I survived my caravan holiday

Posted Tuesday 14th July 2015   By Ericka Waller

So I did it. I went away for a week with my whole family, and we all made it back alive. Seven people in a small caravan was um, interesting. It’s amazing the things you notice when sharing a confined space with someone. My brother, for example, has the heaviest, stompiest walk ever. Who knew? He does now, because I informed him of it on day three, when I’d almost got the children to sleep after two hours of trying. “Off to get another cider are you?” I bellowed. “Why don’t you walk a BIT LOUDER?”, so he did. He also gave me a dead arm on the way. I went to dob him in to mum but she had locked her caravan when she saw me coming. My children (and me) were so over-excited and poorly behaved that no one wanted us about.

One morning I spotted my mum, dad and brothers wolfing down a full English breakfast on the floor of their caravan, dad muttering “For god’s sake eat faster, they’ll be here soon”. I poked my head through the window and shouted “I don’t want your stinking breakfast anyway, I’m mostly vegan.” I won’t tell you what my brother shouted back, but it was very rude.

To be fair my kids were hideous. It was simply too much for them. The caravan with all its clicky doors. The lack of routine. The heat. They had me in tears within half-an-hour of arriving. One woman, three children, buckets, suncream, spades, towels and tantrums do not mix well. I could not ask my family to help me because they got up and left as soon as I arrived at the beach.

Thing-one would spend an hour making a sand sculpture, only for Thing-two to jump on it, grinning. Thing-three refused to keep her swimming costume on and kept trying to run off to the arcade where there was a grabber machine full of giant Minions. Not that it was possible to actually win one of course.

I spent a fortune on rides which they wanted to get off the second it started. I bought them ice creams they fed to the seagulls. I put shoes on them which they left in the sea. I could not even relax once they were asleep, because it never happened. I’d get two settled, then one would fall out of the teeny tiny bed and wake everyone back up again.

My mum kept cooking meat, eggs and cheese for dinner. It’s the first holiday I’ve been on where I came back slimmer. It’s hard to get fat on rice cakes and sulking.

There were moments of joy of course. Hanging out with my family, watching the girls running in and out the sea, singing round the BBQ, and no hair-washing.

The Isle of Wight is perfect. I’d recommend it to anyone. It’s a great place to go and relax, so long as you don’t take your kids with you.

Here are some photos of the week: