The last time I went on holiday with my Doodi, ‘Mmmbop’ was number one in the charts. Every car journey on that trip was accompanied by my siblings and I singing along loudly to the childish voices of ‘Hansom’ whilst it played on a continuous loop! My poor Dad sat grumbling in the driver’s seat, as he unsuccessfully tried to persuade us to play something different. This probably explains why we’ve never been away together since. 😛 Until last weekend! Twenty-two years later!
My Dad turned seventy this month. The big 7-0. He’s now graced this earth for a massive 25,572 days! What an enormous number of morning coffees he’s drunk! 😛 Hitting the eighth decade calls for a big celebration… especially as my Doodi has just spent the past year in a dual with bowel cancer (He’s recently been given the all-clear! Yay! 🙂 ). So we decided to party in style, with a weekend of beaches, arcades and chips!We spent the infamous Mmmbop holiday camping in a four-man tent, at the top of a muddy field, miles from the toilet block. In the twenty-odd years since our last holiday together, our family brood has increased in size with the addition of new partners, children and a dog! And some can no longer be persuaded to sleep under canvas. So luckily we found a fabulous, and very cool, home-from-home, in the south coast seaside village of Pagham. Big sliding doors opened out onto the sunny patio, the enormous open-plan living area was large enough for the nephews to run around, and there was a fab mezzanine playroom to house their many many books and toys! There were port-holes for windows, secret sliding cupboards dotted about, and the most complicated and fancy oven and hob we’ve ever tried to use! It was fantastic! And there wasn’t a muddy toilet block in sight! 😛
It was a wonderful weekend. Super. Friday night was spent in the garden in the glorious evening sun. Fish and chips, catch-ups and plenty of wine (or tea for me!). And for the first time in ages, I managed all the crazy voices whilst reading the boy’s bedroom story! On Saturday we threw stones in the wavy sea, and tried to fly Luca’s kite at the beach (until we realised it was so windy, it would probably take him with it! :-P). We spent a bucket of 2ps in the ‘Penny Slots’ machines in the traditional old arcade, and played ‘spot the shell trinkets we used to own as children’ in the old-skool gift shop. We enjoyed a family game of ‘Mysteries of Old Peking’, had a treasure hunt in the back garden, and Adam and Doodi provided the background entertainment with their fab jamming sessions! And at the family party on Saturday night, we battered a poor defenseless dinosaur until it gave us loads of sweets! (It was a Pinata, don’t panic! 😉 ). Plus we ate the indulgent birthday cake as a midnight snack! Perfect!
The last time I took a trip away with my Dad, platform shoes were in fashion, mood rings were all the rage, and my tiny butterfly hair clips were “trendy”. Although adulthood gets in the way, and time zooms by like a bullet train… it still amazes me that twenty two years have passed since we last sat on the beach together. Amazes me and slightly saddens me. I regularly hang out with my Dad, chat on the phone, catch-up on Whatsapp… but there is something special about eating a fry up in your pyjamas, drinking wine without a designated driver, excitedly making plans for tomorrow. Taking a trip away means better quantity and quality of time. Thank goodness his big birthday was the kick up the bottom needed to synchronize our diaries! I’m certain it won’t be twenty-two years until we do so again! 🙂
Oh and we didn’t sing ‘Mmmbop’ to him at all, all weekend! 😛