They f**k you up, your mum and dad…

Today I have been mostly looking at holiday porn. A brochure for Simply Travel plopped through my letterbox (addressed to the previous owner) and I have been dribbling all down my bib over the full-colour photographs of bougainvillea-clad balconies, apricot-washed walls and stunning sea views. Cor, check out the infinity pool on this one! Phworr, this one’s got an outdoor wood-fired pizza oven! And only £4,500 for a week in August!

I would be perfectly happy not to have a holiday at all this year, given the Recession and all, but it seems my sister has taken matters into her own hands and booked us in for a week’s ‘break’ at a cottage in Norfolk with my mum and dad. What is wrong with her? Has she forgotten our last family holiday, in Suffolk, during which my dad drew up a schedule for us every morning of medieval moated priories to visit? And how we trudged around them dutifully, even though each one looked as medieval and as moaty as the last, and despite my sister being heavily pregnant and sweating in the July sunshine, and by the way, Dad, have you ever tried cramming a double buggy through a lychgate? The journeys between priories got more and more tortuous as my parents (in the car ahead with the only map) struggled to follow the road signs, and the babies in the back screamed louder and louder until my sister suddenly shouted, ‘Fuck this! Let’s go to the otter sanctuary instead!’ Oh, the sense of liberation as we did a U-turn and tanked it towards Bungay in our Renault Scenic.

They fuck you up, your mum and dad
They do not mean to but they do.
It’s just that when they say ‘We’ll meet you there in an hour’,
what they don’t tell you is that they’re using
an outdated Ordnance Survey map from 1957,
which only shows Roman roads and medieval farm tracks.

So better make it two.

This pretty much sums it up.

(Apologies to Philip Larkin, who is no doubt turning in his grave like a chicken on a rotisserie grill.)



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17 responses to “They f**k you up, your mum and dad…

  1. Yeah good luck with that. Me and mine, my sister’s family and our parents had our last holiday together in 2008 and it still astounds me that nobody was found lying in a pool of blood with a knife in their back one morning. Every morning actually.

    • notwavingbutironing

      Seven days is ambitious, isn’t it? The worst thing is my parents commandeer the telly and insist on watching documentaries about Tibetan yaks on BBC4. I will hide the knives…

  2. We’re doing Norfolk this year. Mr’s booked it.

    I’ve done Norfolk already. Twice. Didn’t mean to. I keep being included in things. Actually I’ve just remembered – I’ve done Norfolk THREE times already – (I’d blanked one of them til now). Can you hear me sobbing? Do I have to be included this time? Oh yes – I forgot – I’m in charge of my own children during golf rounds.

    My mum and dad met in Norfolk. It’s all Norfolk’s fault I was bloody born. I didn’t ask for it.

    We’re also going to be there on the same week as Hesfes (it’s a Home Ed thing) which the children really wanted to go to.

    I can already hear them blaming Norfolk for being born.

    As for Philip Larkin – bloody genius. He won’t mind a little tweaking surely. At least he doesn’t have to go on holiday. Turning in one’s grave sounds quite appealing in comparison.

    How many wetsuits do you think I’ll be needing? Firm believer in layering me. Especially with that East Anglia gale – sorry, fresh breeze.

    Please don’t make me go to the End of the Pier Show in Cromer! I promise I’ll be good and eat all my nuggets and chips three times a day.

    It’s just a week……it’s just a week……bring jumpers……it’s just a week……bring blankets……you can do this……bring arsenic……

    • notwavingbutironing

      That good, huh? And I thought Suffolk was exciting. Please tell me there’s a pencil musuem, at least? Or a crab sanctuary?
      Just been nosy and looked up Hesfes – ironically, it’s just up the road from us at Paddock Wood. Paddock Wood definitely doesn’t have a pencil museum. Although I imagine you can get every sort of mechanically-retrieved-chicken nugget under the sun.

  3. dragondays

    Holidays with parents, siblings, children? Forget it. That is called Hell, not Holiday!

    • notwavingbutironing

      You are so right, Dragondays. I have to remind myself that we saving money this way (it’s £200 as oppposed to £4,500). But we’ll all be paying in blood and tears.

  4. I think I’d rather go on holiday with a very dead Philip Larkin than have a whole week with either my lot or the in-laws.

  5. These days a holiday with my mother would be basically a tour around public toilets… with a few breaks to pick up some tena ladies – in case she doesn’t quite make it in time… I always thought I’d get the potty training over with BEFORE my mothers bowels became the main topic of her conversation…

    • notwavingbutironing

      My abiding memory of holidays in the 1970s was of my dad having to stop the car on the hard shoulder so my mum could get out and pee behind a bush. Now she seems to be OK and I’m the one nipping off every 5 seconds. Women and bladders, eh? ‘It’s the circle of liiiiiifffe…’

  6. Kirsty

    my favourite holiday porn/escapism is to look at 5* Paris hotel websites – particularly those with pictures of penthouse suites – and drift away for a while.

    • notwavingbutironing

      Oooh, now you’re talking. Paris sans enfants could be a whole new fantasy…

      • Kirsty

        sans enfants and sans mari (is that the right word). In my dreams I only share the penthouse with the butler and room service. And maybe George Clooney.

  7. I recently went for a grown-up day out with a girly chum to the V & A. First stop – the toilets; next – tea; shop; toilets; pretty dresses; shop; more tea; toilets; shop; sparkley things; toilets; tea; toilets; toilets; home; toilet. Decided we had appreciated much porcelain.

    By the way – Paddock Wood? I can almost smell you! I probably drive past you twice on Tuesdays and again on Thursdays. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

    No seriously – my driving’s atrocious.

    Can I use your loo?

  8. notwavingbutironing

    That’s very like my trip up to London recently. Toilet, National Portrait Gallery, tea shop, toilet, walk around St James’s Park, toilet, wander on the South Bank, God, where are the bloody toilets? etc, etc.
    You can use my facilities any time (tho’ we are in Royal Tunbridge Wells rather than Paddock Wood. A better class of toilet altogether.)

  9. In that case you are in even more danger. We pound those ‘Disgusted of’ streets or cruise (ha) through at least 4 times a bloody week. Sometimes 5. Keep meaning to move nearer actually to save on diesel and Pembury Road jam neck ache. But we’re not posh enough. Shall be forever stuck in our pauper’s hovel with the RODENTS!

    Looking forward to Norfolk all of a sudden.

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