Four kids and a ****.....

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

...... in a van is like PMT on acid. Feel free to use your own poetic licence with the asterixes! For my part it's an inappropriate, politically incorrect, term of endearment for my husband and his bilateral prosthetic hips!

Just had a few days away with some fantastic friends and laughed so much I've bought shares in Tena Lady. Some of us camped, others glamped/seriously glamped and the less hardy among us, me included, took the 'luxury' option and hired a caravan.

I use the term 'luxury' loosely, very loosely, as in reality caravans are more like glorified sheds. They are just too small and I felt like Gulliver in the limited time I spent in 'the van' but with fellow giants for company and not Lilliputians.

Everywhere I turned I tripped over somebody and those with their own hip joints moaned less about this than those without! In spite of being inhabited by giants the beds were constructed for Lilliputians too, well the single ones at least. Not that it really mattered where anybody planned or wanted to sleep as this changed as frequently as the weather and the moods of the teenagers amongst us.

We did settle into a pattern that consisted of me sleeping with my youngest child who was most comfortable as my human wardrobe and has now been renamed 'Hat Patrick'. Whilst six people in a caravan dictated that we had to wash, none of us really wanted to brave the trickle of water that was our shower, least of all me! Of Irish extract, I have 'a fine head of hair' that is thick and long and I was relieved to have had the forethought that the caravan shower wouldn't be up to it and washed it before I left home.

Of the 'resort', it was what you would expect: entertainment in the form of human size bunnies 'throwing some shapes' and failed X Factor contestants, although we all wholeheartedly joined in with the rendition of Black Lace's 'Superman'! As my husband suggested 'there's got to be an easier way of getting an equity card' and in fairness the 'entertainers' worked hard for their money.

It was less tolerable in the morning, without a glass of wine, whilst queuing for the communal bath or rather swimming pool which ultimately I wasn't brave enough to dip my toe in due to the chlorine fumes inhibiting my ability to breathe or see.

When separated from my posse it is fair to say I felt as if I'd been dumped on another planet with all the people I was scared of at school.

Enough 'Hi-De-Hi' bashing, that's all irrelevant. What matters is who you are with not where you are.

Everybody mucked into together, nobody stressed or worried about where the next meal was coming from or what we did with our time, we were all just happy 'to be', together. We all accept and embrace each other for who we are, laugh at each other and love each other. Even better the kids bought into that too and it was magical to see them flourish in a freedom that modern life often inhibits. My thanks for a successful jolly goes to my lovely friends and their families for inviting me to share time with them. I feel truly blessed to have you all in my life and am looking forward to our next adventure.

I will ensure I hang a bucket around Patrick's neck on the journey home next time to prevent the three other children holding their noses and subjecting me to a constant barrage of 'eww it stinks' and 'I'm not sitting next to him' all the way home interspersed with 'are we nearly there yet?' and 'how much longer?'.

Home and confronted with the usual routine of tea time, bath time, bed time and the inevitable feeding of the washer, Patrick protested he was 'bored' and 'missing all his friends'. I didn't scold him as I would normally but reassured him that I understood how he felt as I was missing them all too.