Saturday, 30 August 2008

When things are going badly, take to the fields

Things have gone quiet in the Grit and Dig household. In fact I may have miscalculated. Booking four days at a down-beat, dead-end holiday camp, the only review of which I find describes it as a complete nightmare, is now sounding as good an idea as blowing a chill wind or hammering the final nail in the coffin.

Dig, for one, is not jumping up and down squawking for joy at the thought of being locked up on a Pontin's holiday prison somewhere east of Norwich instead of in a five star hotel somewhere west of Paris.

Admittedly I say to him, a Great Yarmouth Pontin's holiday camp may be something akin to a deprived council estate. Except because this is Pontins and not the council deprivation and social problem zone, we will be attacked by bluecoats, bad singing and sequined suits, all in a beer soddened working men's club stinking of chip fat and Silk Cut. So what? It gives the children the possibility of learning about life in all its hideous glory, and they may get to see that not everyone in this country lives with four bathrooms.

Shark, Squirrel and Tiger are remaining cautious. They have not exactly heard about Butlins and Pontins and I am encouraging them to keep an open mind. This requires not telling anybody about where they are going and saying it will be a surprise when we get there. We can even visit the Dinosaur Park at Lenwade on the way. Shark says she doesn't want to go to that either because the noises sound real. But look Shark! I say, the brochure reads, What better way could there be than to spend a day out with your family at Norfolk's top family attraction? Shark says there are plenty better ways and some of them do not seem to involve any of us at all, but do involve several parrot fish and an octopus.

I just cannot win.

There is only one solution. Go where everything feels normal and well adjusted.

I get everyone in the car and drive to a field at the back of Newport Pagnell. Seriously. They're not just a motorway stop you know, they're actually a medieval town. And they are having an open day for their ancient common land. And when the locals open up their fields and shout Come and look at our old field! then Grit and the Gritlets are there.

Wondering about the exact location of those civil war earthworks.


Brad said...

I had to use google to figure out what Pontins was. After my less than exhaustive research I'll have to say I side with Dig on this one.

Have you been in to the brandy again?

Minnie said...

They're there...behind you!!!

I got oiked to Butlins as a teenager with a 'school mate' and her family...never been the same since. Let me say, it elevated my aspirations!! Was THE absolute pits. Hopefully, things have improved since. Bet you lovely lot will liven things up, though:o)))

obeerg said...

Dear Shark
Great Yarmouth sealife centre is on the seafront. If you walk along the beach, you'll see it. It's just next to the swimming pool with waves, flumes and rapids.

It'll be ok, honest.


Samurai Beetle said...

Growing up, my dad took my brothers and I on many trips to see a wide variety of historical locations. Some were more interesting then others and I remember really hating flower gardens. Sometimes we would dread a location and end up really liking it. I guess one never knows the outcome until the location is tested by all. Amusement parks being exception of course.

Grit said...

brad! pontins is a great british institution. possibly one of the finest, along with fish and chips and warm beer.

hi minnie! i feel we have to experience the full range of what's out there ... (just the once, probably, will be enough)

hi obeerg! we have been to gt y sealife centre! that's the place they made me queue to get in! the first day of school holidays and i didn't realise it! we home edders certainly get spoiled...

this is very wise, samurai beetle, that we can change our opinions, and i will carry that thought with me.