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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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Provence, France. July 1993.
Back in the days before my parents divorced, my dad considered a 'great holiday' to consist of loading up our Ford Sierra estate and matching trailer full to bursting point with camping gear, clothes, my long-suffering mother and my brother and I.

I was about to turn eight; my brother would have been five.

After what may well have been days of driving down French motorways, my mum was looking forward to some proper amenities- anyone who has ever visited an old-school French motorway service station will be familiar with 'squatting' toilets. Those who aren't can probably guess the arrangement.

We finally arrived at the campsite, rendezvoused with my grandparents and set about settling in. My dad struggled with our massive tent, my mum went to wash some clothes at the facilities block and my brother and I acted like young children.

Soon, my brother approached my mum saying he needed the toilet. She pointed him in the direction of the gents, next to where she was washing the clothes. He disappeared inside and came out just a few seconds later.

"Mum, there's just a hole in the ground!"

"Oh no," thought my mum "we're going to have to squat for the whole blooming holiday. Fan-bloody-tastic."

"Just use it anyway, dear. It's just like the ones on the autoroute."

A few minutes pass, and my brother emerges from the block in tears, soaking wet.

He'd been peeing into the showers.

And he'd tried to flush.
(, Fri 3 Aug 2007, 20:54, Reply)

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