30/9/15 – Let me entertain you

Could not get Kel out of bed this morning. I let her sleep in a bit longer, saying we could forego breakfast for brunch instead. I floated around from happy Psych dreams all morning. Read some and started another short story before I convinced Kel to get up properly, saying we needed to make the most of the sun on our last full day. We went straight to brunch as soon as she was ready. Ham and cheese toastie, hot dog, chicken nuggets and chips. Yes, I’m aware I’m very greedy, but that is just my life.

It turned into another very hot day again, yay. Finished my short story and wrote another whilst sitting in the sun. Also read more and then spent time trying to even up the tan on my back more. My front always gets tanned more because I spend my time in the sun reading and writing whilst sat up, whereas I don’t do anything lying on my front and I tend to get bored quickly that way. I like to feel more productive. In this case though, I ended up having a little snooze whilst I was sunbathing. Oops. We’d had to grab sunbeds on a different side of the complex, as all the ones on and around the decking had already been taken, so this time we had a different pool to go and dip in. We still stuck to the balcony part of it and ended up talking to an older couple from Cambridge. The woman was some kind of PA and the man was a retired police officer. Told you; interesting jobs!

This pool didn’t seem as incredibly cold as all the others, so it was easily our longest stint of chilling in the water. We eventually got out though, so we could dry off before going into the food hall. Rice, garlic potatoes, lasagne and some creamy stroganoff. Still unsure if I liked the latter or not. After lunch, I had an hour or so of having to switch between sun, shade and dipping in the pool. It was just so hot. After about four o’clock though, it died down enough to stay sitting in it comfortably. Of course, I soon reached my point of needing Red Bull, so I broke back to the apartment for the usual.

After showering, I wore my light pineapple skater dress. I always leave this one towards the end of my holiday, because it has a large cut out in the middle, so it looks really odd with a white belly. Thankfully, my belly isn’t too red anymore either, so it worked out nicely. Food was rice, pizza, chips, the sliced potatoes were back (yay), a creamy type of paste that tasted like lasagne without the meat, another kind of stroganoff that was less creamy and much nicer than the one at lunch, then some croquettes that were apparently made with chicken. The inside was very creamy and mushy and kinda like the filling you get in a vol-au-vent, but it definitely didn’t taste like chicken. Still liked them though.

Grabbed more drinks and moved next door for our best entertainment yet. It was a participation event, aimed to find the Mr. IFA Continental. They managed to get five guys to volunteer and then gave them various tasks to complete to win, like how many press-ups they could do in a minute. Three of them were Brits, all of whom we’d seen around the complex already – this included crazy Steve, who is actually the older Curt Smith I spotted early on – an Irish man and a German guy. All of them were clearly very much up for a laugh, which is exactly what you want from your entertainment and also just from people in general. Though maybe that’s just me.

One game involved twenty-five balloons being handed out to us in the audience. We had to just wave them around and the guys had to see how many they could grab before time was up. As one of them ran past, it knocked the balloon out of my hands and onto the table next to me, where an old German woman was sat. I apologised as she picked the balloon up, thinking she’d just give it back, but instead she dug all her fingers in and burst it right in front of me. Fucking miserable bag clearly doesn’t have a sense of fun in life. For the next game, the guys had to stand in a line and each sing part of a song in turn. They had to do at least three lines and each person had to sing a completely different song to the last person, no repetitions. For the most brilliant start, the first song was Barbie Girl, followed by Country Roads, then Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. You can’t knock the variation.

Another game was like a kind of Simon Says. They all stood in a line again. Patrik would call out various terms and they’d have to do the appropriate action and obviously get it right or they’d be out. Fanta meant arms up above your head, Cola was arms out straight like a scarecrow, Sprite was arms down at your sides, toilet meant squat, chihuahua meant do a pawing type move and bark, then chicky-chicky was a rompy-pompy type hip thrust and a pant. The hilarious thing was that most of the guys’ noises for chihuahua and chicky-chicky ended up sounding the same. Maybe we should be concerned for their girlfriends.

The last game was set up like a dating show. A German woman was pulled from the audience to play the bachelorette. The guys all had to sit with their backs to the stage so they couldn’t see what the others did. A box of various props was left out for them. Each guy in turn could pick two props, then the lights went red, the Righteous Brothers started playing and they had a few minutes to try and get their wooing across via the props and what also seemed to be interpretive dance in most of their cases. My favourite was one of the English guys, who chose a caveman’s club and a duck puppet, dramatically killed the duck with the club and then offered it up to the woman like a gift. Very amusing! Sadly, the Irish man won. I hadn’t felt as strongly about him as the others, but he clearly had a lot of friends in the audience rooting for him.

Cath and Jamie came to join us after the entertainment, so we had another good chat along with our more drinks. Talked about the various work, travel, cars, etc. It turns out Jamie is a big car guy. He has quite a collection, from the sounds of it, including a couple of Austins. He was impressed with my baby, Gus, as he’s an MX-5 fan too. After however many years of being a petrolhead, I now have a car that I can really show off and impress people with. It’s awesome. Even if you’re not a car person, Gus is just too pretty to resist.

After Cath and Jamie broke for their room, we decided to do the same as we needed to get most of our stuff packed up tonight before check-out tomorrow. We got the good majority done, then hung out on the balcony for a while singing 99 Luftballons back to the Germans, who we could hear whistling. Kel put the telly on for the first time since we’d been there when we went back in. I watched some of Big Hero 6 on my iPod instead before bed. Sorry Spiderman, but you just do not compete.

Delicious flavour is basically the theme of most of my summer wardrobe.

Delicious flavour is basically the theme of most of my summer wardrobe.

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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!