Haven Shmaven Trailer Trash Times

05/10/2009

Name that Tune: “I’ll go walkin‘ in a hurricane, I’ll come crawlin‘ in a drivin‘ rain, I’ll keep searchin‘ ’til I go insane” – Walking in a Hurricaine, John Fogerty

Movie Quote of the Day: “This place has become impossible. Nothing to eat, freezing cold and now a madman on the prowl outside with eels.” – Withnail & I

I don’t even know where to start but I am spoilt for choice with the Withnail & I quotes which would suit our 5 day sojourn, adrift on the windblown rainsoaked outskirts (underskirts) of Blackpool. I could quite easily gone with: “We’ve gone on holiday by mistake” or “We just ran out of wine. What are we gonna do about it?

It was that kind of holiday.

Dictionary definition of the word haven is; “a place of safety”. So having not 1 but 2 completely ineffectual smoke alarms fitted in our trailer doesn’t really cut it in the safety stakes does it? The reason we knew they were ineffectual is twofold: – (a) detector 1 was open with the battery hanging loose on a wire. (b) detector 2 remained completely silent as the kitchen area filled up with smoke as the dodgy oven burnt the bottom of our pizza to a cinder whilst simultaneously leaving the topping completely cold! We retaliated (accidentally) by melting the side of the kitchen sink with the oven tray when we were rescuing the burning pizza from the oven. Oopsie.

Not quite as serious an issue but nonetheless irksome, was the total uselessness of the tin opener – hurrah for the bushtucker utility knife gadget I usually have about my person for such emergencies as hacking into stubborn tins of cheapo baked beans or, as was the case on one of the evenings during “Showtime in the Show Bar”, carrying out essential repairs on a $2 light saber & cutting drinking straws in half to share out amongst the childerbeast.

So. The weather was beyond grim for the duration. I slept precariously in the small double bed with the childerbeast for warmth as there was no spare roll-out bed as we had been lead to believe. I was woken each morning at around 0500 by one of the other childerbeast in the room next door demanding milk & banging on the wall with her broken leg in a cast. This was after staying up late next to the fire in the living area to store some heat then not having slept due to the chill factor in the bedroom (fully clothed) & the cramp factor of 2 starfish childerbeast & their stuffed entourages. Both girls had managed to sneak 4 cuddly toys each into their suitcases & then gone & won more in the arcades, so space in the bed was at a minimum & they both seemed determined to kick their old Ma out of bed with their constant writhing. All the while as I lay in bed each night listening to the howling typhoon going on outside, convinced that I could hear water dripping inside the trailer & cursing myself for having had this lame idea in the first place. Just keep telling yourself it’s for the kids I said to myself, and keep smiling!

I suppose I should start at the beginning for a proper review so here goes:-

The childerbeast & I arrived on Monday in the pouring rain at Blackpool North train station & as we had no idea which bus to get to the park we hopped in a black cab, which cost me the thick end of £12!

We had 2 hours until we could check-in but were free to use the facilities in the meantime. Whoop! Pity it was pissing down which ruled out pretty much most of the activities other than the money gobbling arcades. G & her tribe arrived about an hour later by which time I was ripped to the tits on pop bought at the bar for me and kids who then decided they didn’t like theirs “as it was too fizzy” so, waste not want not, I drank theirs too… We took a seat in the Showbar (very sticky tables) clutching our Bradley Bear check-in token & awaited our time to go up & collect our keys as we listened to what would transpire to be one of only two CD’s that the park had to offer. It went a bit like this;- Billy Piper, Hanson, Cotton Eyed Joe, McFly, Steps, & (somewhat bewilderingly in May) Slade’s ‘Merry Christmas Everybody’, and did not improve even with a couple of half lagers to numb the void. The other CD was songs by Haven’s resident characters The Zoo Troop, so to be fair, a bit of ‘Mmm Bop’ was welcome release from the alternative.

By 4:20 we had our keys & ‘Fun Passes’ & trudged off in the rain to our trailer which was naturally, situated as far away from the ‘Funzone’ as was possible without actually not being in the park at all! Bedrooms were claimed & some tea was rustled up then little girls were changed into disco frillies & we were all soon trooping back down to the FunZone for the evening show. We were not early enough to get a front row seat which made it awkward for the wheelchair for little J & her broken leg so we made a mental note to get there earlier the next night. Childerbeast were parked on the dancefloor with some Quavers & a 5-Alive each & G & I made with the 6 pint pitcher of lager (“Go Large – You’re on Holiday”).

The next day G felt unwell & had the shakes & aching chest all day which we couldn’t decide was due to poor sleep, or over-indulgence in beer & wine the previous night. Then the next day she was fine & it was me who felt as though I was going to pass out all day. Not much fun.

We had a trip to the nearest Tesco for supplies which considering we had 5 childerbeast in tow wasn’t totally hideous an experience. I did have to raise my voice at one point over some trolley jostling by the girlies, thus frightening an old lady into dropping her pineapple in shock as I boomed; “Please do not touch that again!” as we walked past her. I apologised for alarming her & said it was my ‘school voice’. She said it was most impressive! 🙂

The rain did not let up & the wind kept on blowing & each day we had to think of ways to keep the childerbeast entertained, including a 3 year old in a full leg-cast, whilst still trying to get our monies worth from the holiday & not go insane from exasperation. A did very well on her behaviour chart but my ‘Dont Shout Mummy’ chart may as well have been torn to shreds & used for firelighters!

Throughout the week ideas for Facebook status updates kept popping into my head:-

Kit is…thinking she has swine flu
Kit is…wishing she had packed her wellies
Kit is…counting the hours til it’s time to go home
Kit is…wondering if it’s too early for a tequila shot
Kit is…thinking that next year she & G will go to Spain instead without the kids.
Kit is…wondering if it’s too early for a 6 pint pitcher of beer
Kit is… thinking she may be using alcohol as a crutch
Kit is…clearly spending too much time on Facebook!


One day we did a bit of ornithology by the Mere & the kids got soaked in puddles, another day we took them swimming with poor little J parked at the poolside in her wheelchair with a comic to keep her occupied. Non-swimmers were not allowed further than the halfway mark up the rather small pool so we were all herded at one end like floundering salmon in armbands & when G offered to supervise while I had a go at a few lengths I was whistled by the lifeguard (and not in a good way) & shooed back to the shallow-end which considering I could probably have outswum him in a race was a bit of a cheek I thought.

There was one lame looking slide which only opened for about 15 minutes of our session. The childerbeast all managed to get a turn though & none of them freaked out too much when they went under water as I was waiting for them at the bottom of the slide in the catchpool bit to fish them out. What an unladylike entrance I made into that though! I underestimated the depth of it so stepped in from the top rung of the ladder in full view of every other parent in the pool all waiting to get in to catch their own offspring & I ended up stuck with my right leg in the pool & my left foot trapped between the top rung & the poolside, legs akimbo & bikini line at full spread (mercifully recently pruned) undersmile ahoy! Joy! My public humiliation was complete in the both sexes changing room when my darling children decided to throw open the changing room door as I was still naked & talcum powdering my ass & both shrieked; “Look at my mummy’s ginormous flappy boobies!”.

Ginormous nor flappy they are not but exposed to the general public & dusted with talc they certainly were!

Just keep smiling & tell yourself you’re doing it for the kids.

Kit is… still thinking about that tequila shot.

I noted with enthusiasm that evening in dire need of alcoholic oblivion that they were offering Vodka slushies or Frozen tequilas for £3. My excitement was quashed though when the Scouse barman informed me that the frozen tequila machine was broken. Phooey! Vodka slushies it was to be then. I was presented with a shot of house vodka & a plastic beaker of very slushy slushie & told I had to mix it myself “for Health & Safety reasons”… Kill me, please just put me out of my misery!

R almost gave me a coronary one evening when she asked for money to get some crisps & when I watched her go off to the bar I realized with horror that she was leaving the Showbar altogether & running off barefoot somewhere else. I ran after her & realized she was going to the café bar which was on the other side of 2 arcades! I followed discreetly & watched from behind a giant breakfast menu as she bought 2 packs of cheese & onion & skipped off back to the Showbar. I was alarmed that she had gone off that far on her own but also happy that she was confident enough to do so. It was unlikely that any harm would have come to her but even so…there are a lot of unsavoury types out there.

On Wednesday after swimming & a simple but lingering lunch back at the trailer the rain stopped so it was coats on kids & get out there for some Adventure Golf & a go on the Mini Go Carts. When we got there though everything except the childrens’ play park was locked up & under tarpaulin. When I asked a Yellow Coat or Haven Mate or whatever they’re called about it, she told me to go and ask at the Arcade for the golf clubs but the arcade dude informed me it was all closed “because of the wind & would open again when it gets brighter”. I was like, “Dude, this is as bright as it’s gonna get this week, release the clubs or it’s gonna get ugly”. He wasn’t going for it though so we had to make do with the swings & climbing frames. So basically we paid good money to take our kids 2½ hours away from home to go to the park & then watch loons in fancy dress singing strange songs on an evening. We could have done that for nothing back here!

Thursday was the driest clearest day so we bundled them out & onto an open-top bus by 1030 on route to Blackpool Tower, which obviously we didn’t actually go into because it’s about £12 each.

Armed with buckets & spades & anoraks zipped unto the neck to try and keep out the piercing bite of the wind off the Irish Sea we realized with dismay that the tide was right in so there was no chance of any sandcastle action. The tide is either right in or right out in Blackpool – no happy medium so Game Over on the bucket & spade times!

G’s determination to not frequent any arcades was admirable but ultimately futile because after about 10 minutes we were forced to seek sanctuary in Coral Island to escape the cold. Bless her, she wasn’t going to take coats for the kids until I persuaded her that not to do so in Blackpool was tantamount to child abuse even if it did look like blue skies overhead. We were tempted to purchase ‘Slappers on Tour’ pink Stetsons or Tam ‘O’ Shanter with wig attachments just to keep warm but decided against it for fear of traumatising the children. So we bravely marched into the wind up the Golden Mile towards the Pleasure Beach which I had to explain wasn’t actually a beach to G who had never been to Blackpool before or knew that much about it.
Taking the kids to Blackpool with the steely determination of not spending money on any rides is never going to fly when the tide is in but I think we got away with it quite lightly considering. A couple of goes on the teacups & kiddie racetrack & a simulator ride in Coral Island kept them (& our purses) happy We steered clear of the 3 piers, falsely playing the wheelchair inaccessibility trump card to the childerbeast when they wanted to know why we weren’t checking them out. Although I have to say that it was like a wheelchair & mobility scooter rally & without wheelchair access I should imagine many of the arcades would go bust pretty quickly if the clientele we saw was anything to go by. Every time I go back to Blackpool it seems to look more & more run down, much like Boro really. The decline of the British seaside town – very sad.

To be fair to the old birthplace though, at least all their seafront facilities are open at this time of year, even mid week, especially May Day week. There were lots on the Golden Mile that were shuttered up & there are only so many Rasta hat/wigs, stripping lady mugs, snowglobes, sticks of rock in the shape of willies & $2 light sabers a gal can buy to keep a store in business. I tried to persuade G that we should both get a saucy combat chick costume to take home & surprise our menfolk with but she wasn’t going for it (sorry Bman & cousin F – I tried) 🙂

All in all, inclement weather & limited facilities aside the childerbeast had a good time & I very much enjoyed spending time with G, drinking wine of an evening infront of a roaring pizza & setting the world to rights, analyzing ourselves & the ones we’d loved & lost & the current ever present men in our lives. Next time though I’d like to very much go on holiday somewhere that does not require a Kagoule & 2 pairs of socks as standard eveningwear because after the very chilly evenings of Haven & Portugal so far this year I think I am in need of somewhere in the regions of 35°+ naked sleeping & mozzie nets above the bed. Thailand or India anyone?

Hurrah, we’re saved!
Xx
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: