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!!!!!!


Sunday, 2 April 2017

Week 254- marriage, Michael Jackson and Man in the Mirror...

I’m going to be 40 next year.

I’m getting married in four months.

I have two children under the age of six.

I’m supposed to be a grown up.

But something happens after a couple of beers on a night out.

I think I’m a rockstar.

I have no off button, no ‘it’s time to go home’ instinct.

It’s like I forget that I’m probably going to be up at 6am.

Or that the questions such as ‘why is the sun shining?’ or ‘why can’t cats fly?’ or ‘is Daddy’s real name Daddy?’ start from that point onwards.

I need to remind myself before I go out that:

a) I am not a Michael Jackson impersonator.

b) Not everyone wants to see me lip sync to Man in The Mirror (even if I do all the moves VERY WELL.)



And

c) When the pub DJ says they do not take requests, that normally means they do not take requests the first time I ask them or the twentieth for that matter.

These are great life lessons, and ones I hope to impart to my children on day.

Once I’ve started taking heed of them myself, obviously.



Sunday, 26 March 2017

Week 253- eyeballs, A and E and our excellent NHS...

So- date night.

Take away.

Done.

Bottle of wine.

Done.

Mind-numbing film that doesn’t involve too much thinking.

Done and done.

In fact the movie was so successfully dull that I nodded off halfway through, which is a bit of a signature move.

Only to wake at 3am sat upright on the sofa with a blanket over me like an old lady.

This is the level of sexy I operate to these days.

It was then I realised that I still had my contact lenses in and that one had totally disappeared down the back of my eye.

Now, I like to think I’m calm in a crisis.

That I don’t get worked up about the small stuff.

So I did what any level headed 30 something, mother-of-two would do.

I panicked my face off, poked around so much with my eyeball that it was so sore I couldn’t open it.

Then woke Ben up by ugly-crying and blubbing that I thought I was going to go blind.

One phone call to NHS Direct later and I’m in a taxi to A and E with a taxi driver who kept reassuringly telling me they'll just 'pop your eye out.' 

He said it about a hundred times. 

'It's fine, they just pop your eye out.'

'Just pop it out, then pop it back in again.'

There’s nothing like queuing up with people who have dislocated their shoulders, broken a foot or have an open head wound to make you feel like a bit of a weaner with your lost contact lens.

But, as is the nature of our excellent NHS, no-one made me feel like a dick.

They sorted my eye out, gave me some antibiotic cream and sent me on my way.

And by 5am I was back in bed, with a pointless one hour of sleep before the children woke up.

Not the best date night to so far.

But on the bright side, it can only get better. 

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Week 252- bathrooms, B and Q and brilliant ideas...

You know how you have those moments when everything comes together and you feel all content and calm, and look at your family and home and think, yep, I’ve got this shit nailed?

No. Me neither.

So I had this brilliant idea that now would be the time to do up our old lady bathroom.

That I couldn’t have another bath looking up at the apricot polystyrene tiles on the ceiling.

That the sink that has been fitted inside a kitchen unit, (that’s right, someone had the fantastic idea to build a kitchen unit in a bathroom,) was losing its quirky charm.

I could have done a bit or research.

Worked out what we wanted.

Costed it up.

Got some drawings or whatever it is you do done.

That would have been the sensible thing to do.

Alternatively, I could have just thought fuck it, I’ll get the wall knocked down and then work out what the fuck we’re doing afterwards.

So. There is one minor problem here.

Actually there’s loads if you think we now have to go to a neighbours to bath the kids until we get our shit together, but on the plus side my gym membership is finally paying off with using their shower every other day.

But the main problemo is our totally change averse two-year-old.

I had tried to warn him that the bathroom might look a tad different when we were driving home from the childminders.

I could see him clenching his little firsts and sucking his lip in, gearing up for the mother of all mardies.

But I reckon half the street could here his screams of ‘FIX IT! FIX IT! FIX IT!’ as he looked at the half torn down wall.

I kind of get what he means.



This doesn’t scream 'long soak listening to radio four with the candles lit.'

But it will.

I will have an aspirational bathroom that cries out how together my life is.

Then I’m going to build my life around it.

I’m just one B and Q bathroom planning session away from being a grown up.



Sunday, 5 March 2017

Week 250- potties, poo and pissing on the table...

I had forgotten how 100% disgusting potty training it.

I think it’s like birth.

Your brain cancels out the pain; otherwise you’d insist that your child wears a nappy until they turn eighteen.

It’s not just the that wee and shit gets EVERYWHERE.

It’s the number of times a day you find yourself saying in a loud shouty yet trying to be encouraging voice, ‘do you need a wee? do you need a poo? do you need a wee? do you need a poo? do you need a wee? do you need a poo? do you need a wee? do you need a poo? do you need a wee? do you need a poo? do you need a wee? do you need a poo? do you need a wee? do you need a poo?’ whilst chasing a two-year-old around a packed playground with a potty.

But that’s all part of the job, right?

That’s part of the pay off of having these little creatures who love you unconditionally and think you’re the best thing ever.

What is not part of the deal is your little boy climbing onto the kitchen table when you’ve left the room for less than two seconds and weeing all over the table whilst your five year old is eating her breakfast.

Seriously?

Pissing on the table.

‘What are you doing??’ I ask in total despair.

And his response?

‘You’re my best friend.’

It’s like living with the drunk friend who is a fucking nightmare to go out with, but always manages to charm you round the next day even though they’ve ripped your favourite top they’d borrowed without asking and puked and missed the loo in the shared bathroom.

If this is him at age two, what do the teenage years hold?


Kill. Me. Now.