27/9/15 – I don’t love all inclusive

Oh man, this morning was painful/not really existent. I woke up at some point and had to have another chucking session (sorry, readers, but it’s the truth). This time, I had the sense to actually use the toilet, rather than the balcony. There’s something about being sick that’s just so horrible, but it then makes you feel so much better afterwards. Double-edged sword and all that. I slept on and off for the next few hours, finally getting up at around half twelve. I managed to sleep off some of the effects, but still felt totally bleugh. I never would have guessed how tough it is to put sun cream on when you’re hungover. All I knew is that we needed to get downstairs asap, as we hadn’t had non-alcoholic drinks in well over twelve hours and I was in dire need of liquids. Because of not having our own fridge, as well as the whole drinks being available for free at most hours of the day thing, we hadn’t had any pop in the room.

We decided that food would be a good idea too, so as well as guzzling a few glasses of pop, I forced myself to chow down on starchy foods to soak up the excess alcohol – meaning more rice, garlic potatoes, pizza, a bread roll and some spicy beef stuff just because it looked nice. Actually enjoyed it all still, but it did take me a while to get through. That’s when you know I’m not feeling my best; when it starts affecting my eating habits. We had a little cool down in one of the mini pools afterwards (they work as a waterfall in different levels). Well, my idea of a cool down was only getting ankle deep, since it was still so frickin’ cold.

I felt well enough to top up on my sunbathing after that – I just made the most of the all inclusive via endless pop this time. Did more reading and also wrote a good chunk for Affinity, which I’ve been struggling with for ages. It’s not consecutively the next scene, but hey, I’ve gotta go where my creativity takes me. The sun disappeared behind the clouds for good around five-ish, so I did a run to the shop for Red Bull and general pop for the room (not making that mistake again). Had a bit of a chill with my book and Red Bull before showering and getting ready. Back on the pineapple track today with one of my pineapple playsuits. Yes, one of. I may have brought three with me.

Not sure what the theme of the food was this time, other than awesome. More of the rice, potatoes, pizza, raviola, meats, etc. I kept it limited for pudding this time with all strawberry flavoured things – mousse, jelly and a crepe with strawberry sauce. We’d generally been having a glass of sangria with our meal every night, but we both chose to forego that part tonight on account of alcohol still being more on the bleugh factor than the yes factor. That soon changed for me though when we went through into the entertainment area. I haven’t made the most of the all inclusive today – I need to catch up. I could only hack a few cocktails this time, but at least I made the effort.

Our usual entertainment people were off today, as it’s Sunday, so we just had karaoke on instead. That was then primarily taken over by a Spanish couple, who may have been hired by the hotel – who knows? The woman clearly thought she was way better than she actually was and the guy got so breathy with his mic that you’d think he was having a love affair with it. They butchered quite a few songs that we knew and, all in all, it was pretty dire. But of course, we got our own entertainment in making fun of them. Mean, but true. We’d sat with Brenda and Karen, Kirstie, Kymm and their friend Pete (who they’d told us the night before was too boring to come and party) so we all had a laugh together. At one point, Brenda had gone for drinks and when she came back, the Spanish woman had started singing I Want To Break Free. Karen shouted at Brenda to get her hoover out, so she did, across the dance floor. Very amusing.

At one point, Patrik popped up, despite the fact that he wasn’t working. He told us he was going to see a show that some of his dancer friends were in and asked if we’d like to join him, which was very sweet. Kel wasn’t feeling up to it though, because of the earlier hangover, and everyone else is going home in the morning, so they passed too. We stayed up chatting for a while after the ‘entertainment’ ended. Kirstie and Kymm were first to retire to bed. We decided to go back to our room when everyone else did, as the all inclusive had also ended. Kel didn’t want anymore to drink anyway and I still had a Kopparberg in the room.

We came back up and had planned to watch the next episode of Chuck on my iPod, plugging it into the speakers. I’d clearly misjudged though and hadn’t realised there was another episode she needed to see first, which wasn’t on my iPod. Boo. No matter though – I have a hell of a lot of stuff on my iPod, so we chilled with a couple of episodes of Fruits Basket instead before bed. Gotta love that show!

Watching everyone conga through the cave during aqua gym certainly helped me forget my hangover!

Watching everyone conga through the cave during aqua gym certainly helped me forget my hangover!

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25/9/15 – Where everybody looks like everybody

We got up fairly early. We’d both been doing very loud yawning and stretching as we got up, so I joked, “Who can make the most noise?” And a man immediately sneezed somewhere outside. I think we have a winner. We got all dressed and sun creamed up and headed down to breakfast. The food hall is huge and has a lot of variation of foods, though it’s not very logically laid out. We didn’t even make it to the typical hot breakfast stuff. By that point, I’d already filled up on bread rolls, cold cuts and cheese, a croissant, watermelon and this really nice cheese on toast with salami thing. Guess we’ll have to explore the rest tomorrow morning.

Our pool is very big and very pretty. We got sunbeds on the decking, overlooking it. There were activities going on throughout the day and we have three entertainer/rep type people hosting everything and wandering around, trying to encourage people to join in. They’re called Patrik, Joel (pronounced Jo-ell) and Marek. Patrik is very much the Slovakian Captain Awesome and Joel commented on my diamonds tattoo being Harley Quinn and that she wanted it. I do believe that’s the first person to have brought up that particular tattoo and not had to ask what it means. Kudos, Joel.

She gave us word searches and sudokus to do whilst we were sat around the pool. Hardest fucking word search I’ve ever done too! Some people went off to play shuffleboard. We abstained as we had no idea what the hell it was. Other people were then roped in to make pretzels, as we have a German Octoberfest kinda theme going on for today (the reps were all wearing cute green lederhosen type things). I passed on that too since you had to wear little latex gloves for it and those kind of things always bother my hands, but Kel had a go at that and then the aqua gym (water aerobics) too.

I probably looked like the miserable one, but I’d been developing another migraine by this point. I’d really hoped they’d leave me alone for this holiday, but apparently not. I went back up to the room to take one of my meds and bury my head in a pillow for a little while before coming back down. Once the meds kicked in and I felt a bit more alive, I could finally start making the most of our all inclusive deal. Had a couple of sangrias and a couple of cocktails whilst sitting by the pool, reading and writing. Very nice! My only complaint is that as pretty as everything is and, despite the fact that the air itself is quite warm, there is no sun! Where is the sun! It even started raining a bit on more than one occasion. I can’t believe I flew ten thousand miles for this shit. (Very harsh exaggeration, but I just wanted to get my quotes in).

First drinks! Yes, I was the greedy one who had two. Is anyone really surprised?

First drinks! Yes, I was the greedy one who had two. Is anyone really surprised?

We grabbed lunch from the snack bar at some point in the day, which is right nearby the pool, along with the one bar. I had chips, sausage and a giant pretzel. Then a bit later I had a bread roll and a teeny cake from the ‘coffee and pastries’ stage. There is hardly any time in the day when there isn’t some kind of meal being served. This suits me just dandy. I tried to make sure I had a glass of pop for almost every alcoholic drink I had to try and start hydrated to prevent further headachey stuff. This is the kind of thing you have to worry about when you start getting old. I think I’m gonna spend this holiday peeing.

Following the German theme, they also set up a game of beer pong. Sitting on the decking is the best place because we could just watch everything across the pool. We also kept hearing this stupid Istanbul song whilst they were playing. It’ll be like the German equivalent of that gabbu-gabbu-gabbu song we kept hearing in Greece last year. As it got later, we decided to have a wander out of the complex to find a nearby shop to stock up on necessities for the room. In my case, this is Red Bull, Kopparberg and crisps. In one of the shops, I did spy a big litre bottle of Grey Goose for about fifty euros! I know what I’m doing if I have money and case space left when we leave.

We came back up to the room to chill for a bit, shower and slowly get ready. The shower is super powerful and awesome. I love a power shower – it’s so much easier to wash your hair in. I drank my Red Bull and wrote another short story in between getting ready. I wore my poofy pineapple bargain dress from Primark, which is just too cute to have only been three quid. We’ve established that people will probably think I’m a nutter, as most of the clothes and accessories I’ve brought with me have pineapples on them and I even have a pineapple tattooed on my foot. So yeah, they would be correct.

We came down for food first and had fun around the illogical buffet again. I had a bizarre turkey skewer, chips, yummy herby potatoes, cuts of beef (which didn’t seem at home with everything else), lasagne, meat tortellini, meatballs and some delicious rice. There’s something about European rice. Greece, Turkey, Spain – they all clearly add some very tasty things to it. Then for pudding I had jelly, strawberry ice cream, a little toffee eclair, peach slices and strawberry and pineapple mousses. I love pudding buffets more than anything. After eating, we moved into the ‘entertainment’ area, which is basically lots of tables and chairs pointed at a little stage and dance floor space. Of course, throughout the night we were making the most of the all inclusive again with sangria and cocktails, then progressing to some very strong vodka and lemon.

The entertainment was actually hilarious. Firstly, they were getting people up to do the conga line. They grabbed Kel, but I escaped because of my big shoes that I’ve already fallen over very painfully in before, despite how much they tried to nag me. This is where I start to get a bit annoyed, when people pester you to get up and do something. I’m not like one of those miserable people who just sit in the corner – if I want to join in with something, I will, and often do. I actually quite like a good conga line, despite some very awkward past romantic experience with it (don’t ask), so know that I have a good reason if I abstain. In this case, not wanting to fall flat on my face feels like a good reason.

I was actually very glad I said no, since they quickly turned it into a limbo tournament. I’m pretty good at limbo, but again, certainly not in my big wedges. I couldn’t do the classy thing of taking them off either, as one of the waters had smahed a glass not long before. I’ve had to have glass picked out of my foot once before and I’d really rather not repeat it, thanks. We took fun from watching everyone else play and from just people watching in general. We found a lot of lookalikes. There was a creepy guy on his own who reminded me of a weird Murr from one angle and a younger version of Barry from work. There were a couple of Chris’s from work, a girl from the Inbetweeners, a young Clive from work, an older Curt Smith and an Asian Steve Frank. Not forgetting our very own Captain Awesome in Patrik too.

After the limbo tournament, we watched them all dancing to some of the classic songs like the Macarena and the Cha Cha Slide. It was particularly hilarious because Marek has absolutely no rhythm at all. He was all over the place. He did try though, bless him. They then got everyone to bring their chairs in front of the stage. Obviously we thought we were going to watch them play Musical Chairs. But no. They all sat down in a circle and moved their feet around to the music, then when it got to the chorus they all got up, picked their chairs up over their heads and started dancing around with them. It was absolutely hilarious and so not expected! That’s definitely the oddest game of Musical Chairs I’ve ever seen.

This is how everyone should play Musical Chairs from now on!

This is how everyone should play Musical Chairs from now on!

They pulled the tombola and the entertainment ended from there, as did the all inclusive, boo. After eleven you have to start paying for your drinks. We finished up the ones we had and decided to go for a bit of a wander down the road just to see what else we could find that was nearby. We clearly chose the wrong road because all we could find were little houses and a black cat that I dubbed Satan. Satan became our best bud for the walk and followed us around for a while, before we got bored and decided to head back. Time to build up the fan tower again!

6/3/15 – Lost specifically just inside the Welsh border

Our next little vacay is go! This time we had a much more relaxed preparing session before leaving. I still got up fairly early to go with Dad to take Izzy to the kennels. He made his standard joke of did I want to go to the playground on the way back (we’d always done that as kids when taking Star and Oscar to be kennelled). I said yes, but he didn’t actually take me. Rude. Me and Kel ran round doing the last alcohol runs, packing the final things, etc. I made sure we still made twenty minutes spare to watch the newest episode of Impractical Jokers before leaving (that punishment was brutal – poor Murr!)

We met up with the rest of our twelve-person crew at Becketts Farm for brunch. I’m not really fancy enough to make brunch a common thing, but it was an awkward point to eat that was in between mealtimes. Therefore it was brunch. Had a lovely brisket and caramelised onions ciabatta and some fancy onion rings. As we were all getting back into the cars Mom suggested we all follow each other and stop off somewhere in Ludlow first as we wouldn’t be allowed into our cabins until later. We agreed, but then the rest of them sodded off and left us whilst I was still having to faff with the immobiliser. Rude again. So me and Kel armed ourselves with Disney music and her Aussie satnav Bruce and just had to head straight to Knighton, since we had no idea where to find the others in Ludlow.

The drive was fairly similar to the one we follow when we go to Little Brampton. There was an amusing moment when we passed another MX-5 going in the opposite direction – we started waving at each other pretty much at the same time! I love how everyone seems to have the same mindset that they want to wave at other people who have the same car (or in Mom’s case if they just have yellow cars too). The postcode we’d put into the satnav didn’t even take us the whole way, but after a weird detour round some little backwards town with tiny roads and some directions via phone call from Mom we were able to find the right path again.

We’d been driving down this creepy-ass road with room for only one car at a time and overlooked by big spooky hedges when it suddenly opened up onto a massive space that looked out onto Blackhall Lodges in the middle of a valley, where we’re staying. It’s quite literally in the middle of nowhere. It has several cabins all grouped around in one little field (with a playground too, yey!) Can’t decide quite yet if it’s creepy or cute. We were given the keys to one of the cabins and got to have the first look around. Oh yeah. The cabin’s very nice! It’s all warm and cosy with high ceilings, a loft room and its own hot tub out on the patio that overlooks the surrounding hills. We sat down and chilled to some McFly over the fancy sound system whilst waiting for the others to turn up.

When they eventually arrived it turned out that we’d been given the keys to the wrong cabin, so we had to play swapsies. Luckily we hadn’t unpacked anything from the car yet. Uncle Dave was winding us up about having to move rooms, so I pointed out instead that I’d already used his toilet. Ha! We all unpacked and had a lounge around for an hour or so. Had a Kopparberg (let’s face it; it’s not a Tone holiday without some Kopparbergs) and chatted to Ben about games. Then we all convened again to get in the cars and head out in search of a pub.

Had another mad little detour around the crazy back streets but we soon found one. Was happy to see that they had Stowford Press on draft. Easily the best thing about Wales! The food took a pretty long time and we were all cursing, but it was worth it. I had chicken tikka masala with mixed rice, naan bread, poppadom and onion bhajis. When in doubt go for the meal that has the most extras! It was super dark by the time we got back. Kel had to use the light on her phone as a torch to get us from one cabin to the other. The idiot then freaked herself out by shining it on the anorexic bear statue outside our cabin.

Once we got inside I immediately got changed into my bikini, grabbed another Kopparberg and hit the hot tub with Kel, Mark and Ben. It was absolutely lush – even better than the one at Little Brampton. We had a goss about Arrow and Gotham and had another round of drinks. Getting out was brutal though. I hopped around with my towel outside for all of ten seconds before we all crammed in to huddle together on the mat whilst we were still wet. When I was drying off afterwards I found out that my old bikini had melted all over me in the hot tub. Yay. Safe to say that got thrown straight in the bin and best cousin Sar helped me to get the marks off my back.

We all chilled in the living room for the rest of the night. Broke out the cookies and watched the rest of Bridget Jones 2 that was on telly, followed by some lame horror called See No Evil. You gotta love Zone Horror. The whole time the wind was proper raging outside. Never heard it quite like that before! There’s something about sitting somewhere cosy inside and listening to the wind though. Of course it wasn’t quite so comforting after when I was in bed. Not only could I not get to sleep; there was an even weirder noise outside that sounded like somebody was getting abducted. Cue nightmare time. Let’s hope tomorrow night’s weather is a little less British.

Welcome to The Village. We hope you enjoy your stay!

Welcome to The Village. We hope you enjoy your stay!

28/6/14 – What are these clouds?

Woke up from a sexy Slade Wilson dream, oh yeah. Watched more Darker Than Black, then we all got ready in turn to go hunting for food. It turned out that Panorama had a little snack bar on the beach so we went there. It was really odd – we had to go down some steps and then through what seemed to be somebody’s vegetable patch. I had a jacket potato with cheese and beans and because we were there I just had to have the halloumi cheese again. Sooo good. We went into the bakery a few doors down after for pudding. I had strawberry ice cream and cherries and cream frozen yoghurt. Nothing on Entices, but still yummy.

We spent a few hours on the beach. I did more writing and had my usual Kopparberg. We were horrified though when it actually started to get cloudy! What are these clouds! So we buggered off to do a bit of shopping instead. Mel needed leggings for her horse riding tomorrow, as well as a new suitcase because hers literally exploded on the flight over. We all needed shaving cream too. We ended up getting men’s cream because it was a lot cheaper. I’m assuming it’ll work the same.

Had Red Bull and sangria in the apartment amongst reading, watching Psych and Darker Than Black and getting ready. Had a Hawaii Five-O at the bar and Skyped the oldies for a bit, whilst Mel watched the Brazil game. We watched the penalties with her before going to Mythos for food. Typical that we were going to the restaurant furthest away when we then all needed the loo. I had a Rainbow cocktail and saganaki to start. Now this was proper saganaki! I had my second shot at chicken curry and struck lucky with that too. It was gorgeous – definitely how I remember! We then got free Sex on the Beach shooters with the bill.

There was a boardwalk across the beach right by our table, so we headed down to the sea front after we paid to watch the waves for a bit. They were pretty crazy and made even spookier in the dark. We came back up onto the strip and into one of the tourist shops. Me and Mel went crazy as soon as we got inside and started playing with all the toys and instruments. I then got super carried away with buying stuff. I bought a few things for Flick, a fairy sat on top of a harlequin mask for Kay and a green wooden cow (I do love cows), a snake ring and a Green Day guitar ornament for myself. These shops are clearly aimed at people like me.

We then went for a drink in Edam. I had a lovely sangria that came with lots of fruit (my five a day again!) We watched a good chunk of the Colombia v. Uruguay game and rooted for Colombia since they’re Kel’s team in the sweepstakes. They won too! Their double scorer James Rodriguez did great (and I immediately took a shine to him because of his name), but their goalie was an absolute star player. It was a genuinely great game, even though one of Uruguay’s players carried out a really dirty tackle (if you could even call it a tackle when the ball was nowhere near – it was more a kick and a knee in the back just to be a dick) and only got yellow carded for it. Luis Suarez leads a team of hooligans, clearly.

Back to the apartment afterwards. We’ve hit the point where we’ve been trying to figure out what restaurants we want to go back to and how many we can fit in. Always a sad point of holiday when you have to start any kind of budgeting with food.

Couldn't get up onto the high stools because of my leg. Like there wasn't already an obvious height difference.

Couldn’t get up onto the high stools because of my leg. Like there wasn’t already an obvious height difference.

21/6/14 – Turn around, bright eyes

First up, as usual. Though this time it was by quite a lot. Read, wrote and finished off my popcorn whilst I waited for the others to get up. We came down onto the main strip to check at the excursion centre for more info on the water parks, then went to the Robin Hood for lunch. Home away from home! My pick ‘n’ mix breakfast was a bargain at only three and a half euros – sausages, bacon, hash brown, scrambled egg and fried bread. Best price! The menu was adorably themed too, with sections like Will Scarlett’s potatoes and Sir Guy of Gisborne’s desserts. They spelt some of the names wrong but I appreciated the touch. They even played a weird male version of Bonnie Tyler (totally one of mine and Kel’s songs) which was hilarious.

Sat on the beach for an hour or so and had another Kopparberg. Also took some spy photos of Kel and Mel playing silly buggers in the waves. We stocked up on alcohol on the way back so we have plenty in the way of pre-drinks, then sat by the pool some more. Actually did some lengths (well widths, since I decided to break the mould and swim against Kel) and I think I managed to even up the tan on my back a little.

Got ready, had a quick cocktail at the bar, then back to Golden Beach. Had the sangria and mixed grill again. It’s just too good! They played the Greek Zorbas afterwards and got us up dancing and smashing plates. Of course me and Kel were only too happy to join in with both – I proper whipped my plate like a frisbee too! Greek Zach Levi couldn’t decide which shot of homemade liqueur to give us, so gave us all one of each – one peach and one rose. Not complaining.

Tried a new bar tonight called the Village. It was very cute and atmospheric in there. They had a jar of beach rocks with different cocktail names handwritten on them, which was totally adorable. I had a Paradise (gin, apricot, lemon, lime and soda) which came out done up all pretty with practically a whole garden – flowers and six different kinds of fruit. Too much fruit, Gaston. I did eat most of it though. That’s my five a day sorted! We caught the second half of the Ghana v. Germany game, which turned out to be dead good. Some German player even got totally clobbered at the end after smashing his face off someone’s shoulder. I was rooting for Ghana because they were way more enthusiastic after scoring a goal than Germany were.

Grabbed some ice creams from a supermarket on the way back (Galaxy, yum yum) and then I made friends with yet another dog. He was so happy! Crammed some more writing in before bed. Only four days into the holiday and I’ve already written a good chunk of Affinity. I feel my Flick and my prince Kay will approve muchly.

Mel's top twin and Greek Zach Levi. It's not just me, is it?

Mel’s top twin and Greek Zach Levi. It’s not just me, is it?