Welcome to year two of our weekly series of ‘link-up’ Posts which reflect on life’s journey, old memories and family stories (see below for more info).
We typically record our holiday memories for pleasure, right? We like to look back at the happy times we had as a family doing fun stuff, enjoying the sunshine and relaxation. We capture the moments of unadulterated joy on film and watch them back in the years to come, reminders of when the children were small and the world was a better place. But sometimes, shit gets bad.
It was the summer of 2002. I was, at that time, still married to my ex-husband and we had planned a delightful archetypal family holiday to Eurocamp in the Loire Valley with our then-2 year old son and my then-mother-in-law. (This, it turns out, was to be our first mistake. The subsequent series of catastrophies which ensued hammered the first deep nails into the matrimonial coffin). I shall list them herewith for your enjoyment…..
1. A 7 hour drive from Yorkshire to the south coast, ferry-bound, was peppered with wee-wee stops for a toddler who was in the middle of intensive toilet training. Endless.
2. As we drove up the ramp on to the ferry, a nice man indicated that we should show our passports. As I reached behind me to ask my mother-in-law for hers, she emitted a sharp gasping sound and clutched her face with her hands. “This is not a good sound”, thought I. I was right. £200 and a motorcycle courier later, she had retrieved the offending item from her nightstand.
3. Ex-husband decided to abandon Grandma in England whilst she waited for the passport, got her a hotel, and said he’d collect her from the port in France the following morning. The ‘short drive’ to the camp site turned out to be almost 5 hours, and ex-husband decided there was no way in hell he was driving back to get her again (you may by now be starting to see signs of the reason the ‘ex’ appeared as a prefix to his name…)
4. Grandma, in her 70s and alone, a non French speaker, embarks on one of the 100 Greatest Train Journeys. A multi-legged trip, including a luggage-laden trek across central Paris on the Metro. (Please don’t judge me, I would NEVER have allowed this to happen if it were my own mother and I had any say in the matter). She made it in one piece.
5. It rains in the Loire. A lot.
6. A series of forced smiles are captured on film as a record of our endless day trips to yet another beautiful chateau in the rain.
7. Day 6, toddler develops a chest infection – a French quack is sought and stress is high.
8. Feelings of joy at the promise of departing for sunny Blighty are unceremoniously squashed on day 14 when a large blister appears on toddler’s neck. Then two. Then 46. Oh crap, he has Le Pox de Chickens. Where’s that bloody dictionary?
9. There is no way I’m staying here a moment longer. Put toddler in a large hat, sunglasses and high collar – we’re smuggling him on to the ferry.
You may laugh. It’s funny, now!
Ever had a holiday that will always be remembered for the wrong reasons? Illness, aeroplane disasters, delays, relations doing battle? Let’s tell it how it really is! Join in with a comment, or write your own Blog post and share in on our Linky. A new theme every week, always nostalgia based.
Do justice to your memories – they are my bread and butter.
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A selection of other posts from this series:-
Week 2 – Old School Portrait
Week 4 – Bestest Friends
Week 5 – Teenage Crushes
Week 6 – First Movie Memories
Week 19 – Becoming a Parent
Week 25 – Old Boyfriends
Week 39 – My home town