Feels like I’m back in school.

Do you remember the experience of going back to school after summer and being asked to write what you did on holiday? Well, this week’s roast is just that. You see, last week, I was away with the kids and actually, this blog should have been posted then. However, due to certain technical limitations (i.e. my mobile phone modem wasn’t strong enough to upload photos at more than one every century), I had to post my reserve blog instead. Therefore, enjoy now, tales of what I did on my sunny holiday.

Okay, so the weather wasn’t as good as one might have hoped. Still, seeing as that Jubilee bilge was a washout, I suspect the Gods of fate would decree I had it coming after what I said about the sponging royals in a previous roast. Also, nine times out of ten, I get glorious weather on holiday in England, even when I go out of season. Therefore, one little blip, the first for years, I shouldn’t really complain … But I’m going to.

Bloody stupid weather. How dare you piss down and wreck my holiday leaving me cooped up in a caravan with three kids having to listen them playing playstation games. Not only that, we were in the caravan nearest the road so I had cars waking me at regular intervals as they drove past in the night. Grrrrr!

There we are, what was the other side of my head on the pillow. A few feet away from Top Gear’s Hammerhead bend.

I should have known it.

I have this plant at home. It’s the only one I’ve never managed to kill within a few weeks of entering my abode. I’ve had it a few years now and it grows for a month then flowers for about seven days then dies off for another year.

Typical. I go away on holiday and that’s how I left it on setting off on the journey. By the time I got back, the petals had begun to drop off. Now I’ve missed it for a year.

Jesus. That was creepy.

Took the kids to Bygones Museum. Bygones is a place full of old stuff. Things of years gone by – as the name suggests, obviously. With recreated streets and the like, you get a feel of being in the past.

However, one display freaked me out. Below, is a shot I took of a reproduction Anderson Shelter from the Second World War.

Nothing wrong with that until after staring for a minute, the old granny turned her head.

Shit! They should give warnings for things like that. How was I to know it was automated?

Even creepier was the tableau of a parlour scene.

Notice the innocent looking children standing by the table, smiling sweetly while the mother is lying dead with blood running from her mouth. No, this really wasn’t a chamber of horrors which makes it all the more disturbing. Bizarre, or what?

Now, even the sat-nav hates me.

Ahhh … Lovely day planned for a trip to Canonteign Falls. I’ve been to Devon about 15 times but this was my first visit to these falls.

Now in the past, I have utilised my fantastic sense of direction but these days, as more senior years approach, I have started to use the sat-nav on my phone. Therefore, kids in the car, we set out on the journey to the edge of Dartmoor.

Problem one. I forgot it was Friday and we hit all the traffic from the holidaymakers going home after their Monday to Friday breaks. Still, a slight blip, then a bigger one. Eleanor decided to touch my phone.

‘What does this do, Dad?’

Arrrghhh! She only went and messed up the sat-nav and lost the signal. Next thing, I’m lost and the gizmo won’t lock onto anything for a while. When it does, it seems to think I am somewhere totally different to where I actually am.

‘At the bend, continue along Tudor Street,’ it says.

That would be all well and good, if I was actually on Tudor Street in the bloody first place, but I’m not.

This is where we ended up when it said I had reached my final destination.

Got to the falls eventually and it was lovely. Not only that, it knackered out the kids.

New neighbours.

On Friday, as I mentioned, a lot of people go home. That also means fresh folk arrive as was the case with our new neighbours in the next caravan.

Typical. They only had a bloody yapping dog.

Great, though it did have one benefit. The thing drowned out the sound of the Grand Prix track on the other side of my bedroom.

Trying to talk the kids out of using the amusement arcade.

‘Can we go to the arcade? Can we go to the arcade? Can we go to the arcade, Dad? Can we go to the arcade?’

Arrgghh! I hate taking the kids to the arcade. It’s all want want want. I remember last year. Eleanor pestered me for ages to have a go on these machines that dispense tickets when you win. I said, ‘No, you never win.’ What does she bloomin’ go and do? She wins. That wouldn’t have been so bad but after pumping the machine with about £30 to get winning tickets, guess what the biggest prize was to redeem at the booth?

A bottle of blowing bubbles!

So, this year, I was adamant. No rip-off machines. Nothing. However, unbeknown to me, David took his own money to a grab machine then despite me saying you always lose on them, he just had to go and prove me wrong. Typical. Look!

Three Georges and a Peppa Pig.

Worse still, the machines hate me now!

Not content with ripping me off by taking all my money with absolutely no chance of winning, the fruit machine short changed me the one time I actually did win.

You see, I got some minor win via one of the feature trails on this machine. £2 in fact. However, when it came to payout, only £1 was dispensed as winnings. I stood puzzled, thinking where the hell is my second pound coin? Then I saw the display.

What … IOU £1? Now I’ve seen it all. I don’t think I’ve ever had an IOU off a fruit machine before and even the man who worked in the arcade was nonplussed as well.

Could luck get any worse?

No, it got better … Yay!

I played my first ever game of bingo in the small entertainment suite at the caravan park. £1 a bingo strip and the winner took the pot. And that was meeeeee!

Got some really dirty looks. There were people buying loads, all sitting there with their silly special marker pens and there’s me, one strip and a biro-bic.

£144. Almost makes the bad bits worth it. I even thought of walking past the fading Jubilee display and raising a glass.

Yeah – right. As if …

Just a couple more gripes.

Before we set off to return home, I took the kids to the Galley Bar and we had a Full English Breakfast. Matthew had one of those yucky Yazoo milkshakes and only half finished it. We went immediately to the shop over the road and I bought similar milkshakes for the journey, though Matthew said he didn’t need one as he still had half a bottle. It didn’t stop Corporal Calamity placing it on the counter though, in a daydream and the stupid woman at the till scanning it. I was only told, on the journey, what had happened and I’d paid twice for the same milkshake. Grrrrr!

Oh yes. And for once … would it be possible to be allocated a caravan where the toilet seat doesn’t fall off?

Still, a good holiday, despite the rain. Not only that, when they returned to school, it gave the kids something to write about what they did on their holiday.

Cheers.

Nick

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