Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Butlins Day 1

Good evening, internet. Sssssh I have to type very quietly as the boys are in some species of superior twinkly light filled cupboard in the corner of the room. They should be tired but since each is fixated, like tiny Ahabs, on their own Moby Dick of slot machine trickery, there is more tooth grinding and sighing than sleep. Lashes is convinced that he can trick one of those giant claw machines into disgorging a Sonic the Hedgehog the size of a small family saloon car. Fingers is more drawn to shooting things. Ah slot machines. Is there anything more compelling to an eight year old than those 2p shoving machines? I'm instantly transported back to Brownie camp in Filey, something which noone in their right minds could wish for. If I were Alain de Botton I would do you 1800 whimsical words on how the slot machine speaks to the British psyche. Aren't we all lucky that I'm not.

My own obsession is losing children. My god. I thought I was exceptionally sanguine, to the point of neglectful, about letting my children wander around major conurbations scavenging lead off roofs and picking pockets. But the blighters have wandered off, distracted by some shiny money-sucking pit of tat, on so many occasions today my nerves are in tatters. Particularly since several times it happened in water. Oh yes, I have been in "Splash Waterworld" already. I think I may have mentioned (repeatedly) that water is not my element. Well, add in an attempt to keep an eye on approximately buoyant children aged 4-8 each heading away from you on a random trajectory into a packed, splashy, soup of bodies and you have a recipe for HOLYFUCKWHERE ISTHEBARNOIDON'TCAREIT'SONLYFOUROCLOCK.

Other than that, preliminary observations:

1. The hotel is very pleasant. They have gone for those colour change mood lighting type things in a big way, so much so that even the bath is a symphony of rainbow LEDs. I am writing this from my bed, which is going from blue, to purple to red, to yellow on a 30 second cycle. It's like being in a very very sedate disco. Talking of disco, the lifts, which also have multi-coloured lighting, play a selection of disco standards that DEMAND you dance. In a lift full of strangers. This should be obligatory in all lifts. There is a tiny fridge in which to store bottles of wine and well appointed tea and coffee making facilities with tiny biscuits. There is wifi. There is even a balcony from which the boys can drop Bakugans on giant, menacing seagulls, who will eat them without even slowing in their mission to carry off small holidaying children and hold them ransom. I am distinctly not complaining.

2. The food is not up to much, but what it lacks in taste or vitamins, it makes up for in omnipresent all-you-can-eat ice cream machines. I can accept this arrangement.

3. My face is sloughing off under the onslaught from bracing British sea air and chlorine. I have a peeling nose and am terrified freckles will be next. This would be too high a price to pay.

4. I am extremely tired. The multicoloured lights are sending me some kind of coded message, encouraging me to sleep. I must go and build up my strength for another day of child-misplacing panic and Mr Whippy.


Em said...

Was Hi De Hi based on this place? Because if it is, I am beside myself with excitement. It's the ONLY place I ever wanted to go as a child (limited imagination obviously) but as we were 12,000 miles away my parents weren't as keen.

Please, please, please if you spot anyone in a yellow uniform would you take a picture? I will be forever grateful and until then will imagine you gently disco-ing away in your rainbow of happiness...

the polish chick said...

i think freckles are cute. panic not.

Anonymous said...

Don't every reproach yourself as a bad mother again - this is heroic stuff!

AnonyGay said...

perhaps if you leave the children in the elevator for some pre-determined amount of time (set this goal before shutting the doors) you can have a nice drink at the bar while they dance themselves into exhaustion? and then you can return to the disco of serenity and eat all the ice cream you want, which, you know, sounds a lot better than riding on the brussels metro (where, incidentally, i saw a man freebasing what appeared to be crack-cocaine in my station on the way to work yesterday).

Nimble said...

Wow, must-dance disco elevators. I know you didn't mean that there was a minibar in the elevator, but that would be cool too.

Fat Controller said...

'There is a tiny fridge in which to store bottles of wine and well appointed tea and coffee making facilities with tiny biscuits'...In the lift???

Lisa-Marie said...

Emma, are you aware you can get kiddie tracker things, like mini satnavs. They'd snuff it the watter though.

I fucking love Butlins, we went there all the time when I was little. I am very good at both the 2p machine and the grabby hand, the trick is to go for something with a head sticking up.

Your Butlins sounds a bit like Saturday Night Fever without the bad stuff, which is ace.

Johnners said...

I haaaaate Butlins, went with my (much older) cousin and her family when I was a bairn and I loathed the whole chalet-shite place with a passion. Obviously this was before funky lights, bars and discos in the lift - lift? Hotel? Are you sure you are in Butlins??

Anonymous said...

According to Wikipedia, in the film of The Who's Tommy, there is a holiday camp apparently based on Butlins where Tommy's mother MEETS HER NEW HUSBAND. Yay for you!

Jaywalker said...

Bwahahahhaa anon. I will keep my eyes peeled.

Johnners - it's the new Butlins. 20 times dearer and with twinkly lights.

LM - I might need a grabber claw masterclass.

FC - If this were the case, I would move in. It's very comfortable in there as it is.

Nimble - Yes. It should be possible in this day and age. COME ON, SCIENCE.

Anonygay - Ah, the sweet, sweet Brussels metro. Suddenly everything seems that tiny bit better.

Anon - Nope, I am as crap as ever.

Polish Chick - Yes, but not on me. Nope. Not ever.

Em - The actual uniforms are RED. I will take you several pictures, I promise.

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