Posts Tagged ‘Holiday’

I shall write in full about the latest holiday with the children and Best Friend and Talented Art Director With Monkey Arms. For the moment, just let me record that it was the most brilliant fun, and that the children seemed to love every second of it: I had been slightly nervous of a week spent without electricity (and thus DSi, television etc.) but it did not bother them at all, and it was great to see how much time they spent outside, making up games, drawing and reading. Maybe a return to the Dark Ages is a necessity for every year’s holiday…

Needless to say Best Friend and Talented Art Director With Monkey Arms were both absolutely brilliant, and great fun to be around and made the whole thing even more fun that it would have been without them.

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A long time ago, in our pre-family days, when both Wife and I were working in advertising, she was due to get up early (4.30 a.m. early) for a shoot in Ibiza. The trouble was, the night before, she went out with her best friend: Sarcastic Six Footer. Sarcastic Six Footer is not only Wife’s bet friend, she is also her Drinking Nemesis – that person that we all have, with whom we drink ludicrous quantities of alcohol for no very good reason. The up-shot of this was that Wife was not home at 4.30 am and had a car due at 5am to take her to the shoot. She returned, at about 4.45am, cackling and swaying like a hen on the deck of the Titanic, and packed. I can’t imagine what she had been drinking, but it was something so potent that her packing for five days’ shooting in Ibiza comprised the following: three tee-shirt, five bras, five pairs of knickers and over fifteen floral hair accessories. No shoes. No skirts or trousers. No wonder she spent a small fortune in the shops at Duty Free to remedy her mistake.

I am pleased to see that this fault does not appear to be handed down to Daughter, who is taking our forthcoming five day break at Ickworth VERY seriously and has already done her packing, which currently extends to five bags, allows for her to change as frequently as a member of the Edwardian aristocracy, and almost covers the floor of her bedroom. As Wife muttered, when she saw the piles of clothes, toys and (cheeringly) hair accessories: “It’s five days in Suffolk. Not a bloody round the world cruise…”

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Le Camping

There are a few things that are bound to strike terror into any right-thinking mind: workshop, feminist physical theatre collective, Richard Littlejohn – and camping. All of these are things which I have viewed with a combination of suspicion and terror for a while now, but I am now ready to reassess one of them (and after The Power.book. it certainly isn’t feminist theatre collectives…): camping.

I have just come back from a week in the Charentes with the family (and three other families), and it was fantastic – even if it wasn’t quite “camping” (we were in a static home rather than under canvas). This was a vast and densely planted park in the grounds of a chateau, with four pools, a boules lawn and a pretty decent restaurant – and (although it was half-term) the place was half empty.

The children had the holiday of a lifetime, and the weather was superb – and it must be confessed that it would be a very different proposition if it hadn’t been – which meant that we spent a week swimming, barbecuing and catching up with the other families. The whole thing was accomplished for about a quarter of a similar experience in a hotel, or villa – and actually, the adventure of being in a mobile home added an almost unbearable frisson to the children’s (who thought that this is where we now lived and bore their newly altered circumstances with complete indifference, which was rather heartening) experience.

Next: I shall set myself the challenge of falling in love with the workshop (just as well, seeing as I’m running two of them for the next ten days in Singapore…) – but I fear that Littlejohn and I are just not meant to be…

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Saturday, 28th July 2007

The car journey to Newhaven should take 1 hour and 40 minutes. This morning, it took Wife (with Youngest Son and Daughter) over three hours: so they missed their boat. And there’s one boat a day.

Daughter’s commentary on this state of affairs was trenchant and uncompromising. She threw up and then pissed herself. Or, in the words of Youngest Son “She’s DISGUSTING. She started singing and yoghurt came out.” So, Wife has driven them to Brighton (well: first of all she drove to a Launderette) and they are booked into a hotel on the sea-front and – as I type – they are off in search of fish and chips (Daughter’s favourite thing), and a shark (Youngest Son’s favourite thing – although he has been eminently reasonable, and informed Wife that “A shark would be OK, Mama.” So that’s good news, at least.

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Tuesday, 31st July 2007

Not one of those drinking games played by medical students: rather it is Eldest Son’s traveling outfit quandary.

I have lobbied hard for Pirate, having found out that ONLY LAST WEEK included the venerable occasion of “Talk Like A Pirate For A Day”, and we both agreed that the head to toe Yoda outfit may prove to be a little too warm to be truly practical.

However: Batman has triumphed, so while I am dressed in standard issue “Englishman on Holiday” garb (although I HAVE by-passed the socks ‘n’ sandals looked so beloved of costume designers on shit TV dramas set on the Costa del Sol), Eldest Son is hitting the airport wearing a Batman T-Shirt, tights and a cape with PVC pointy bat ears and mask. He will also be carrying a bag with a large pumpkin embroidered on it…

See you in three weeks…

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The Welcome

Friday, 17th August 2007

It is rumoured that there are certain states under which adults are “really themselves” – whether it be at the rolling pitch of an argument, or in vino veritas. I don’t know if this is definitely the case, but I can attest to the fact that children are entirely true to their character when they are reunited with the father they haven’t seen in over a week.

Eldest Son (who had travelled with me) was naturally delighted to be reunited with his mother. Daughter was ecstatic to see me: yelping “Daddy! Daddy!” and burying her face in my leg and insisting on a protracted hug. Youngest Son gave me a glance fifteen years into the future: he may as well have been lying on the sofa, smoking with a beer in his hand, raising his leg to fart and murmur “Aw’ri Dad…”. I have seen him more excited about the revelation that there are still strawberry yoghurts left in the fridge than he was about my return.

Ho hum. At least Wife was pleased – and I was delighted to see all of them.

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Friday, 17th August 2007

1) Wine: magnificent. Much St.Emilion consumed, preceded by Kir Royale – every night.

2) Food: not all that great. While I think that it is true that the common standard of restaurant food is higher across France than it is in the UK, the standard of food available in supermarkets is avowedly NOT better in France. Either the UK has caught up at a giddying rate, or the standard in rural France (Charentes) is about as piss poor as one would expect it to be in Salford.

3) The people: FUCK, they’re ugly. Again, I am not disputing the chic that you can experience within a couple of feet of the Rue Faubourg St. Honore, but the people we saw (without exception) could have been on a casting call for Baldrick’s family in Blackadder.

4) The holiday: was great. Almost immediately relaxing, and (in spite of my phobias), I DO find the countryside a refreshing change from the pace of city life (especially when that’s bound up with work). We ate well  (by which I mean we cooked from scratch every night) and the children were happy enough to divert themselves for a coupel of hours every day playing either “Ghosties” (duvet over the head and running up and down the corridors shrieking), “Catties” (down on all fours and crawling up and down the corridors shrieking) or “Monsters” (standing up and shrieking).

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