Friday, 20 July 2012

Plant pots and holiday nightmares


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 ...


16 comments:

  1. Oh, bless!
    Your children are old enough to operate the washing machine, manage without ironing, and amuse themselves during a long blissful break. Should that read holiday?
    As to dislocating limbs - I dislocated my son's arm myself one day when he tried to escape from my clutches to run towards the arriving train carrying his Dad. Needless to say, I clung on tight while he threw his entire body weight behind his attempt to escape.
    The next day, his child minder greeted me somewhat accusingly with the news that he was not using his arm, and that we should seek advice from A&E. Fortunately he avoided being put on the child protection register, but only just.
    Get well soon. You never know - the sun might shine. :)

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    1. Ha ha, love the pun! I'm exaggerating of course - there are lots of baked beans in the cupboard, we'll be fine ;) Seriously, I'm getting alarmingly good at getting everything done anyway, bang goes the sitting in the sun reading. And everyone's helping which I hope may be the silver lining beyond the holidays...
      Did you tell the child minder that you saved your son's life??

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  2. I do hope the leg mends soon - I'm impressed that you're not too grumpy to blog! (I recall breaking my shoulder a couple of years ago - it must have taken two weeks before could begin to laugh at myself).

    Am I going anywhere nice? My next trip is at the 'where will I go this time?' stage - but it will be somewhere warm. And different. *reaches for the atlas*

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    1. Hi Jo, I'm no hero, alas, I'm always ok in these situations ... until the novelty wears off and I get utterly sick of it. I'm not there yet, though, but watch this space :)
      How did you break your shoulder? Sounds painful. Ouch!
      Keep us posted on where the warm place turns out to be. Love the idea of just putting a pin in a page on the atlas. Enjoy!

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  3. My kids have never broken/dislocated anything *touch wood*, but #2 son used to walk around covered in bruises, while people in the street eyed me with concern! I never had any idea how he got so many.

    We've just decided to camp for a few nights in a couple of weeks - fingers crossed the Great British Summer holds up for that long!

    Take care with your knee.

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    1. Thanks Annalisa, phew! That's dangerous talk! Touching lots of wood for you, too :) My eldest had a 'pink' bottom which was noticed when she went to the toilet at play group and the leader asked her how she did it. 'Daddy put me in a too hot bath,' she said which was duly written up in the Accident
      Book and the play group leader asked if she could 'have a word' before I was asked to sign it. I was mortified. I knew it wasn't true but felt that any bruise or worse after that and we would be damned. We eventually found out that she was allergic to something I was cleaning the potty with... needless to say, I stopped using that!
      Thanks for reading and enjoy your hols. The sun's going to shine until September, everyone keeps telling me :)

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    2. LOL at your daughter! Mine (well, #2 son again) used to tell the strangest stories. Once he so convincingly told my mum that my hubby was at death's door, she dropped everything and raced over... he was absolutely fine!

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    3. Ah bless him! Where do they get these ideas from? Hope your mum didn't mind too much!

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  4. This sounds ridiculously painful! I'm very lucky to have never broken a bone, but I am the only person in my house that can say this. I hope that you heal soon and the pain isn't too unbearable.

    The only break I am having this year is the one I have just taken at the crime writing festival, which as you know, was a ball! I hope you get to enjoy some time away when you heal.

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  5. Thanks Rebecca but don't worry, it's much more inconvenient than it is painful. The Crime Festival sounded fantastic, are you completely and hopelessly inspired now??

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  6. Be well. For what it's worth, during a series of moderate but continual medical events a few years ago, I was a workaholic forced to slow down for nearly an entire summer. During that time, I made some of the best life decisions I've ever made. In short, downtime can be a blessing...and it gives you a chance to get back at your family for all those years when you waited on them :-)

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    1. Wise words, Tim. I'm glad it turned out to be a blessing for you. I think I've been very lucky as my incapacitated state didn't last very long at all. I can do all but drive and climb stairs properly now (or play any sport) and I'd have taken that with open arms if it was offered to me only 2 1/2 weeks ago. Alas, then, not much chance to claim back those skivvying years but I've managed to find hours to sit on the sofa watching the Olympics so I guess I can't really complain! It's addictive!
      Thanks for commenting, Tim and for the RTs on Twitter :)

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  7. truly Brilliant! Can totally picture it!

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    1. I'm glad you can! Thanks Antonia :)

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  8. Some people know just how to comment don't they? ;-)

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  9. How to take plant care during holidays? Choose the pots; make sure there are holes in the bottom of your container to allow water to flow out freely, etc.

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