Monday, 25 August 2014

Sandcastles

So - we are back from our two weeks in Great Yarmouth. How was it?

Well, pretty good, all things considered. When I say that I'm referring mostly to things over which we had no control, predominantly the weather. It is a source of great frustration to me that none of my UK holidays in approximately the past 30 years has ever coincided with the few weeks of hot weather we get each year (if we're lucky). Following many weeks of fine and warm weather things turned distinctly chilly during August. In fact things got so cold during the second week of our holiday that we were frequently turning the fire on in our caravan during the evening.

Fortunately despite the chill, it didn't rain that much. Not compared to some previous disasters I recall e.g. Lyme Regis 1983 when an entire month's rainfall fell on the day we were attempting to pitch the tent and Pontins 1993, a Monday to Friday job spent almost entirely in the arcade due to the unrelenting rain. Of course, on the Friday it dawned bright and sunny. No, this year was not as bad as any of them.

If the weather's bad, you just have to adapt. I love spending time on the beach and we spent a fair bit of time down there. Not in our swimsuits, but wrapped up in fleeces in the bracing North Wind, admiring the offshore wind farm. There are 30 windmills by the way - Ollie counted and categorized them (well he would!).

My all time favourite thing to do on a beach is building a sandcastle ahead of the tide coming in. One day I checked out the tide times on the internet, worked out when it would be coming in, and took the boys down where we built a castle with a moat, channels, and some large stones to defend the battlements. It was a very stony beach. Then as the tide progressed we had the initial joy of the sea coming up the channel to fill up the moat before the inevitable destruction, all our efforts to defend the castle in vain.

The budding architects admire their work

I've always loved doing this - it's a bit of a metaphor for life in general really and food for thought. We really have to make the most of the time we have. I'm really glad we went away for these two weeks - I have to be honest, I really couldn't afford it and doubt I'll have a night out this side of Christmas now because I've spent every penny on the kids, but it was worth every moment to have this precious time with them.

The only other thing to irk me? Poor 3G and Wi-fi - but this seems to come as standard everywhere I go on holiday. It didn't really matter, I was on holiday after all .I'm not one of those people that has to be constantly welded to their mobile anyway. I managed to take a few pics of the kids and upload them to Facebook which was about as far as my social interaction went really.

I did enjoy the opportunity to visit Norwich, a city I have never visited properly before (one night in a holiday inn on the ring road during a two day client visit to Jeyes in my Nielsen days doesn't count). I was quite impressed, a very nice city, and I can't really see what Alan Partridge's problem with the pedestrianisation of the city centre was. Some great shops too - we found a fantastic toy shop where we were able to get Ollie's birthday presents (only two days to go!).

A-ha!

So that was our two weeks in Great Yarmouth - not sure if we'll be back, we like to try different places, but I'd certainly recommend it to anyone else who wants a nice place to take kids.

Jason Ayres is the author of new time travel novel "The Time Bubble", available now from Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Time-Bubble-Jason-Ayres-ebook/dp/B00L3K1B8G/ref=pd_ecc_rvi_1

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