Did I ever tell you about my holiday from hell? It’s amazing I’m still alive to tell the tale.
It was fairly early on in my single parent days. For a bit of background information I became a single mother when my daughter was six and my son a mere three months. By this time they were I think about 8 and 2 so I’d had a couple of years of it and was both physically and emotionally drained. I wasn’t supposed to be taking them on holiday at all, my ex husband was with his partner. My holiday was going to be a week without children, no noses to wipe, nappies to change, tea to make or answers to find for the endless onslaught of questions. I couldn’t wait. My plan was to wave them tearfully off, safe in the knowledge they were going to have a great week of sugar induced highs then run inside the house, close the curtains, switch off the lights and ignore the entire world until the following Saturday when they returned.
As their excitement mounted at the thought of going on holiday, my excitement mounted at the thought of being able to go to bed at 8.30pm if I chose, and to get a much-needed rest. Best of all to think to the end of my thought without interruption. Much as I loved them, I was by now a wreck and utterly done in, so a week of solitude was bliss.
Disaster no 1
Ex husband announced about a week/ten days before the planned trip that he was no longer able to take the holiday due to work. The best he could offer was that he transfer the holiday into my name and I take them. I cried for days. Not because I don’t love my kids, but because taking two children away on my own was no holiday for me. I would be in a basic chalet with no tv, no creature comforts and no rest. Further more I was going to have to drive from Cambridge to Wales with two young kids and navigate myself. But the children were excited and I couldn’t let them down so I had to go. I studied Hobson’s choice at school. This was what I was left with and I resented it out of sheer exhaustion.
The day before, I was busy packing every thing up ready for the alleged break and it was a hot summers day. I decided to cut the grass before leaving so I didn’t come home to a jungle, which leads me on to
Disaster no 2
(if you are of a nervous disposition look away now)
I cut the grass, and went to empty the mower. I had a compost bin at the end of the garden and lifted the lid to shake the grass out. The grass was wedged inside the collection thing so I whacked it against the side of the compost bin, thus disturbing a wasp’s nest. Within seconds I was surrounded by wasps and getting stung all over my body. They were on my arms, in my hair and buzzing round me stinging wherever they could. The pain was unbelievable and I ran about flapping my arms about like a maniac SCREAMING. I know this is the last thing you are supposed to do, but if you ever find yourself in this position, and I hope you never do; try getting stung multiple times on your head, hands, arm and legs and not run around flapping your arms about. Go on, TRY IT! (no don’t, just take my word for it’s impossible)
I rang a doctor who warned me ‘you’re going to feel pretty poorly for the rest of the day’ and was given strong antihistamines. He wasn’t lying.
I woke up on the day of the dreaded holiday looking like I belonged in a victorian circus. Every place the wasps had stung was swollen and sore. Just perfect for a days driving. But the future Miss Lashes and Tech Support were waiting with bucket and spade and a mother’s overwhelming guilt and desire to hold everything together meant I couldn’t delay things any more.
Disaster no 3&4
We arrived at holiday from hell destination having taken a wrong turning at some point and driven down a very steep and narrow cliff road, and the holiday began.
On the first night Tech Support son managed to fall over and bang his nose resulting in two black eyes and by night number three we all had a sick bug. What a nightmare. I had to manage two throwing up kids while up chucking myself. It was a particular low point in my life. When I was vaguely strong enough I remember walking to a phone box and phoning my dad, crying and saying I just wanted to come home. I ended up packing up and driving back early as I needed to get home for a rest.
The day before we left, Miss Lashes begged me to have this photo taken to show us all having a great time. (really???) Sometimes you just have to fake it ’till you make it.