Tag Archive: Torquay


I’m back.

Sept 2014 I'm Back © Antony N Britt

Yes, even though I said I was going to end the Sunday Roast when I last posted in December 2013, I couldn’t help myself. You see, there are so many stupid things to comment on, and they all seem to happen to me. Therefore, what I shall do is offer an occasional meal for you. And here it is.

So what’s been happening?

I’ve been busy: Writing another book, rehearsing for a musical, and working bloody hard.. I’ve also not long returned from a week’s holiday in my favourite exotic hotspot – Torbay.

Sept 24 - Torbay © Antony N Britt

Now don’t laugh, I’ve been going there on and off for 35 years and this was my 18th trip. I love the place. You’d think after all that time, though, I’d be bored, but you’re wrong. There’s always something new to see, like the most sinister looking Disney Tramp I have ever seen.

Sept 2014 - Tramp © Antony N Britt

Really, the thing looked rabid. And while I was in the same amusement arcade, I noticed this in one of the 2 pence tipping machines.

Sept 2014 - 2p Machine © Antony N Britt

Okay, how exactly are you supposed to win that mug? There is no way it would ever get down the drop slot and even if it did, it would smash.

But that wasn’t all I saw on holiday. I took the kids on their bi-annual visit to the model village and this was in one of the displays.

Sept 2014 Charlton Heston

I hate to ask, but had the late Charlton Heston begun a course of hormone treatment in preparation for a transgender operation? I’m not sure, but those breasts are bigger than my ex-wife’s.

And there were other curiosities …

Sept 2014 - Shopping Train © Antony N Britt

Huh! Why; something Thomas the Tank uses when he goes to Tesco?

And there was an even bigger, why in Dartmouth.

Sept 2014 - Dartmouth Fish © Antony N Britt

Something looks decidedly fishy about that décor.

And another new experience for me in Torbay, I went on the big wheel which you can see in this picture.

Sept 2014 - Torquay Wheel © Antony N Britt

However, it was only when I got to the top and it stopped for five minutes, I suddenly remembered my terrible fear of heights.

Sept 2014 - Top of Big Wheel Torquay © Antony N Britt

Jesuuuus! It was high. I never used to be that scared when I was young, but I was glad to get off this time.

However, the holiday wasn’t all that bad, and I did get to play an upmarket game of crazy golf on a top course.

Sept 2014 - Mini Golf © Antony N Britt

Yes, they don’t make them like they do in Torbay. Not quite sure what the pig is doing, but I made a bit of a ham of my shot as a result.

And I discovered a funny thing in my wallet.

No, it wasn’t a condom – smart arse. Before going on holiday, I emptied my wallet of all the useless things I wouldn’t want (like condoms). However, once in Torbay, I found I did need the store loyalty card, and I did need my petrol miles card, and I especially needed my backup credit card. I may have even needed my driving licence. What I didn’t need, though, was the business card given to me by the guy doing magic tricks at my nephew’s wedding.

So if I needed extra cash or to present my licence, I was buggered. But on the other hand, if I happened to require the services of a magician on holiday … hey, don’t say I’m never prepared on that score.

Sept 2014 - The Magician

And that’s the holiday, but what else have I been doing?

Well, I returned home to find my back patio covered in weeds. Yes, these would be the ones the man who re-laid my slabs two years ago said would never return.

Now I know what you are going to say, weeds are simply flowers growing in the wrong place.

Sept 2014 - Weeds © Antony N Britt

Bollocks! They are not! Weeds are evil and must be eradicated. However, I didn’t want to spend a fortune on weed killer so I was pleased to have a chance encounter with the man who does the gardens at work who told me the trade secret.

Formula: ½ Gallon of Cider Vinegar, 2 tablespoons of washing up liquid, and one cup of salt.

Cup! What size cup, for heaven’s sake: Egg cup, tea cup, FA Cup …? I don’t know, so I took the liberal view and used a mug. However, after spending loads on this pump spray container, I was kind of wishing I’d simply bought the weedkiller in the first place as it would have been far cheaper.

Okay, does a mixture of mainly vinegar really get rid of your weeds? The answer is, yes, but every time I step into my garden now, I get a craving to buy a bag of chips.

Change my name to Doctor Griffin.

Sept 2014 - Invisible Man

You see, that was the name of the Invisible Man in the novel by HG Wells.

So you’re going to ask why … Okay, I’ll tell.

By chance while online, I came across somebody I worked with over twenty years ago. I was surprised, but glad because I liked them and we always got on. I messaged her but imagine how put out I was when after two or three conversations she admitted she couldn’t remember me. I named numerous other staff members of the time, and so did she, but I was still forgotten. How is this possible? We sat opposite one another for two years! Have I been erased from history? Obviously so. But even more weird, at least once a month somebody will come up to me and swear they know me from somewhere, but the person they think I am is not me. Work that one out!

Great, somewhere I have a doppelgänger enjoying a living out of my past.

Too Mush-room on my plate.

The reason for that terrible phrase will become obvious when I explain what will now go down in history as The Great Aberystwyth Wetherspoon’s Mushroom Incident.

Yes, I was in Wetherspoon’s having one of their breakfasts. While ordering, I asked if instead of tomatoes and beans (yuk), could I have extra mushrooms. You see, the breakfast only came with one flat mushroom. And I do like my mushrooms.

I was told yes, and imagine my anticipation when my breakfast arrived and I was told, ‘Your extra mushrooms will come on a separate plate.’

Great … loads of mushrooms. What more could I ask?

Picture my face when this arrived.

Sept 2014 - Single Mushroom Wetherspoons © Antony N Britt

Look, one sodding mushroom in place of beans and tomato is not a fair swap – right?

Is the Sunday Roast back for good?

Probably once a month. And not even on a Sunday sometimes. So it’s just going to be The Roast. You see I’m terribly busy and how many tales of dodgy mushrooms can one person deliver?

Cheers.

Nick

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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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