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envy is an empty emotion

15 Nov

When I was a teenager my mum once said to me “Never be jealous of someone else,  you never know what life might throw at them.”

At the time I was 14 and jealous of EVERYONE.  Jealous of Kate for the money her mum gave her to buy the naughtiest knee high boots I’d ever seen. Jealous of Lucy for the boys that she kissed and of Rachel for the pink Kickers she wore with her white denim skirt. I was covetous of Ruth’s copy of We are Transvision Vamp! and bemoaned the passing resemblance she had to Wendy James, and I swooned when I heard about Carol’s trip to Hollywood where she was chatted up at the airport by a Michael J fox lookalike.

It turned out Kate had the clothes but her father had not hung around for long, that Ruth’s mum was having an affair with the local vicar and would fall pregnant with his child 2 years later, and that Carol’s father lost his job and they would never get to go on another holiday again.

So don’t be jealous of me for my beautiful, healthy boys for whom I fell pregnant easily. Don’t envy the nice big house I’m hoping to buy, or the time I am able to take out to reassess my life.  I am lucky in so many ways, but I also lost both my parents to be here.

Life gives and takes in equal measure. Your grass might be greener than mine but I have a kick ass mower.

Haven or Hell?

30 Aug

A bit of both actually.

I was expecting something pretty bloody awful. I’d foolishly decided to check out some reviews AFTER paying for our 4 night break at Haven’s 5 star Devon Cliffs resort. “Grubby” “Filthy” “A real let down”. Hoorah. You’ve really done it this time Milk.

So i’d packed enough cleaning items to sanitise a whore’s knickers.

No.49 The Spruces. My heart was pounding in my chest by the time we reached the forties. 45, 46, 47… I felt a bit sick to be honest. Our holiday resting on the whimsical allocation of accomodation by teenage Susie at arrivals.

No. 49. We were there. It looked pretty much the same as the other 2,439 caravans. Tentatively we put key to lock and prised open the white tin door. Searching in the gloom of the caravan, my brain whirred into action as my eyes gained focus.

I ran from room to room in disbelief. The caravan was bloody marvelous. Clean. Roomy. A perfect tin can home for me and my boys. Trip Advisor 0, Milk 1. In your face miserly reviewing people.

And so the holiday began. And i’ve never seen two little ones more excited.

So with joy in our heart and Haven passes in our pockets we all trampled down to the entertainment metropolis to see Tom and Jerry Live. What luck to have arrived just as the entertainment was starting.

What freakin’ bad luck. Two grown ups prancing around in oversized furry jumpsuits clutching hands to mouth in mock horror (well they say art is a mirror) to impossibly bad incidental music? I mean i know children’s entertainment requireth no sophisticated plot with complicated twists and turns, but not even us adults could work out what the bleedin’ hell these two were up to.

“I feel like i’m about to get beaten up by poor people” a middle age gent leaned in and whispered in my ear. A wee bit prejudiced, but actually he did have a point. My husband nearly got scalped by a charmer of a lady just for standing in her line of view, so excited was she by the antics of quick-witted Jerry. Packed to bursting with sweaty families, kids fired up by a fortnight of Big Macs and sickly pop, parents out on the lash on watery beer while Haven babysat their children. Nice.

For sure we’d found the hell in Haven right there.

But we did get a bit more savvy to the holiday camp thing. You’ve just got to pick and choose. Select the bits you can stomach, and ignore the rest. Ok so that means turning a blind eye to pretty much everyone and everything within 200 metres of the main complex. Only straying as far as the safe haven of the play area, where fellow middle classes can be found cowering under the rope bridge lest a rogue chav take a wrong turn at the 5 penny machine.

To be fair we did frequent the pool a couple of times. Well it was bleached with chemicals within an inch of its license, so we weren’t too much at risk from long term damage. And the near vertical water slide did have me screaming like a tweenager wearing a trainer bra for the first time. Or maybe that was the whoosh of water somewhere intimate when i hit the final bend and crashed down the closing straight.

And as for East Devon. Ah Devon. You devilish beast you. Kicked Kents butt right into West Sussex. Twas baked in the “perfect holiday destination” mould with candy sprinkles on top. Just perfect, even in the torrential rain.

And so who would have thought it, the Milks are caravanners after all. Big Milk even shed a tear when we left, bless him. I think we’ll just stick to a private park next time. I’d rather spend a week with 6 people i’m not too keen on, than 2,439 of the buggers.

Oh, and just a few quick tips for you would be campers out there:

Take your own duvet and a bunch of blankets, it’s bloody freezing even in summer.

Don’t expect luxury, even if you pay a premium. It ain’t the Dorchester. As far as i can tell, the extra money just pays for prettier cushions.

And for those of you looking for a bit of non-standard nooky outside the marital bed? Move on. Caravanning is about as titillating as a Nun on her period.