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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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I went to Lourdes a good few years back - I think I was 18 or something. I did NOT go willingly - I was guilt-tripped in to it by my Mum.

Now, as you hard-core catholics out there know, Lourdes is somewhere that you all aspire to go to - something about holiness blah blah blah.

Me, on the other hand, I coulnd't give a stuff - At that particular time, I was just rejecting religion and all that it stands for and still attending church weekly under protest. My Mum was intent on saving my soul (she's still trying - and failing spectacularly). She signed us all up (us being my sister, my Mum and I) and said that she'd pay and by God we were all going - I think she probably threw in a "I can't go on my own can I" guilt trip - which I fell for.

Anyway, off we went. By coach. From Lincolnshire. About 93 hours later (slight exaggeration there) we arrived. The trip itself was uneventful, thankfully. We piled off the coach and headed off to the hotel.

Which was when Mum, who had arranged the accomodation, piped up "there was a room shortage, so we're all in the same room". WTF??? Me (18 year old guy), sister (19) and mum.

You've. Got. To. Be. Kidding.

No. And it was a tiny feckin' room - I'll add this to my therapy list now I think about it. 4 days and nights with my Mum and sister in the same little room - it's a wonder I didn't go insane. It's a wonder my sister and I didn't kill each other.

The week was horrible - there were other religious nuts there from our church - some ok - some clearly bonkers - I hung out with Rita who was just about sane and spent most of my time playing with the 4 year old (Bernadette) who was saner than the lot of us.

Then I ran out of money - not having a job back home meant that I was reliant on Mum for handouts - Mum who firmly believed, at the time, that 50p went a long way. And made a joke of it - here's 20 Francs (about £2 at the time) she went - Thanks Mum, 20 Francs, that'll go far....

Add to that all the military types that were about who were all wankers and drunk and hyped up and rant rant. Who mostly took the piss in a not-so-friendly kind of way. And the drunken Celtic supporting wanker priest (who I'd forgotten about until just now...) who spent the whole time being mercilessly cutting, harsh and cruel to me. Tosser.

It was a traumatic week and I didn't come away feeling religiously enlightened at all - in fact, I think I came away with a renewed hatred of Catholicism and all it's facets.

Not to mention a deep loathing of going anywhere and sharing a room with my sister ever again.

Tragically, I did end up sharing a room with my sister, but that's the Skegness story......

More to follow.

(Note - if you got this far AND read the whole story, I'm rather impressed!)
(, Fri 3 Aug 2007, 9:51, Reply)

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