Saturday, 28 July 2012

Holidays part 1

I've been on holiday the past two weeks. It's been lovely. When I started to blog about my time off the first draft was a confused splice of zoos and childcare implications. It works better split in two. Next week's blog is about me and childcare; this week it's the Great British Day Out.


The Farm

I've wanted a dog as long as Bear and I have been together. She's always said to me 'you can have a dog when we live somewhere with a garden.' I've recently started saying 'I notice how the same rules don't apply to children...'

When I was little my Dad would threaten to send our pets to the farm. I struggled to see how useful Jimmy the budgie would be in the tractor driving department, or whether Donna the dog would fully comprehended the benefits of crop rotation.

It was only years later that I realised that when dad said 'farm' he actually meant 'slaughterhouse.' The old joker.

Bear knows all of this, so when I suggested taking Bug to the farm she gave me the look.

"No, no!" I laughed. "I don't mean like that!"
"Good," replied Bear.
"For now."
"There's cows..."

I often get the look.

I digress. We went to the farm. Here's proof. Bug in a tractor:

The Beach

The farm bit had very little to do with farms.

I'll do better with the beach.

We bought Bug her first bucket and spade:

Sandcastles were built. I'm a father, she's a daughter. It seemed the thing to do. When I first removed the bucket leaving a perfectly formed sandcastle, Bug squealed 'oooooh!' delightedly and flapped her arms like a mental.

It was one of those moments when you realise the awe in which your child views you and the world you're introducing her to.

Afterwards we collected shells only for a bunch of bastards to steal them. I didn't see it coming. Nobody expects a well dressed, polite family of four to be a bunch of bastards. Two children came over and asked if they could play with Bug's bucket and spade. I said yes because I'm not a bunch of bastards. The mum of the family came over and started small talk while browsing the shells we'd picked.

The small talk stayed small until it talked itself out. The family said their goodbyes and left. That's when I noticed all of our shells were missing. A bunch of well dressed, polite bastards had stolen them.

I managed to take this photo as the bastards danced triumphantly away:

Not Swimming

We'd taken Bug to swimming classes every week for over 15 months. In January, the council closed down our local children's pool. It was losing money. I always assumed the long term health benefits for the area's children outweighed any monetary loss but then I am a fucking idiot.

A new swanky pool, The Royal Commonwealth Pool,  has opened in the centre of Edinburgh. We were very excited. We bought Bug a new swim suit. The night before I checked the website for opening times. 8am-10pm.

We got there at 09.05.

"Two adults and a little person for a swim!' I cheerfully said to the lady on the desk.

"The pool's closed," she replied. "TeamGB are training in it."

Now, I don't know much about swimming, but if TeamGB are training in a baby pool then their chances of Olympic gold are pretty fucking slim. I'm certain TeamUSA have got past the armband stage.

To lesson the blow, a friend pointed out that when Bug's older she'll be able to tell friends that she did her bit for the Olympics. 

Other things we did

We went to the zoo...

 ...explored nature...

 ...and chased bubbles.

Bye for now.



  1. I bet those shell thieving scum also have my wing mirrors.

    I guffawed at the swimming pool fiasco!

    Great Post. We used to take ours on the train everywhere , they used to think it was an adventure.

    1. Today Bug and Bear sat on the top deck of a bus and spent quite a while pretending to drive it!

      Brum brum!

  2. Sounds like fab couple of weeks!

    Cows, tractors, sandcastles, and bubbles are all favourites in our house. Not literally obviously, although tidying up each evening you could be forgiven for thinking all had passed through our living room!

    Luca stole a seashell from Manchester museum a few weeks ago. I'm not sure how old it was but if you held it to your ear you could hear the faint roar of a dinosaur between the sound of the waves. It was returned the same day, I really didn't want to be arrested for possibly the worst museum heist in living memory!?

    Mark, Sonny, and Luca.

    1. We went to a play group and Bug stole a shape from a shape sorter. Took me a couple of months to return it. During the weeks between I'd look on guiltily as children played with the sorter sans stolen shape. I imagined everything bad that happened to these kids for the rest of their years being somehow related to the stolen shape.

    2. And so you should! Luca played with a shape sorter at a Playgroup that was missing a piece, and now has no concept of a square, none whatsoever! He confidently explains the virtues of an isosceles triangle but show him something with four sides ...

      I sympathised with your shell thievery at first, now I can't help but feel it may have been karma!

      Too harsh?

  3. Loved this post - I have just come back from holiday too - my kids are 7, 9 and 12 but we also did a lot of beach, a bit of farm and would have done a zoo if there was one in Pembrokeshire. Not much changes - no shell stealing bastards though - phew!

  4. Lovely post! Got me all nostalgic as my mum used to take me through to Edinburgh as a kid to do these things !

    Also I must say that, despite them being a bunch of bastards, your photo of the kids at the beach is beautiful, looks like you caught it at the right moment!

    Amy O

  5. Nice post. Made me chuckle.

    Anna x