While I had made good provision to ensure a safe crossing, I was totally unprepared for the next challenge. Ten days, four people and one small caravan. And even smaller beds.
So small, that while I’m not an exceptionally tall, my feet invariably hung off the bed, putting pressure on the spine, causing pain in the lower back. But, being the stalwart that I am, I soaked this up without complaint, for the sake of the family holiday. But there was more pain to come.
While I concede I was a teenager once, was I ever like the teenagers of today? I think not.
Perhaps my memory has clouded over the years and maybe my parents would think differently, but I reckon I was relatively polite and had vocabulary beyond the odd, undecipherable, grunt.
I certainly wouldn’t have dreamed of spreading my unwashed bulk across the limited comfy seating area. Perhaps my lad did it because his personal living space was awash with dirty clothes that he hadn’t bothered to tidy, leaving it an unpleasant area in which to relax. Clearly, it was too much to ask from him, to have a little respect for the others that might wish to be seated.
And it wasn’t just his student bulk that was off-putting. There was the music.
The irritating drone of the IPod headphones we endured on the lengthy road trip to our destination had been replaced with full-on noise, as a set of mini-speakers were engaged. At volume 11.
It was at this stage of the vacation I wondered why we had paid to travel to France, when I could get the same attitude, stench and poisoned eardrums, by simply moving into local student digs?
But there was more. There was the heady mix of sun and alcohol.
England: in the bedroom - ‘I think I’m old enough to pack my own stuff so feck off and leave me alone’.
France: on the beach, no shade, well over 30c (86f) - ‘Did you pack your sun hat?’
This came prior to the JD & Coke. I personally didn’t think it was a good idea and voiced my opinion. It fell on deaf ears as my good lady wife failed to engage common sense and back me up, not wanting to hear a bad word about her first-born.
In the early hours of the following morning, I’m guessing I was proved right. But I didn’t feel very smug, as having finally found a comfortable position in the smallest bed in the world, I was awoken to the sound of vomiting and diarrhea.
Maybe it’s me getting old. Maybe it’s him growing up. Time will no doubt heal the scars before next year’s vacation is upon us, but right now I’m trying to erase all thought of holidays and hopefully this blog post will help me let it go.
Holly Daze on the beach - overrated