Friday, 18 May 2012
Well, here we are, at last, the first of the much awaited holiday blogs. Just to recap, we spent 11 nights down in the West Country, 4 at Butlins in Minehead, followed by a week in a caravan in North Devon.
So much to cover! Where does one start? Well in the time-honoured and linear story telling style that is chronological order.
We set sail from fair Bicester in dry if somewhat cloudy conditions. But it was not long before we encountered stormy waters - quite literally. The journey was conducted in one of those strange climactic days where you could be driving through a torrential downpour one minute, before emerging into bright sunshine and ground dry as a bone, where literally it had been like a lake a mere mile earlier.
Unfortunately our arrival at Butlins co-incided with one such monsoon period, leaving us no option to get soaked despite having our own personal parking space (as one gets in deluxe accomodation) just a few yards from the door we all managed to get completely drenched getting the suitcases in.
This was the second drenching in fact, as we had to park up to book in at reception, when I nearly had a road rage incident with some utter bastard who decided to stand in the only spare space in the car park, clearly saving the space for his family who were nowhere in sight. I revved up and made my displeasure quite clear but he stood there arms folded, refusing to move. What a wanker. Anyway I made sure I got a good look at his face, no way was I letting this go.
Strangely enough, a couple of days later, the man suffered a freak accident on the bumper boats, the man running it said he'd never seen one capsize like that before.
You don't mess with me when it comes to parking? Remember that bastard that used to sleep in his car opposite my house on Chapel Street when I lived at No. 40? He disappeared very suddenly didn't he?
The windscreen wipers, poor things had quite suffered from the onslaught and the one on the drivers side by now had half of its wipey bit hanging off. That would need a repair. Various other bits of the car were destined to come unstuck in the days to follow - more of that later.
Eventually the rain did stop, and we headed off to the restaurant for our evening meal. However, barely had we gone 50 yards when a seagull decided to show its appreciation of our visit by dropping a log down Claire's sleeve. I say a log, though really it was more of an undercooked fried egg. Still they say that's lucky, and she was going to need it later when the time came to feed the tuppenny falls.
The restaurant, as ever, was amazing. As you will recall from previous blogs about Butlins, you know we go premium dining, which means lovely tables, cutlery, wine glasses, leather chairs etc - you really do feel like you are in a proper restaurant as opposed to the canteen that the proles use. And as ever the food just gets better and better - the choice of desserts was simply amazing.
With two small children it is an easy way to dine - you just go up and get what you want, and it they only want chips and bread - so be it. But I did manage to get Ollie to try a few new things over the course of the week. Some were even healthy e.g. grapefruit!
Unfortunately the all you can eat buffet style menus are clearly too much of a temptation for some people. Not me I hasten to add - when one is a glutton 52 weeks a year one does not feel the need to feast under such circumstances, I know my limits and stick to them. Now people in our refined premium restaurant do tend to be a little more restrained, however, I do recall from my previous experience in with the proles that it is not always the case in there and people pile it as high as they can. Now, I don't have a problem with this until it starts to affect me personally, and no, I do not mean the bacon running out (which it never does, hurrah!). What I mean is that during the evenings, when one is hanging out in the arcade, and people are wandering around, there seem to be constant whiffs that I can only describe as "farty smells" coming from people's bottoms who have clearly over-indulged on the all you can eat buffet.
Speaking of the arcade, aware of previous year's losses, I was most restrained this year, but got very luck early in the week and stuck a quid in a fruitie and out came 100 quid. Which was nice. I doubt whether many of you reading this have ever seen me on a fruitie, it's years since I played one in a pub, but there is something about the arcade at Butlins that just seems to draw me in.
Splash Waterworld was as good as ever. Ollie is obsessed with the waterfalls. Baby Jamie (I guess we have to stop calling him that, he really is toddler Jamie now) was fearless, wandering in out of his depth. We had all the usual shows as well, Ollie really enjoys them now, when he was younger, I just could not get him to join in.
One of the great things about Butlins as you know, is that nearly everything is free, and the boys had a great time on the rides. One of the few things that is not free is the go-karts but as usual I invested a few quid and took on all-comers. And had a good bash about on the bumper cars too - which are free.
I really would love to go karting with a few friends - we must organise something some time.
Well that's it for part one of the holiday blogs - next up we meet a famous (well famous if you have children under 5) celebrity!
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