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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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childhood disease
It became a tradition of sorts on family holidays for me to catch an improbable disease or to maim myself unexpectedly. I should have realised that my parents were training me up for adolescent holiday disaster scenarios when they sent me and my brother off every year to Grandma's house in Newquay. Grandma couldn't really see that well, and never could. One of the things she really had a hard time seeing was dirt, and the sell-by dates on food. We were also given dog biscuits at tea time masquerading as "rock cakes". Cue six days of nearly constant vomiting which would cease just as mum and dad came to collect their offspring after their lovely break from the kids. They were always so touchingly gratified by our immense relief when they arrived to take us away from the Death Kitchen.

Other highlights include:

- catching fleas from a hotel bed in France. Hotel staff denied all responsibility, refused to move us, and while my mother was stuck at the pharmacie trying to remember the word for 'flea' my brother made use of this new freedom to tell all the English-speaking children in the hotel that his sister had fleas and may give them plague.

- on holiday in some kind of villa complex aged 6 or 7, I spent most of the time in the communal pool. Or the fourth day someone called round to tell us that the chemicals in the pool were a little strong and that we should wait until the next rainfall to have our dip. They needn't have bothered: mum had me in the bathroom wrapped in camomile and cling film as my skin had turned to scales and begin to peel off in strips the day before.

Happy times.
(, Thu 2 Aug 2007, 19:28, Reply)

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