Sunday, 4 May 2008

A Grand Day Out

We've had a day at the beach, me, my three girls, my Scottish friend and her two boys.
We were terribly eco-friendly, taking just our 7-seater Volvo, instead of spreading over two vehicles.
Daughter number one refused to go because the sea air makes vampires very huffy "and Mummy you really won't like if if I'm very angry"
Daughters two and three had busy making models and were still plastered in clay when they announced they were ready to go.
The milkman arrived, looking somewhat haggard and in need of strong coffee. I left him struggling to make coherent conversation with Darling Husband and went outside to find the inside of the car. I was amazed to find carpets on the floor and leather on the seats!! My goodness, it turned out to be blue as well! I was sure I would have enough rubbish to fill a dozen skips, yuck!
Our friends arrived all ready for a day trip. Daughter number one forgot she was in a strop and got in the car with everyone else.
We were off!
After 7 or 8 miles there was an expression of interest in throwing up from the very back. This meant a seat changeover, a sturdy plastic bag and a morale boosting chat with the other passengers that there were only a few more miles to go, well, not quite sixty miles actually.
We were off!
There was a quiet anticipation of vomit in the car and it was very pleasantly free of moaning. My friend and I sat happily in the front, enjoying the bright sunshine.
We reached roadworks on the M4, nightmare!
"Are we there yet?".....

On reaching our destination, all stomach contents intact, smiling faces, shouts of "I can see the sea!", the sun went in and it started to rain. Not to be deterred by the grim weather, the children quickly disembarked and grabbed a bag/basket each and tore down to the sand. I put on two jumpers and a jacket, bought 7 polystyrene cups of Hot Chocolates and followed suit.

The light was dramatic and beautiful, the rain stopped, the children dug holes and paddled in the rock pools. They built a huge sandcastle and got soaking wet. The tide suddenly seemed to be very close so everybody grabbed something and ran for the pebbly bits where the tide doesn't reach. "Has everybody got everything?" , we glanced around, confident we had all our belongings and legged it.

We opened our picnic, I had to confiscate the butter knife from my friend as it soon became very clear she was incapable in the spreading department, and we were soon all chomping happily on sandy sandwiches with added cheese and ham, hard boiled eggs and crisps.

We were happily munching, watching the tides swirling round the rocks we had just been sat on when daughter no. 1 shouted "Look, it's Jazzies boot!!"
There was one of her beautiful pink suede boots, floating on the incoming tide. Jazz was devastated that her boot was wet, and then even more so when she realised that she didn't have the other one. Daughter no. 1 rescued the boot, laughing at how daft her sister was. She looked around for her own boots, "OHMYGOD!! Mummy, where are my Converses??"
Another panic, we were now three items of footwear down, and had two very stroppy, upset girls on our hands demanding we left the beach immediately to buy new shoes.

I suggested we all calm down, and finish our picnic. Well what do you know, there was another pink boot floating in towards us HURRAY!! One daughter was restored to being perfect, the other now had smoke pouring from her ears and was about to spontaneously combust. The boys had wandered off along the beach in order to avoid the tantrums, the youngest one suddenly started screaming and yelling..oh, what now?? He'd found one Converse along the beach and he could see the other one trying to attach itself to a mans' foot. Brilliant!

We thought it best to leave immediately if not sooner, before any other calamity could come our way. Humour well restored and ice creams in hand we drove off, having thoroughly enjoyed our day. The journey home was speedy and stress-free, we just had to stop and fill up with Diesel on our return to Monmouth. (Have you seen how much it is??)

There is only one petrol station in Monmouth, it was packed with vehicles spilling out onto the road and there was a definite amount of stress building up because of the waiting, amongst the drivers.
The gentleman (I use that term very loosely) in front of us was in a 4x4.
He filled up with Diesel.
The car in front of him drove away leaving a nice big space (without Diesel on the pump).
We waited patiently.
The gentleman (again, loosely) locked his petrol cap (no-one does that anymore, come on!), rooted around in his vehicle for a while and then produced a petrol can.
He filled that up with Petrol.
We waited patiently.
He put the can back in his car and started to walk to pay for his fuel...I beep the horn and when he turned said, could you move up a bit so I fill up p...
"HAVE SOME PATIENCE!!" he yelled, dragged his door open and lurched his vehicle forwards.
I smiled and said "Thankyou", now I had a landrover and horse box behind me the queues were seriously building up.
I tried to put Diesel in my car, but it wouldn't work because Mr Happy had used the pump twice and they can't let you have any if two amounts are owning on one pump.
We waited patiently.
As soon as he'd started to pay I was able to start filling my car, the gentleman stamped out of the shoppy bit and shouted "See! You didn't get it any faster did you? AND, YOU could have pulled in front of me!!"
"There's no Diesel on that pump" I replied, "Dickhead!".
The man drove off, I pulled forwards out of courtesy for the next vehicle and paid for the outrageously expensive fuel politely and with terribly good humour.We laughed all the way home.
What a Grand Day out!