Pontins (P) and Butlins, bastions of the English tradition of the Holiday Camp. Epitomised in Hi Di Hi and numerous black and white newsreels that appear when we're feeling nostalgic and reminiscing about the 'good old days'. So we're off to P for a football weekend. Not a cheap weekend for 6 and studying their brochure the same accommodation we're staying in would cost £750 in the height of the summer. Late as usual. Finish work at 5pm. Leave about 7pm after the usual rows about what to take and Do I have to go away with my family? It's so lame! We didn't hear that sentence said again when 15 year old found out how many pretty young girls were there, hardly saw him after that. 9pm and we're just in. Boys unpack. DH sorts out kitchen and food. I sort out DD and me. Not sure how I always end up with the short straw. Bathroom is just too skanky for words, photos taken to share with P. Even with 3 teenage boys our bathroom never looks like that. Did not bode well for the weekend if P thinks it's okay to house guests in accommodation like that. Did we sleep well? Kids yes, us no. Put-you-up was an experience. Fine if you needed to reduce high b.p. or slow down a bleed, but can't think of any other reason why your head should be lower than your legs in bed. Mum we got ants. Considering we had left nothing out, one must assume they were around the night before but we hadn't spotted them. An empty glass of a generic cream liquer more commonly known as Baileys left out on Saturday night sorts them out! Breakfast and we have a table for 6 in a 6 berth accommodation with 4 chairs. Surprised? Not really. Empty milk bottles and tins. Boys go put these in the recycling bin...can't find one....go look beyond the end of the your nose....still can't find one. And they are actually right. We are in the 21st century when the environment is a major news source and P do not offer recycling. So we brought it home. Footy was fun and organised. Sat PM DS3, DD, DH and me all decide to go swimming. Nice and clean, not too busy. Small separate shallow pool. Perfect for DD and her Special Needs. Well, glad we got in with her, as the lifeguards paid very little attention to the baby pool. We were the only parents in there. Others were watching from the tables.At no time did they try and stop the group of 6-8 older boys who insisted on getting in, splashing and running in it, and getting out again. 8pm and the Kids Disco which we loved and the Blue Coats were fab. Can't begin to imagine how difficult it must be to be enthusiastic with half a dozen shy kids staring at you. Sunday AM and more footy. Note to self, must get DS2 a David Beckham alice band. PM and take DS3 and DD to play area. Equipment is varied and looked well maintained. Unlike the surrounds. Another photo to be disappointed with. Oh, while we're on photos, took one of and electricity junction box with the cover off. Sadly this wasn't the only one. DH watches footy at the Queen Vic - nice pint of Guiness and then brings us takeaway home. Now, I am a 1 in 10, and not in the UB40 sense of the phrase, but as in a vegetarian. And I hate to mention it again, but we are in the 21st c and P takeaway don't cater for veggies. So I had a portion of chips, and mustn't forget the onion rings, that made all the difference. All the males attend the football presentation and then it's Monday. Make sure apartment is clean and vacated by 10am. Hand back keys and get directions from helpful staff to Battle. Then last stop. Arcades to cash in tokens and get a cheap nasty gift that you could probably have bought 10 times over the amount spent on the not-anymore-penny machines. One hour and ten minutes later I am on the verge of erupting. You queue in true English fashion to feed the tokens into a machine which gives you a receipt for how many you had. You then queue again and swap said receipt for a cheap tacky something. So far so good. Now consider how much Joe Public likes the Arcades; and how many tickets you can collect in a weekend. Now think about Monday being a kicking out day. And that there is only 1 machine. Beginning to get the picture. We had 400 tickets as actually we can't afford to spend too much on the machines. The 5 or 6 kids directly in front of us had a similar amount. But the 4 kids in front of them had a carrier bag each, and their receipts were coming out at over 2000 each. So we queued and waited. Everybody queued and waited. The 2 people in the kiosk waited. Maybe I'm being a bit radical here, but wouldn't 2 machines be useful. Or the staff in the kiosk be allowed to count small amounts during peak periods. But hey, maybe there's other reasons, like getting us to spend more while we're waiting. Worked with DD as we bought her something to eat and drink whilst waiting. Was quite disappointed with her actually. She behaved so well, when I was secretly hoping she would have one of her mega tantrums. Kids, can't trust them. So final stop back to nice gentleman, and girl who decides to finish off private convo. Am I sure. Well, unless she likes to tell guests that she loves them loads, several times, I'm pretty sure. Nothing wrong with private calls, just maybe not in front of the guests, and especially those that have mentioned the Complaint word. He finds me an address. She says I should have mentioned in earlier. Excuse me, but nobody should have been put up in that room in the first place. So, letter winging its way, or maybe I'll just direct them here.
Then we went to Camber sands, which was very windy, so much so that DS1 and 2 refused to go on the beach. I thought I was breeding men, not tarts. Quick couple of photos - ever the scrapper - before Ella became the kite. Then to Battle where we found a lovely little tea shop, and took photos of the outside of the castle, too, too windy for words.
Altogether a lovely weekend, the P's fiasco didn't spoil the time away. And the only row all weekend was between DH and me - kids were fab :)