The good news is that in just under two weeks time we are off on holiday.
The bad news is, as communicated to me by Mr B
this morning the moment I emerged from my bed and trundled downstairs in my polar bear dressing gown, is that our holiday destination (Sound of Music country, you may remember) is beset by storms and flooding. Two months of rain has fallen in just two
days, causing widespread devastation. Mr B has turned overnight into Mr Doom and Gloom and pronounces his considered verdict that This Does Not Bode Well.
incapable of giving this information the necessary level of careful consideration on an empty stomach (I am, as you know, Always Thinking About My Stomach) so I wander into the kitchen to fortify myself with Special K and raisins. I need to marshal
my thoughts so that I can respond with confidence to the bad news.
Now here’s the thing: this is the first year ever that I have chosen our holiday destination,
our hotel accommodation and our itinerary. Usually it is Mr B who researches, explores, questions and finally books our annual holidays. Not without my agreement, you understand, but I have come to trust his judgement implicitly. He has an uncanny knack
of reading between the lines of holiday brochures and coming up with the best possible options for a carefree and fabulously indulgent holiday.
This year he let
me choose. He hasn’t said anything as yet but I can’t help thinking that On My Head Be It...
Last week My Boy, his wife and my three Little Welsh Boys
enjoyed a half-term holiday at Butlins in Minehead. Ah, Butlins! How I remember those holidays long ago, when Our Foursome were small and Mr B and I swept them all off to Butlins, Bognor Regis two years running. I don’t think I will ever
forget the look of utter amazement on the Youngest of the Darling Daughters’ face when she happened upon a great hall full of roundabouts and realised that they were all free. She was giddy with excitement – though not, it has to be said, quite
so giddy as she was by the time she had sampled the delights of each and every roundabout in the hall (several more than once.)
Meals were served in a kind of
refectory set up in tables for eight people. Presumably because it was felt that nobody would want to share with us, we had a table all to ourselves and received food for eight, instead of for six, which went down very well with all the family.
Our children have always been “joiners” – as in, people who join in everything that’s going. So a holiday camp was perfect for them, with its merry
round of games and quite incessant jollity. A donkey race? Right up our street. Sports day? We’re lining up at the start already. Any kind of competition? Count us in.
My favourite time was the evening “enty-tainment” (as the littl’uns called it.) The kids enjoyed orange juice and crisps, Mr B and I had a “proper drink”, everyone danced like maniacs on the ballroom floor (I seem to remember
“Brown Girl in the Ring” by Boney M being played over and over again.) Then at 9 p.m. prompt, the evening’s Big Event – the Knobbly Knees Competition or Glamorous Granny or Miss Butlins – you name it, my Foursome sat transfixed.
After which it was “all children off the dance floor” so we would head off back to our chalet (oh, hi-de-hi!) and an early night.
When I heard My Boy
and his family were at Butlins I couldn’t resist asking him about the 2013 equivalent of Toot and Ploot. Toot and Ploot, for those who have never had the undoubted pleasure of meeting them, were the aliens who met all the happy holiday-makers when they
arrived at Butlins, Bognor Regis back in 1977. I was a trifle disappointed when My Boy confessed that he couldn’t remember Toot and Ploot. I should have thought they were, well, unforgettable.
Which is what all the best holidays should be. I’m just hoping, fingers crossed, that our 2013 holiday (as chosen by me, myself and I alone, as Mr B will no doubt constantly remind me) is unforgettable for
all the right reasons....