We have had and are having a great time. Most importantly, the kids are "larging it up" (that's "language of the street," if you know what I'm saying) and hopefully will leave with memories to last them until October at least. But, come Sunday, I do think we (her and me certainly) will be ready to return to Blighty.
First, I for one am getting bored with Johnny Foreigner. We have a saying in Coleraine about anti-social types: "He wouldn't even speak to ye, the b*stard." Well, there are a lot of such types in our hotel. The Brits are in the minority here, and you can tell. My "alright, how are you doing?" (which doesn't always gain great traction in Yorkshire, if truth be told) goes even less distance here when directed at Pablo, Luigi, Jerzy, Klaus, Ruud and their compratiots. A look of confusion would do - again, common in Guiseley - but a blank stare leaves me cold.
There is also the "towel on the sunbed" issue. Many better people than me have written about this blight with much greater authority and skill than I ever could. But it does my effing head in. Do you know how early I got up on Saturday morning to ensure that Sean and Melanie plus Vanessa and I had sunbeds? 2.30am. There was just me and the crickets making noise - and half of the beds had gone even then. I rose at the more civil hour of 4.20am on Sunday to get two more. And when I went to check them on the way to breakfast, I found that some **** had moved them three down to make way for his/hers.
Yesterday, my built-up frustrations were unleashed. We were at Siam Water Park. Vanessa was watching Charlotte in one play area. I was keeping an eye on Jamie in another a little further along. Incredibly, a deck chair became available. I could hardly believe it. There were 100 deck chairs in that part of the park. 20 people on them. And 80 towels. GRRRR!
Then, even more incredibly, the chair next to me was freed up. STOP THE PRESS! So Vanessa ran back and grabbed that too, Charlotte fully in sight.
We sat for five whole minutes until I elected to nip over to Jamie, a whole 10 metres away, to advise that we'd have to leave shortly to catch our bus. I returned, no more than 30 seconds later, to find a towel on my chair - which Vanessa hadn't noticed. A quick bit of detective work told me that what we had was a mother and daughter sitting beside Vanessa. And a father sitting directly behind - now with an eye on her chair. A few minutes later, Vanessa rose to leave with me and the mini-Whites. The father got up to claim his prize. But he was left disappointed. Because I took the chair with me with a snarl and dropped it off with another desperate patron at the other end of the row. Germany 0 Northern Ireland 1.
Leaving you on a "positive" (as a modern-day sportsperson might say), there appears to a Dutch lady in our hotel who answers to the name of Minge. Yes, despite it's occasional frustrations, travel does certainly broaden the mind.