Saturday, 2 June 2007

Happy holiday

'What a delightful caravan park!' I say to everyone as we drive in past the steel barriers. 'Look mummy!' says Tiger, 'What are the police doing here?' Well, Tiger, I tried not to draw your attention to the police cars and a retreating band of skinheads heading off past the children's playground.

This has to be the caravan site from hell. Not only are the police here, the reception resembles a concrete bunker and the caravans are arranged like prison blocks. I can't see any evidence of barbed wire but I'm not saying definitely no just yet.

By the time I park the car next to the playground and get out to head to the reception, Squirrel is in a full-blown screaming fit. This has been prompted by the fact that I have put her suitcase in the boot and she wanted it in the front. I cannot extend a great deal of sympathy for this. Shark and Tiger leg it to the swings. I reckon the police presence should make it OK for five minutes while I collect the van key from the bunker. If only Squirrel wasn't still screaming her lungs out.

By the time I get back with our van key - SB58 - Squirrel has calmed down enough to say she's never getting back in the car ever ever ever again. After fifteen minutes of trying to coax her back into the car and the imminent explosion from a frustrated Shark and a small Tiger who's keen to unpack her bucket and spade, I say 'Fine' to Squirrel, and I drive off to park beside SB58, leaving a shocked Squirrel standing by the empty car parking space.

Logically, I reason, SB58 can't be more than a two minute drive away, and if it is, I will invent an excuse and come back and wrestle her in. But right now, after the trauma of being hit by a collapsing door, a three-hour drive composed of little more than screams, tears and fights, and the sight of the Kent police buzzing round our holiday home I would happily take up the offer of a rehousing opportunity for us all, and if it were in different locations, all the better.

But luckily for me, and for Squirrel, SB58 turns out to be less than a stone's throw from the car parking space I'd just left. And Squirrel quickly calms down when she finds her bedroom in the van has little curtains and a little cupboard and a tiny bedside cabinet with little cubbyholes, and all the cute things that Squirrels love to fill with sand and pebbles and bits of seaweed, which no doubt I will clear out next Saturday.

After an emergency pasta meal, I agree that going to the beach might be a jolly good thing, so off we go, past the police cars and the barriers, to enjoy the bracing sea wind and near darkness of the south Kent coastline.

What have I let myself in for?

No comments: