Friday, 16 April 2010

Butlins Day 3

(A redcoat for commenter Em, no it is NOTHING like Hi-de-Hi. Brain Twin M commented this evening "it's like Huis Clos with slot machines")

We are on the beach, having finally escaped from Alcatraz (four circuits of the car park, duck behind the mini golf, show your pass at the heavy goods entrance and you're FREE). The sun is shining so hard I am getting paranoid about freckles again (yes I know they can be adorable and gamine, but I am neither of those things and they just look wrong on me). Lashes is down at the shoreline standing, precariously on a wooden post trying to see if he can get all his clothes wet in four inches of water. I am eating my ninety third Mr Whippy of the week with manic concentration, trying very hard to see if I can double my body weight in four days, and doing an excellent job of it. Fingers, mint cone clutched in one hand, comes to sit next to me. Very very close. I put my arm around him and rest my chin on the top of his head. We sit in companionable silence watching the wild man of Uccle poke things with sticks. Momentarily, it's blissful.

We don't take each other for granted quite so much now. That sounds like a good thing, but I'm far from sure it is, at least for him. Surely he should be ignoring me, batting me away as an inconvenience? He should take me utterly for granted. Although, selfishly, I love to have him so close, so often, I do think it's a result of shared custody, of not being the quotidian presence I used to be. But then, am I making something gloomy out of something rather wonderful? Possibly. I seem to think it's ok to be rabidly illiberal with myself in a way I wouldn't dream of being with anyone else. I Blame the Mother, Daily Mail leader writer style. Self-flagellation comes as standard in this situation, I think, and there's plenty of scope for it here.

Other things we have done today:

1. I sent the boys away with my phone to make short films this afternoon, so I could lie face down on the bed and pretend to be at the Grand Hôtel des Thermes in St Malo, waiting for a matronly woman to wrap me in stinking algae before an elegant (and stealthily healthy) dinner. The next thing I heard was the following, coming from the bathroom, with a background of cackling "you know, crocodile, it is not good looking at a persons doing wee". Lashes's English is ambitious, and his accent is good, but he crashes and burns gramatically several times a sentence. I love his ambition though - he wants to tell jokes. I have found myself mired in that deathly 'trying to translate a pun' situation several times today thanks to him. Fingers is a man of few English syllables, but those he does utter are perfect, if gutturally French in prononciation.

2. I have shouted several times (ok, lots of times), mainly in frustration at their unerring ability to disagree about what to do at every juncture of every day. This evening I gave up and told them I was not moving from my purple suedette cube until they had sorted it out between them. Within a few minutes they had come up with an agreed itinerary. There would be a lesson in there for me, but for the fact that their itinerary involved offering up all of my remaining money as a sacrifice to the Claw God.

3. I found myself quite enjoying several of the slot machines, particularly the one where you had to sort of punch baby ducks (not real baby ducks, too expensive), and the one where you had to use a cameleon's tongue to fell insects. It is definitely time to move on before I end up with one of those margarine tubs full of 10p pieces, knowing all the staff by name.

4. We have watched several episodes of a bombastic and peculiar series featuring Wentworth Miller, David Thewlis and dinosaurs. Whilst I query why everyone needs to wear new age hemp tunics in this parallel civilisation, I do applaud this interpretation of family entertainment. Perhaps in the next of the series, Jonathan Rhys Meyers could do battle with some kind of space octopus? I would pay good money to see that.


Em said...

Bless your cotton socks for the picture! Let me remain deluded about the true nature of Butlins. You need to understand just how twisted a child I was. I used to live near the most stunning beaches in the world BUT for some peculiar reason all I wanted to do on holiday was watch Hi De Hi and read Enid Blyton books. So I spent many sunny days wishing I was at an English holiday camp with a crap beach and alternatively, wishing I was at an English boarding school playing lacrosse and having midnight feasts.

I'm obvously a disgrace to my country.

Enjoy your time with your darling boy. He's just reassuring himself. And I think that happens when there are two parents in the house too. You're doing an amazing job.

Nell said...

I concur with Em. I was raised with two annoyingly loving parents. But my Mother worked full time so I was her constantly cuddling irritation when she was not at work.
She still talks about the guilt. I, however, am totally fine and would raise my kids the same way.

Alison Cross said...

I have saved up these 3 Butlitz postings because I'm having a rotten time single-parenting over the Easter Hols and I knew I'd get a laugh....and something sweet too ...from your postings that would cheer me up.

You did not disappoint.

What is the appeal of these Bakugans?! I've just spent £30 getting a Dragonoid Bakugan set of 7 for Blair who has been spasmodic with utter delight since they arrived 2 days ago.

For those of you with human children (ie girls) bakugan are balls of plastic that uncurl into sort of robotty things.

Oh of a Sindy doll....

Ali x

Rachel said...

Do they have the slot machines where you bet 10p on the little plastic horses and they have a race? You should try them. They are the best. They have them in Brid.

Lisa-Marie said...

I'm going to get my 'Person with a degree in children' hat out now.

His being close is neither good or bad, it just is. Children who have separated parents, if it's amicable(which your's seems to be), tend to deal with it by being quite happy, but by getting two parents worth of affection/attention out of the one parent they are with.

It is good in that he feels he can do that, have a good hug, rather than feel distanced by the whole thing. rather than feeling closed out, he obviously feels you are open to hugging. Also, it's nice for you, so bonus prize there.

Hatless, I would just like to say that I really like whippy cones, and that they aren't that fattening. i worked in an ice cream van, so i've read the back of the stuff. and average whippy cones is about 150 calories.

the polish chick said...

is it sick and wrong that i have a deeply secret thing for david thewlis? or funny-looking men with large noses in general? or that i just spilled the beans?

have fun, and i think a large margarine container would make a smashing and tres stylish accessory for spring.

puncturedbicycle said...

Ooh, yes! I too had a filthy crush on Life is Sweet/Naked-era David Thewlis. Then he dropped off my radar and Google shows me that he now looks like someone's dad instead of the dirty, sexy, lowlife troublemaker I remember. Sometimes the interwebs bring me the good information and sometimes they just make me sad.

I understand that small boys quite enjoy the maternal affection when no one appears to be looking, so I'm sure that's all very normal and he will energetically bat you away as soon as there is an audience. Enjoy!

frau antje said...

Fingers looks like a young version the Polish guy (with dreadlocks) doing work around here, no anarchistic tatoo though. Now I'm picturing you and the Polish guy entwined out on the wall (waiting for his friend with the shaved head to come roll one for him on his break).

Will try and post this, probably won't work, though it may show up five times...oh well.

Thought Butlins was another pet name, imagine my surprise.

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