Monday, July 28, 2008

Summer Holidays



So, here I am, back up North after the mini-break. I was actually quite worried about the Isle of Wight by the time we left, early on Wednesday morning; various dubious descriptions of swirly wallpaper, terrible food, the 1980's and early departures in miserable drizzle had made me apprehensive. I had moved beyond irritation with Danny Boy, The Terminator and Lurch and had turned into a raging bull, sick of lost property, letters from the school about underachievement and my own unappreciated slave labour - I've been down that grim road many times before. The boys didn't appear keen to get in the car with me but Lurch was certainly enthusiastic, up early to wave us off with a cheery smile.





We had a great journey - I generally refuse to stop en route as I hate wasting time and money in service stations so the four hours south passed quite quickly with only a few of the usual complaints that I completely ignored. We got the Red Funnel ferry at Southampton and had the tent up and the barbecue on by 7.30pm. School friend and daughters were there to welcome and help us and we all started to relax.



We had a fantastic time, the weather was brilliant the campsite was lovely (Grange Farm in Brighstone) and we are all tanned, relaxed and renewed. The dynamics of a holiday with an old friend are completely different to family holidays. Lurch likes to 'crack on' and move around at high speed but we took the time to sit and chat and drink coffee at leisure. We discussed how stressed we were with the children and School Friend offered me honest appraisals and useful solutions to my family issues. I returned the favour. The Isle of Wight was lovely, we travelled around, had dinner in the pub or fish and chips (abandoned the effort of the barbecue after the first night) and we all went swimming in the sea.


School Friend and I drank wine by candlelight at night, gossiping about fellow campers and I spent some time reading. I only managed 1 book - The Secret Life of a Slummy Mummy by Fiona Neill, which I secretly really enjoyed. I also started Wild Decembers by Edna O'Brien but wasn't in the mood for atavistic knuckle-dragging tales, it reminded me too much of the tedious torture of my Portuguese literature finals.





By the end of the holiday family equilibrium was restored, I was feeling deep maternal love and affection when I handed them over at Pete and Wendy's to El Vel and Sean Sean the Leprechaun. The Terminator had spent every penny of his £10 holiday money on sweets and, in the space of four days, had become a walking Type 2 diabetes time bomb. Danny Boy's mop of hair made peripheral vision impossible and I gladly relinquished all responsibility to The Maestro. El Vel was in the starter's blocks itching to unleash order. Marigolds, Vanish and Sean's home-grown vegetables were primed and ready. I was so grateful but slightly ashamed that she is so much more competent than me.



Got back home and Lurch appeared very pleased to see me, still haven't quite worked out why, maybe he's started taking his malaria tablets for Zambia early and the side effects have already kicked in. Phoned the boys tonight to be told by The Terminator that he's a little bit bored because Grandma has banned all fighting but that he ate runner beans, poached salmon and new potatoes - no sweets. Danny Boy's hair has been cut and he has been lectured about the value of education and focus. They've also been swimming in the sea and played golf. They both want to move back South again as well and I must say I'm having second thoughts myself...

14 comments:

Suburbia said...

Camping this last weekend was the best wasn't it?!!
Sure I was about to write this bit (!);
"sick of lost property, letters from the school about underachievement and my own unappreciated slave labour"
Makes one feel human after all!

dottie said...

Sounds like you had a great time, and well deserved. Hope you enjoy the after-effects for some time to come. Isn't it amazing what kids will eat when they are away from home?
Thanks for visiting me, and the nice comment :)

KittyB said...

Sounds all a bit lovely, but noooo, you don't want to go South, it's sunny in Yorkshire and warm and everything. And the hills and moors and dales and coast and inbreds and flat caps and whippets. By 'eck, lass, it's reet grand.

Casdok said...

I love living down south!!
Lovely to hear that your holiday went well.

Working mum said...

Sounds like you had a well deserved break.

btw I think home really is where the heart is, North or South

Fern said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog.
I know what you mean about relaxing on holiday, ours have always been manic, trying to see and do everything, until last year when due to illness we had a very leisurely time just reading and dossing about, it was brilliant, I didn't need a hoilday to get over the holiday!

Blossomcottage said...

My family all came from IOW my Uncle was lighthouse keeper at St Catherines Lighthouse for many years. My Lovely Hubby now has a veterinary practice over there so we go over from time to time, not that I would be keen to live there. The Solent has got to be the most expensive piece of water in the world to cross! and BTW.
GOATS!!!!!!!!! yes they smell worse than worse. Give me a foul drain anyday! thanks for the visit.
Blossom

(Very) Lost in France said...

BTM - holidays with friends are so much more enjoyable than holidays with husbands! Glad you had a lovely time. VLiF

A Confused Take That Fan said...

Aah, sounds like you had a smashing time. As for North or South...the sun shines more down south but the people are friendlier up north...Working mum is right though, home is where the heart (and the boys) are...

blogthatmama said...

Suburbia, last weekend was brilliant for camping hope we can get another good weekend and go again soon!

Dottie that Terminator really plays me up with food but eats everything at my mum and dads!

Casdok, working mum, cttf and Kitty B it's hard when you've been brought up in one place and were happy there - visits always confuse me! It is reet grand oop North though..

Blossom you're right about the cost but how great to be a lighthouse keeper, what a job!

Fern I think we belt around so much that we never normally get a chance to relax and you're right VLiF it's v good fun with friends.

Off down South again now to collect the boys from their island hopping jaunts. Can't wait to see them now and spend some time with my parents.

Milla said...

you sound like me - not wanting to stop on service stations, early mornings, sit and chat, etc (well, apart from the tent, too much like hard work), but would love to borrow Grandma (does she do cleaning, too??)

Lindsay said...

Glad you had a good time. Living down South is just fine by us!

We had lightning strike on Monday and BT has taken 5 days to fix the broadband for all us villagers. We got really cross as we never received any info - all of us on different ISPs - the ISP's blamed BT and BT blamed the ISPs!

GoneBackSouth said...

Despite my blog name I'll offer no advice on whether to go back south or not!!! I recognise those feelings of pre-holiday blues though ... it feels better once you get going doesn't it? Glad things worked out on the Isle of Wight, swirly wallpaper 'n' all.

Mae said...

Those pictures are nice and sounds like an enjoyable time.