Eight Reasons to Suspect Your Chosen Holiday Destination is Middle Class.

>> Friday, 28 July 2017

1)  Every second child playing Wholesome Outdoor Games on the beach is called Saskia, Lolly, Sophia, Algie, or Fred.

2) Red shorts, red trousers.  Everywhere.

3)  It appears to be a legal requirement to have a dog, to the extent that you begin to wonder if there is a check-point at the edge of town refusing entry to those families who turn up without them. (You personally don't own a dog, but congratulate yourself for having taken the precaution of borrowing one for the duration of your holiday.  Although - picking up pooh.  Do people really do this ALL the time?).

4) Said dog must be either a Jack Russell, Border Terrier, Labrador (any colour acceptable), Golden Retriever, or a Springer or Cocker Spaniel.  (Your borrowed dog is a Labrador / Cocker Spaniel cross.  So THAT's a relief).

5)  The dog's name must be Saskia, Lolly, Sophia, Algie or Fred.

6)  You walk into a shop looking for a friend who has wandered off and ask the sales assistant if she's seen her.  The conversation goes as follows:

Me: 'Is my friend in the changing rooms?  She's wearing a blue & white striped top.'

Sales Assistant - without missing a beat: 'You mean, like everyone else in town at the moment?'

7)  The narrow streets of the town are clogged with people, children, and dogs, and things get somewhat fraught when a random parent calls out to their child (using, of course, a name from the prescribed list) and assorted toddlers and dogs strain at the leash to see who is summoning them, tripping up their red-trousered matelot-top wearing parents' and / or owners as they do so.

8)  The same narrow streets are regularly jammed by traffic in the middle of the day, not by holiday makers hopelessly circumnavigating the town in their shiny 4x4's hunting for the El Dorado of an available parking space (they do at least keep moving, even if it is at snail's pace), but by Waitrose and Ocado vans driven by dead-eyed men and women trying to deliver halloumi and couscous to the hungry masses.


Please Note:

No, I'm not telling you where this is.  I'm far too busy shaking the sand out of my deck shoes, sorting whites from coloureds (red shorts have a tendency to run when washed with blue & white striped tops), and hunting through the cupboards for some couscous to serve with a delicious grilled halloumi salad for dinner tonight.



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That thing when...

>> Thursday, 6 July 2017

... you click on your child's school Twitter feed, hoping to see a picture of them enjoying themselves on their week away doing Wholesome Outdoor Activities, but knowing it's something of a fool's errand because previous experience has shown that they are clearly working on their camera avoidance skills (perhaps they have a great future ahead as a spy?), as they NEVER appear on photos on these trips. Every other child in the class seems to appear with impressive regularity, but yours?  No.

Yes - I know all about that.

But this year, bloggie mates, I made Arrangements to Deal with It.

This year, I bought said child a red baseball hat, and ensured that not one but two red fleeces made it into the suitcase.  Not only would he be visible - if he DID make it into the shot - but based on my admittedly limited understanding of what teachers look for when they point and shoot, a child in a bright colour makes a much better subject than one in navy, black or dark grey.

I know - it's a long shot.  Truthfully, I never really thought it would work.

Today, however, I clicked on the school's feed and there he was; Boy #2 in a starring role kayaking, on climbing walls, hanging out with his mates whilst waiting for another day of Wholesomeness Outdoors, and so on.  All the while in red hat, fleece, or both.

Well, friends, that did it; I got cocky and decided that if Boy #2 was so highly visible then his older brother - far less camera-shy - must be visible in at least a couple of photos of HIS school trip.

But no.  Not a whiff of him, kayaking, climbing or otherwise.  And you know why?  No red baseball hat, no red fleece, that's why.

Lesson learned.






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Breaking out of stasis

>> Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Tick, tick, tick...

I think the world might be trying to tell me something.  On facebook this last week I've been assailed with suggestions that I might like to look at posts featuring activities for Empty Nesters.  Has someone told them both my children are away on activity weeks with their school?  And if they have been told, why would fb then think it a good idea to follow up that suggestion with a link to a new scary movie; 'It Comes At Night'?  Why, fb, why?  For all they know, I'm alone in the house this week.  And even though I'm not (alone, that is), I am SO not going to click on a link to a movie that will make it even more difficult to get to sleep in a draughty old house on the occasions that I am...

And then, to add insult to injury, when I checked my email this morning there was an ad in the sidebar from Boots, inviting me to 'Stay Dry and Confident' with incontinence pants.

I used to like you, Boots.

The thing is, I don't actually feel my age.  Yes, I'm 50.  But I feel somewhere in my mid 30's. Having kids a bit later can do that for you, I think.  Well, either that, or it will make you feel somewhere around 70 when they roll their eyes with embarrassment as you try unsuccessfully to stay relevant and up-to-date with their latest musical crush - but let's not dwell on those moments.  (Is it my fault I didn't react in a suitably outraged manner when Boy #1 confronted me with the news that Justin Bieber essentially stole all the credit for 'Despacito' from Luis Fonsi?  Is it?  Well, apparently, yes...)

Here's an interesting thought; when I was 13 (as my older child is now) my mother was only 37.  And I STILL thought she was out of touch.

Boom.

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