August 10th. Day One. Holiday begins. Ladling clothes into plastic bags. Pouring plastic bags into car boot. Children behaving like lobotimised frogs. Careening every which way. Bouncing over every thing. Teapot(dog with stupid name) gets whiff something up. He too starts racing around. Tripping up bouncing offspring.
Shoehorn us into car. Teapot, Squidy Sweetlips, Jimbob, Thumbscrew, She and Me. Map at ready. Route worked out. We go another way. Youngest daughter falls asleep. Forty winks only. Wakes up screaming. Lungs like Pavarotti. Continues to scream for thirty minutes.
Stop at M4 motorway services. Youngest daughters face puce coloured. Still covered with remains of Chicken Pox and breakfast cereal. People think we are escapees from leper colony. Give us wide berth. Enjoy refreshments in peace. No one come near. Finish drinks and cardboard tasting food. Move off. Arrive at cottage six hours after leaving home. Joints creak like antique rusty gate. Walk like Quasimodo's bastard child. Need hot bath and massage from wife. Wife look like murder in mind. Scratch massage. Have hot bath with Suzy Palmer and her five sisters.
August 11th. Day Two. Wookey Hole. Not to be confused with celestial collapsed star nor with some foreign persons bottom. Ancient caves. Deep in heart of Mendips. Deep in heart of Somerset. Deep in heart of England etc; etc;
Queue for forty minutes. Feel like bloody tourist. AM bloody tourist. Children get fidgety. Wife get fidgety. Children start to intimidate locals. Start barking using fake Alien words. Locals raise eyebrows. Point and whisper. Long wait over and into caves.
Eldest children think caves GREAT. Youngest daughter not impressed. Falls asleep.
Me left holding baby at rag tag end of group.
Lots of caves with sunken chilly waters and chilly tales of witches. People used to live in caves. Cold and damp and dark. Just like Manchester.
August 12th. Day Three. Wake up. Feel bloody awful. Youngest daughter wake at eleven. Not go back to sleep until three. Kicked in scrotum. Head butted on nose. Poked in eye. Spent night on one half inch of mattress. Robbed of duvet. Testicles shrunk to size of dried dates. Penis like frozen corkscrew. Arse like block of (hairy) ice. Breakfast. No milk in fridge. Must get milk. No milk no kiddies breakie. No milk means black tea. Wife must have Tet au lait. Me go shops. Ask man in shops for milk.Man in shop English. Man doesn't understand me. Try making disgusting mooing sounds followed by mime of milking cow. Man think me mental. Use finger to spell M.I.L.K on shop counter. Man grunts and fetches bottle of milk. Me give man cash and then run. Go back to breakfast. Leave cottage at ten a.m. Teapot, Squidy Sweetlips, Jimbob, Thumbscrew, She and Me. Squeeze into car. Drive to Coombe Sydenham. Where Coombe Sydenham? Deep in heart of Somerset. Deep in heart of England (Yeah, yeah. Heard it all before).
Country Park. Country Walk. Meet man on pathway. Ask if OK to take baby bugy on walk? He say a little muddy but no problem. He senile old git. Major problem. Deep ruts a foot deep. 4x4 find it hard going let alone baby buggy. Curse man. Struggle on. Youngest son complain about aching legs. Aching legs? Who care about aching legs? Me having cardiac arrest pulling baby buggy and three ton of luggage up mountain. Stop to eat lunch. Get eaten by gnats. Wish gnats would eat buggy.
Reach summit. Collapse. Youngest daughter not appreciate view. She asleep. Fed up with being dragged up hill backwards maybe. Should be me asleep. Other children play rolling down hills. Senses affected by altitude and fatigue we join in.
August 13th. Day Four. Wife instruct children to wash. Mumbled moans and groans. Wife instruct me to get breakfast. I grumble all the way down stairs. Put toast on. Fill kettle from tap. Hear water dripping. Window imitating Niagara. Eldest son and daughter have flooded bathroom. Use towels and yesterdays underwear to soak up flood.
Promised kids we go to Minehead. Sit on beach all day. Cook in sun. Smile. Be happy. Not happy. No sun. Lots of rain. Kids whinge. We drive round in circles all morning. We whinge. Head instead for Tropiquaria. Brochure gumpf describe it as 'colourful indoor jungle'. Six snakes and one banana tree do not jungle make. More like colourful rip off. Eldest daughter wraps ten foot python around her neck. Wife also has go. Asks me to try. Not bloody likely. Only snake me hold is handbag variety. Go to Blue Anchor beach. No beach. Muddy quagmire. Kids say it is fun. Wife say it fun. Imagine wife squirming naked in mud. Me think it fun too. Leave Blue Anchor mudbath. Quick tea and early to bed for kids. Early to bed for us too!!
August 14th. Day Five. After yesterdays fiasco we try beach again. Lady in shop say Woolacombe is best local beach. We drive off to Woolacombe. Lady in shop bloody crazy. 120 mile round trip not local. Car groan up hill. Car roller coaster down hill. Kids go WHEEE. We go BLEERGH. Sooner shoot myself in head than commit senic suicide. Two hours later arrive at Woolacombe. Find car park. Park car. trundle down to beach. Beach like Japanese underground during rush hour. Find two foot of space. Unload bags and kids. Yougest daughter wants feeding. Doesn't like Heinz food. Prefers sand. Might as well eat my sandwiches. Plenty of sand in them. Cover youngest daughter in sun block. She roll in sand. Look like sugar coated doughnut. Kids go down to sea. Splash about. We go for paddle. Fully dressed. White T-shirt. White Levi's. Look cool. End up wet. Soaked top to toe. Make way back to car. Stop at toilets. Wife need to empty bladder. Then me. Have trouble with wet fly buttons. Fellow occupants of toilet think me pervert. Standing in corner. Hunched up. Grunting. Playing with willy. Leave toilet with fly buttons askew. Hurry back to car. Flee Woolacombe.
August 15th. Day Six. Today shopping in Taunton. Need to get pressies for family, friends, related beings. Eldest son and daughter buy snorkels. Call 'em snogalls. Sound obscene. Ability to destroy English language immense. Youngest daughter not impressed by facial apparatus. Yawn. Fall asleep. Kids wear snogalls in back of car. Look like alien life forms. Make indistinct grunts through snorkel tubes. Seem to understand each other. Buggered if I can. Decide to visit Dunster Castle. Knights of Old.Round Table. Bows and Arrows. All that stuff. Dunster Castle closed. Make momentous decision to picnic in castle grounds. Try holding dog whilst eating sandwich whilst emptying boot. Mission Impossible. Sandwich fall to floor. Dog get free meal. Man say dog not allowed in grounds. Put Dog in car. Open windows. Water? Yeah, give dog bowl of water. Pour hot water from tea flask into bowl. Dog stick tongue in water. Par boil mouth. Dog give me filthy look. Serve him right. Shouldn't eat my sandwich.
Wife say push buggy. Me push buggy. Wife say carry baby. Me carry baby. Begining to feel like bloody sherpa. Go round grounds. Walk into medieval village. Ye Olde Village Hath NO Pavement. Cobblestones. Cobblestones and buggy not mix. Youngest daughter end up concertina folded with legs around ears.
August 16th. Dat Seven. Eldest son and daughter have row. One wants to go to Cheddar Gorge Caves. Other wants Cricke St. Thomas. Cricker St.Thomas wins. Cheddar Gorge sulks. Cricket St. Thomas nothing to do with traditional English bally game. Animal Country Park. Place 'To The Manor Born' filmed. Historic building. Lots of animals. Elephant break wind, smell five miles away. Leave dog at cottage. He still not forgotten hot water episode. Arrive with kids and baby. Forget baby hat. Forget sun block. Boiling hot day. Sun like Sahara desert. Drape blanket over buggy. Look like mobile mausoleum buggy up hill and down dale. Somerset landscaped like senic railway. God got lot to answer for. Maybe not God. Maybe other fella. Other fella want me to suffer. Walk around grounds. Cook as we walk. Look in cages. Lots of smelly poo. Few animals. They not want to fry. Stay inside in shade. Wife does triple salcombe on pathway. Spoilt only by clumsy landing on knee. Gets 4.9 from Gibbons. 5.5 from marmosets.
Leave Cricket St. Whatsits. Drive back to cottage. Start to pack car. Ready to go home. Wife decides we drive at night. Car packed to gunnels. Bursting at seams. We squidge in. Teapot, Squidy Sweetlips, Jimbob, Thumbscrew, She and Me. Leave cottage at eight. Journey only take sfour hours. Youngest daughter attempts to break previous screaming record. Fails. Only last fifteen mins. Wife decides she drive home. Doesn't like my driving. Says I drive like Biggles flys. Up and down and all over the show. Says I navigate better. Me navigate. Wife drive good, navigate bad. She unsure what squiggly lines on map are for. Arrive home at midnight. Carry comatose kids to bed. Place baby in cot. We drink coffee. Then night night John Boy. BING. Holiday over. Now we can rest.
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