Our holiday.

SUNDAY: Laura stayed home to house sit and cat sit, but she was spending each night at her friend’s house, and Billy, Stephen and I left at just gone 9am. We drove down to Poole, arriving at 4.30pm and we called Billy’s cousin Mike to see where they were at the time. They’d been taking part in a rugby tournament on the beach, and they were still there, so we drove down to the beach area, parked up and Mike met us in his car and took us down to join the rest of the family and Raji. We were just in time for the BBQ which was fortuitous, and so we had a very pleasant three hours or so at the beach. 


                                 Raji and Joe         Aaron and Joe trying to get Billy in the sea     



Stephen :
Billy winded after tussling with Aaron and Joe:

Monday: Stephen went off to see his Internet friends that live in Poole, Aaron went to see his friends, and Raji went back to Bristol and to work. Helen, Mike, Stephen, Joe, Billy and I went to the darts shop nearby, which Billy specifically wanted to visit. He spent some time choosing some new darts, testing out the throw for weight and balance. Meanwhile, I bought a few flights and shafts – some Man City ones and some pink ones specially for when we play Mr Prat again! 😀 We then went into Bournemouth and had a very pleasant day, before returning to Poole. In the evening, Helen, Mike and the boys were seeing Helen’s mum as it was her birthday, and Billy, Stephen and I went round to spend the evening with Gerry and Judy (Mike’s parents and Judy is Billy’s dad’s cousin.) We had a wonderful evening in the garden, with a BBQ and a wood burner for warmth and really enjoyed catching up with them both again.


Stephen drinking Fursty Ferrett beer in the garden!
Billy relaxing in Gerry and Judy’s garden:

Tuesday: We decided to have a girls’ day and a boys’ day. The boys went off to swim at Splashdown before going to Pizza Hut for dinner, then going to the cinema (practically next door to the pool and Pizza Hut) to see The Simpsons Movie and finally returning to the pool. They had a great time, and finally got home at about 6pm. Helen and I, went to a craft centre and mooched about, had a civilised coffee and had a great day bonding and talking about everything and nothing. We had lunch quite late, but it was absolutely delicious! We were spoiled for choice and I’d love to go back there with Billy – he’d have adored some of the things on the menu. When we all returned in the evening, we split up yet again. Joe had ATC, Aaron was going to a local nightspot for teens, Mike had rugby training and Helen and Billy went to watch him. Stephen and I opted to stay home and watch TV, which was rather pleasant and relaxing. Everyone then came home about 10pm, bringing Indian takeaway, but forgetting Stephen’s chips so the poor boy went hungry (though Helen did offer to cook him burger and chips, and he declined!)
Wednesday: We did our packing and tidied our attic bedroom, and then said our goodbyes to the family. We’d had a lovely time and enjoyed catching up properly with them all again. We set off for Hampshire where we were seeing Sue and Joe, my lovely ex-in-laws, as they were visiting from Spain and staying with Sue’s sister and her husband. We arrived at about 2.30pm and spent a lovely afternoon having homegrown food, and chatting. It had been many years since I’d been there, but it was all reassuringly familiar, and everyone was amazed at how much Stephen has grown 🙂
Stephen with his grandparents:

We left there at about 6pm and drove to East Grinstead to stay in my usual B&B.We unloaded the car and then went into town to get Stephen something to eat, and me a drink, as I’d finally stopped driving for a few hours. Billy had been very preoccupied and moody all day, and had rather spoiled the day for me, so a glass of wine was very welcome. When we got back, we went to our rooms (Billy and I in one room and Stephen in the owners’ own bed, as there had been confusion over bookings after their computer crashed!) I went to sleep almost straight away but Billy read for a while – and I was completely oblivious to him turning out the light and sleeping.
Thursday: After a full English breakfast (Yummy!) we went to Uckfield to visit my school friend Brian and his family. He and Kirsty have four sons, the eldest (16) being my God-Son, and they are expecting a fifth baby in just a couple of weeks.We had a nice morning chatting, with much teasing, and then we went and grabbed some lunch and looked around a couple of shops. Unfortunately, Billy had forgotten the letter he really HAD to post that day, so we had to drive back to East Grinstead for it. There had been a few other things I wanted to do in Uckfield, but I wasn’t prepared to mess about with more driving (much as I love driving normally, I was getting heartily fed up of it by now) so Stephen decided to stay in his room (he had now been moved to a proper, single guest room), and Billy and I went into the town. We posted his letter then went to the park to sit and read and relax. I really wanted an ice-lolly but we couldn’t get one, and then just as we sat down on the blanket, the clouds covered the sun and it got cold. This was the first time for our whole holiday that it was cold though, so I can’t really complain. We went back to the B&B and watched afternoon quiz programmes with Stephen which was quite fun.
In the evening, we returned to Uckfield and had dinner at Pizza Express with my brother, Rick, and his wife Mel. It was Mel’s birthday and it was really good to be able to spend it with them both. Stephen and Rick are like two peas in a pod and even said the same things at the same time on occasions. Billy seemed to enjoy the evening, and the rest of us certainly did, and the time flew. Unfortunately, both the banoffi pie and the cheesecake, our favourite desserts, were unavailable, but we managed to find alternatives. By the time we got back to the B&B I was very tired and was out like a light.

Friday: The B&B owners had gone on holiday and friends of theirs were doing the breakfast, but only offering smoked salmon with scrambled eggs, cereal and toast, so the men decided to sleep instead of eat. I went and had my breakfast as I always need that first thing, and my tummy was rather unsettled with the irregular meals we’d been having all week. I had to chivvy the men, and even so, the chamber maid had to chase us out so she could prepare the rooms for the next guests. We went to Sainsburys and bought lunch for later, and then had a coffee before going to visit my Nan. She has changed a lot even in the 3 weeks since I last saw her. She really had to make an effort to talk and had lost much of her usual animation.

We left at 12 and after eating our lunch, set off for home. I decided that the M6 would be a better bet than the M1 and I think I was right to choose that route. We did hit rush hour traffic between 4-6pm, but the traffic did at least move between junctions, unlike my experience of the M1 in the past. Billy was huffing and puffing at every delay and generally was so tense and moody that he was unsettling me. It turned out he had arranged to go out that evening on our return, which I admit I was a little put out about since we’d already cut short the trip so he could get back in time to play cricket. He was marginally more bearable when his music was playing (he’d made a couple of CD’s of his music, and Stephen had made one of his) but was not happy when someone else’s was playing. All in all, I was pleased to arrive home and don’t think I will be doing that sort of trip with him again anytime soon. I know some of what was on his mind, but even so, it did spoil my break, and I’d needed a holiday as much as he had.

All in all, we’d had a busy but generally enjoyable week. Stephen had been really good and didn’t moan at all about mealtimes, or being bored, or long journeys. I was really pleased with him, as I had expected at least some typically teenage moaning. Laura was staying with her friend one last night as we hadn’t known what time we’d be home – and in fact had done very well to get home at 9pm. The unpackign could wait until tomorrow as I felt very, very tired and light headed after a week of driving, and so I didn’t do much, before collapsing into bed.


  1. […] and they’ve visited us. Similarly, Judy and Gerry are familiar as both hosts and visitors. ( Here, and here for example.) All of them are absolutely wonderful people and we love them. They were all […]

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