Jaqui's Daily Blog

I Am Not Sure I Can Compete

I am not sure I am going to be able to compete...


Not that I am super-competitive, you understand, at least not within my immediate family all of whom take after Mr B in the Competitive Stakes. Why, every Boxing Day of my Foursome’s childhood was marked by the Ball Family Championship which always ended in Total Carnage with all six of us vowing we would never, ever hold such a championship again. Come the following Boxing Day and, yes, as usual you are there before me, they were setting out the first of many board games on the table almost before I had cleared it of the breakfast crockery. I only ever won one game - Boggle - though I have a horrible feeling that if we played it again, My Boy would beat me these days. 


However for once we are not talking about board games - we are talking sun-tan, sand, sea and swimming. In short, the Trio of Rampaging Rascals are on their way home from an extended holiday in Spain during which, according to their proud mamma (Middle of the Darling Daughters) they have learnt to swim without armbands, have built a sandcastle every single day, have romped in a sea which never goes out, and are “as brown as berries.” 


As I said earlier, I simply cannot compete on any front and my deficiencies will be only too obvious when the Trio descend on the annual Family Beach Day this coming Sunday. It will be a Red Letter Day because every one of our Tremendous Ten grandchildren (plus assorted parents) will be in attendance. Good heavens, I won’t have enough arms (all the better to hug them with), or laps (all the better to be sat upon.) There will, however, be enough love to go round.


So, let’s take the “brown as berries” challenge. Despite our glorious summer I have not managed to be more than occasionally sun-kissed on the return from a day on the beach. Generally, my complexion can best be described as “pale and interesting” which is not a good look when compared with a brown-as-berries Trio. Some days I have managed to be both sun-kissed and pale and interesting, hence resembling coconut ice.


Then there’s the swimming. Apparently, all three Rampaging Rascals can now swim front crawl. I discussed this with my Little Sister this morning via FaceTime - we were both taught to swim by our dear Dad who unfortunately taught us both breast-stroke. Neither of us has ever aspired to swim any other stroke, though we both rather envy those who do. Now even the Rascals have stolen a march on me. I understand that they have even taken up snorkelling; I once ventured to snorkel when on holiday with my sister (she of the companionable breast-stroke) and her fella. As I understand it, my bottoms-up posture in the water and my drenched rat appearance when I eventually emerged caused much hilarity among my attentive audience. My brother-in-law awarded me a DipSnork for effort. I am led to believe I am the sole recipient of this illustrious diploma.


I have written before about the amazing sandcastles being created out there in Sunny Spain by the Trio and their parents and how I am aware that my reputation as Doyen of Sandcastles is under threat. As far as the Family Beach Day is concerned I am not quite so concerned about this because sandcastling is always a joint effort on these days out so everyone’s contribution will be equally valued. And I’m in charge, so there’s no arguing about that.


Finally, there’s the question of the sea. The Trio have spent every single day of their holiday on beautiful Guardamar beach where the sea never goes out. Our Family Beach Day will be, as almost always, at Lovely Littlehampton where the sea will not be quite so warm, where the beach will not be quite so sandy, where we will be depending on the timing of high and low tides to determine which activities will begin and end our day. Despite all this, Littlehampton is my favourite seaside, among many favourite seasides, because of all the many happy memories it holds for me. What will the Trio say on their return?


I needn’t have worried. The Middle of the Darling Daughters messages me to say the family is on the way home and that the Trio are looking forward with great excitement to Family Beach Day “on Nanni’s beach, where the sea can be far away...”

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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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