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This is a question Family Holidays

Back in the 80s when my Dad got made redundant (hello Dad!), he spent all the redundancy money on one of those big motor caravans.

Us kids loved it, apart from when my sister threw up on my sleeping bag, but looking back I'm not so sure my mum did. There was a certain tension every time the big van was even mentioned, let alone driven around France for weeks on end with her still having to cook and do all the washing.

What went wrong, what went right, and how did you survive the shame of having your family with you as a teenager?

(, Thu 2 Aug 2007, 14:33)
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Oh look...a tree
As previously related, we didn't stray far for our holidays -- lack of money mainly. Then in my late teens, thanks to an inheritance, we all got to go on a grand tour of Canada to see all the family that lives over there. As an added 'bonus' we spent a few days in LA and San Francisco, mainly to visit my aunt.

Well my aunt is an odd one, a spinster who grew up in London but emigrated to the US in her teens.

Anyway, after our stay with her she decided to invite herself along for the next stage of our trip -- a flight up to Calgary, then a drive across the Rockies to Vancouver. At this point I should point out that she and my father dislike each other intensely, for reasons dating back many, many years. So cramming the two of them into a minivan together for a week was never going to end happily.

To add to the fun, over the decades of her residence in the US she has managed to cultivate the most awesomely irritating accent -- a sort of strangled mix of East End London and indeterminate American. 'Grating' is a good word to describe it. And she has verbal diarrhea: the instant a thought enters her head, it emerges from her mouth. So we all enjoyed a constant running commentary on the journey, along the lines of:

"Wow, look at that mountain, isn't it pretty? Phew! "Caution falling rocks". Wow, look at that mountain! This road is very twisty. I wonder what we'll have for dinner? What a pretty blue lake. What type of car is this again? I wonder how high that mountain is..." and on...and on...and on. My father would just hunch further over the steering wheel and grow progressively redder about the face. I swear you could hear his teeth grind and his blood pressure rising. I just blessed the foresight I'd shown in bringing a Walkman.

Sad to relate, my father did manage to keep his calm and refrain from pushing my aunt off a mountain. But he's never forgiven her, and even though she's since moved back to the UK and now lives down the road from them, he can barely bring himself to speak to her.

P.S. LA is a shithole and Disneyland really is hell on earth.
(, Thu 2 Aug 2007, 16:51, Reply)

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