So I left you here with Baby having been de-vomited. Luckily the next morning she was better, confirming that the previous night’s explosion had been down to careless desert overload rather than wee-wee drinking or gas poisoning. I could tell because she woke me up with a very loud ‘DADDY’ from the bed we had hastily made up to replace the sicked up on one and when I got her up she said two of her new words – ‘toast!’ and ‘orange!’ – meaning feed me toast and orange juice NOW!
I’d love to say the day dawned brightly. That would be a lie. A big one. A lie of Archeresque proportions. It was pissing down, the sort of rain that soaks you to the skin just by you popping your head out of the caravan to see what it’s like out there.
At this point it’s as well to reveal we were staying at Haven Church Farm (remember I kept you in not very much suspense). We chose it because it’s a short car journey away but also because there’s plenty of stuff to do when it’s wet. Seeing the forecast we had booked Boy in to as many activities as we could and so it was he and I set out in to the deluge to try mini archery and fencing in the covered Sports Range. He was worryingly good at archery while in the fencing he got a mask and a very strong looking foam sword and he did his Errol Flynn bit by fencing a boy called Jonny who, luckily for my lad, had the attention span of a gnat. These activities he proclaimed such great fun that we booked him in to have another go on the Monday.
It was after we’d finished these activities we found another danger we’d not really bargained for. There is something that scares the boy silly. Not spiders or moths. Not monsters or dragons. Not the prospect of imminent economic collapse, nor the takeover of the world by Justin Fletcher and Peppa Pig (these last two just scare parents). No. It’s blokes (or girls) dressed up in giant animal costumes. Don’t ask me why but they terrify him utterly. Of course we knew that he USED to be scared by this but at the age of 5 I though he might have grown out of it. Not a bit. We went in to the show bar for an exercise warm up followed by circus skills and then Rory The Tiger came on stage and the boy bolted out of the room in floods of nervous tears. This is where I am glad my wife is around. There is a bit of me that is tempted to get him to handle this fear by manning up and confronting it. Wife of course knew this to be a bad idea and went out to comfort him leaving me with Baby who was grinning at Rory The Tiger while trying to climb up a bar stool.
Afternoon was swimming. Baby loves swimming like I love Brighton and Hove Albion, rare steak, sunshine and her. I may have mentioned before that she considers any small amount of water her own personal fiefdom. She may be half mermaid. She has been baby swimming since she was 3 months old and at 18 months is perfectly comfortable swimming on her own in arm bands, holding on to the side and jumping in. We went in to the pool every day and she grinned from ear to ear for every second. On the Sunday we went in the morning and that afternoon, back in the caravan she found her happy nappy and armbands and gave them to me and said ‘swim!’. I, meanwhile, got to go on the waterslide and I do love a good waterslide.
But anyway back to the Saturday. We had done 3 lots of sports activities plus swimming. We had rescued Boy from a giant tiger costume. We had generally run around and were ready for a good nights sleep.
Outside an otter swam past the caravan.
Do you know what sound really heavy rain makes on a caravan roof? This. All night
The children, having been tired out by their activities and having special Sleeping Through Daddy’s Snoring skillz slept all night. I got about half an hour. Part at least was spent in terror that the caravan was going to take off in the exceptionally high winds like one of those movie scenes where an entire Trailer Park is lifted up by a tornado and you just stare because you can’t imagine the actual horror.
Sunday was much like Saturday only much, much more hard work what with the sleep deprivation, paranoia and having to go everywhere in fishing waders. There was a very brief break in the rain in the afternoon during which Boy and I went to the nature reserve so he could feed the ducks and they could tell us what lovely weather we were having.
Sunday night was much like Saturday night only with dreams of being carried away by floods replacing the taking off in the wind dreams. In the middle of the night I wondered if I should get baby’s arm bands pumped up just in case.
On Monday, straight after more archery, it was time to leave. You guessed it – in bright sunshine.
P.S. I have no connection with Haven but the kids had an absolute blast. If anyone from Haven does end up reading this then your staff at Church Farm are very lovely indeed, from the guy who took away the puke covered sheets to the Sports Stars who were excellent with all the kids on every session we went on. You may want to improve the new menu though. Yes we will be back.
P.P.S. You will notice even though I have titled the two pieces ‘Great British SEASIDE Holidays’ we didn’t go to the beach. Pretty much this was down to the weather. The only person insane enough to go for a dip in the sea that weekend was Queen of Bloggers Mammsaurus and if you haven’t yet seen why click on that there hyperlink and find out!