After an altercation with a plant pot and a flight of, alas unrecorded, epic distance before landing crack on my knee on our paved drive, I appear to have inadvertently fractured my knee cap. Unable to drive anywhere for six weeks, the family and I will be tucked away over the summer holidays in an unkempt hovel, without a bean in the cupboard, nor a clean item of clothing in the wardrobe. And worse, I’ve had to cancel the holiday. Truly repentant, (this is not the first time my long-suffering family have been flawed by one of my carelessly broken limbs) I’ve been doing battle with the gods of form filling and Google searching and may have found us an alternative holiday when my knee should be back to its knobbly self.
Meanwhile, my mind wanders back to one of our holidays-to-remember.
It was in France. We’d excitedly booked ourselves into one of those tents which did all but the catering. This was in the pre-glamping summer of 2000 but we were, nonetheless, suitably impressed. The added bonus for our then 21 month old was that she’d quickly learnt how to undo the main zip in the canvas; the gateway to the great outside. She would proceed to play her new game of ‘unzip and run’ at difficult times such as when Dad was on the croissant hunt and I was changing our babe in arm’s nappy, my back turned. Thankfully her squeals of delight generally alerted us to her unauthorised departure.
After a few games of this, our nerves seriously frayed, a new strategy came into play, where eldest was summarily dragged off with either adult on exiting the tent. Thus we spent many a minute in the park en route to everywhere, the source of much joyous laughter until one day it ended in hysterical tears. Hours later when her screams were now keeping the whole campsite awake, for which I’d still like to apologise, the local doctor tried, unsuccessfully, to convince us that she was having a nightmare. Frankly, I think the only soul on the site not to be having a nightmare was our daughter, starting to cry as she had, way before her bedtime. It was only when we realised that the little girl who always had her right thumb in her mouth was refusing to suck, that we wondered about a broken arm. In fact, she’d dislocated her elbow which was duly re-aligned by a sympathetic French nurse who did her best to assure us that children dislocated limbs every second minute, it would seem, without their parents noticing and that there was absolutely no need to feel guilty about not knowing how she did it. Hmmm.
The next day was my birthday and while our children performed a mid-day sleep of epic proportions, hubbie and I drank bubbly in the sun, hiding behind our sunglasses as bleary-eyed fellow campers walked past, pretending that we weren’t the reason why they were booking a hotel next year. When a fellow holiday maker asked my husband if we were the couple practicing controlled crying last night, and I sank a little further behind my book, I remember telling myself that we’d laugh about this one day.
In the words of the great Peter Kay, are you going anywhere nice? And if so, enjoy yourselves and be careful out there ...