Sunday, 15 April 2012

Why are School holidays so much less fun than they used to be?

OK, I know that holidays when you were at school yourself are bound to have been more fun - you dont have the same responsibilities, the same worries, the same constant need to tidy up after everyone, but surely they should be some fun, even as a adult? Well, week 2 of my holidays just didn't work out that way. I did everything right, I thought, by getting most of the house work sorted in week 1, but, no.,no,no.

On Sunday, we set off for a few days break starting with a day at the races. I was super-prepared - we even had a picnic made up. OK the more observant of you will notice that I was super-prepared, but we had a picnic made up. I admit it. Siggy made up the picnic, but only because he was out at Tesco whilst taking Gordon to work anyway and he like doing that kind of thing. Also, I feel he was working his own agenda and taking charge again because I made a teeny weeny suggestion about how we could smuggle a bag of wine into the races. He says that when the website, the confirmation email and the tickets all say, in bold, that you're not allowed to take drinks in with you then, generally, you're not mean to take drinks in with you. I want to smuggle it in in Scott's bag, but Siggy point blank refused and says it's not appropriate to use a ten year old as a wine mule. He's getting to be a right old fart at times. He never complained about age appropriateness the day I let the twins take Gordon into a 12 movie whilst we went into the next screen along and watched a PG ourselves, did he? Well, maybe a bit when the usherette came in with Gordon in tow and said he had to stay with us or we could leave. He still let me try it again a few months later. Mind you, he did complain quite a lot that time when we were caught again.

Anyway, back to the races. We got there and I was mightily upset when I didn't get frisked by the stewards on the way in. Not that they were particularly attractive or anything like that, it's just that I could have had my "Lost Sheep" wine bag with me after all. Got in and LOADS of people had wine on their picnic tables. Siggy said they had bought it in there and didn’t I notice that they were all drinking the same brand, strangely? I didn't think it was strange, but maybe Tesco Musselburgh had a special on that day. So, 7 races later, and with something like 3 winners out of the 42 bets we had put on, we headed back to the hotel for a nice quiet evening in. Too quiet, The Masters was on so that had everyone else’s undivided attention. 

And so to a relaxing Monday. As it was a bank holiday, breakfast was extended to 1030 in the hotel. So we arrived at 1025 after a relaxing 45 minutes or so of screaming at Peter, Gordon and Donald to get a bloody move on and get out their beds. The hotel staff, though, were great and even cooked some extra breakfast up for us all so that was a great start to the day and off we went to the pool.

As a Pretty Woman once said, “Big mistake. Huge”

We arrived to find that even on a holiday Monday, the aqua-slowrobics for the genteel ladies (oh, and one very wrinkly old bloke) of Musselburgh is still on. It’s not exactly the most high energy class in the world, just a dozen or so old women walking around in the water whilst one very young, very bored looking girl stands at the side of the pool saying things like, “You’re doing really well” and “That’s it, one foot in front of the other” Several families hang around the edge waiting to get in whilst inhaling deeply of the lavender oil and Yardley wafting out from the pool but I, in another bit of rebellion, joined the three of four others who were swimming in the “one person only” swim lane that was left free.

Eventually, they all finish their very slow wanderings around the pool and everyone else gets in. I gave up after while, but not before I’d had a chance to build up a good sweat by sitting around in the sauna and steam rooms. I went back to changing rooms and realised almost right away that it hadn’t been a good decision. The air was thick with that awful mixture of mothballs and Orange toilet water (Why do they call it that? Bloody awful name) that only comes from having a bunch of retired old ladies and believe me, it is magnified a thousand times when they have only just put it on and are in various rather frightening states of undress. That, however, wasn’t the worst bit. I had to endure listening all sorts of nonsense conversations, most of which were just inane chatter or general moaning about the fact that riff raff non-members (I think that was us and anyone else who were hotel guests), but there’s always one who has to “take charge” – “Right ladies, that three teas, two coffees and a raspberry and camomile infusion, now who wants carrot cake and who wants walnut and toffee?” – and several others who were nothing short of bitter and twisted old bags. One shot me a look that would have killed when I dared to have my bag on a chair that she clearly wanted so that she could sit on her wrinkled old bum whilst doing the whole hair and nails makeover. Another appeared stark naked from the showers, but still with full make up intact including black, perfect mascara. It was like a naked Cruella de Ville and I’m pretty sure I know where she had at least one Dalmatian hidden!

Once I came out though, I found out that it wasn’t only in the changing rooms that these old women were behaving badly. Siggy and the boys were waiting outside and once we were back in the car I found out that we were, indeed, amongst the aforementioned riff raff. Apparently, once the aqua-slowrobics class had finished, and the riff-raff had regained control of the pool, the boys had been playing a bit of water volleyball and Siggy had been sitting at the side of the pool watching once he came back out of the sauna (we don’t often work up a sweat together these days, but both still enjoy it on our own). He had noticed that two old ladies were in the swim lanes – one in each, good, law-abiding folks that they are – and they kept looking over until one of them could control herself no longer and spoke to Peter. Siggy said that he could tell she was having a moan, but the boys weren’t disturbing anyone, were in their own wee bit of the pool and had even been good enough to get other balls out of the store at the poolside for some of the younger kids in the pool to use as well and to be honest I’m sure that would be right as they weren’t playing up at all this morning, by their standards. Anyway, apparently Peter just listened politely and explained that they were just passing the ball around and, Siggy says, he seemed to handle it very well. They went back to playing but were soon bored anyway and ready to go out of the pool. As they did, the second old lady stopped her swim, turned around and began clapping and cheering “About time too.”

The boys, apparently, just shook their heads and kept walking. Siggy, however, had had enough and walked around the pool and had “a discussion” with her. He had to walk around the pool the pool because his hearing’s really not that great and there was a lot of noise around the pool. Anyway, he said to this “lady – complete with the ludicrous daisy pattern swimcap – that she was being extremely rude, that the pool was for everyone to enjoy and she should show the same good grace as the children had done when waiting for her to finish her classes earlier. She asked if he was a member and he said no, he was a resident. “Right, well maybe we should speak with the manager” she said.

“You speak with the manager all you want,” Siggy replied, “But you’re still being incredibly rude and ought to know better.” The Manager appeared as if by magic (or perhaps she heard the “discussion” from the reception area, which backed on to the pool) and it was explained what had happened.

“I’m very sorry,” The Manager said to Siggy with a look that said “she’s like this all the time”

Siggy replied, just to make sure that the rude old woman was getting the point, “Thanks for that and I’m more than happy to accept your apology on behalf of your club, but some of your members ought to take a good look at themselves”

“Well I wouldn’t look at you anyway” says the old woman.

“You’re only proving my point,” said Siggy, “No need to be rude or personal. It must be very sad to be so bitter”. And then he turned and left.

I actually hope the shock of someone challenging her brought on a coronary. These old folk think they have a right to rude and nasty and I wouldn’t have wasted my new found CPR skills on her anyway.

The rest of the day went really smoothly. Except for the bit in the cinema later. I don’t seem to much luck in cinemas but we had been super-prepared again and had bought the tickets BEFORE we went for dinner, just to be sure we’d get them ok and so when we had eventually got though the dinner we breezed into the cinema and up to the entrance to the screens. We were in screen 12 and so we followed the signs – yes, I followed signs* - for screens 7-12 and walked down past the small group who seemed to be standing around chatting.

“Excuse me, excuse me, Can I see you tickets?” someone in the middle of the group said . Bloody usherettes. How was I supposed to know it was a queue? Anyway, they were all going to screen 7, which was in a different direction to screen 12.

And another thing, if there are "VIP" seats and "Standard" seats, why don't they make it easier for people like me to tell which are which? Accoridng to Gordon, It's dead easy to tell and that's why he chose to sit five rows away from me because he reckoned I was sitting in the VIP seats and only had tickets for standard seats. I still don't know how you can tell the difference and the bloody usherette didnt come in to check anyway, so wehre's the harm? And in any case, he had to move back to get his share of the sweets, so he's an accomplice if - and its a big if in my mind - if we were accidentally in the better seats.

Oh well, This Means War was Ok, but I don’t think I’ll be rushing out to This Means World War 2! We rounded off the Edinburgh trip with another new experience – deep fried Cream Egg! Again, won’t be rushing out for another, but it was OK.

* Ok, I followed the boys, who were following the signs. Signs, like roads, just make things more complicated I find. Same thing happened when we were going back to the car, everyone else knew where we were going but I’m sure we had never gone down that lane before.

The rest of the week was quite quiet as well. Apart from Tuesday, when no-one had dinner until 10 o’clock at night after we had left the three teens to their own devices as a result of them being huff (not us, of course)

Oh, and Wednesday when I hoovered up Donald's retainer. I have warned him to keep it in a box, but will he listen???? Anyway, I rescued it from the tube of the hoover - well vax or whatever - and it seemed ok. He's only had it just over a week, so it's not due to be broken/mangled/eaten by Dappy for another week or so yet.

Thursday was quiet - luckily my outfit for Friday had arrived by super bloody express delivery from my very favourite onlie retailer (we'll call them "" for now). I say luckily, but apparently luck needs the extra help of £6.95 special delivery and hate paying anything for delivery. I have even been known to very cleverly avoid paying delivery  by a more expensive version from a different online store if they have a product I need. "Need" is a very difficult word to define, don't you find? Siggy always seems to misuse "want" when he refers to products I need.Strange).  

Friday was spent preparing for the murder dinner we were having that night. We have a great system of dividing up the preparations for these things and Siggy spent the day in the kitchen whilst I set the table. I don’t know what the hell he was doing because he only came through to shower about 5 minutes before the first four guests arrived – names withheld for now – when I had been through getting into my Marilyn outfit for some time. He was only ready about 5 minutes before me too.

Anyway, Toni, her husband Jack, Phoebe and Bobby arrived later and great night was had by all. Must have been, I’ve seen the photos.

However, I did come down with some terrible, terrible bug – vinblancitis, I think – which cause me to sepne all day Saturday in bed and so apologies for the blog being a bit late this week. Most of my memory functions are back now, but Friday evening and all the way through to 4am Saturday when apparently I got to bed is still a bit of a blur.

Maybe I’ll remember more by next Friday – especially now that I’ve decicded to stay off my medicine for a wee while.

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