Thursday, 31 August 2017

How Not To Vlog Your Family Holiday

So, despite S's best intentions to vlog our summer holiday, it just didn't happen.

I had watched a lot of these holiday vlogs when she announced her new hobby, and at first I was happy to get involved. This is the first time in 10 years that S has shown any nerves with regards to flying, so I wanted to alleviate them quickly before it escalated.

And oh, believe me it could of escalated!

This is a girl who, after hearing a story at school about someone getting trapped in a lift, has steadfastly refused to step foot in one for  over 3 years. Yes, even at Covent Garden tube station. Where she was warned by several signs dotted around that the spiral staircase is there in the event of an emergency, this is due to the fact that there is 193 steps equivalent to a TEN story building. S gave zero shits, she buggered off ahead, Mark got the lift and I was pretty sure I passed out for a brief moment half way to the top.

You see, what I've discovered is that in order to be one of these 'vloggers' your family needs to be relatively normal, and we're not. It's not that we don't try, we do, boy do we try, but it's time to accept that we're far from your average family, especially when it comes to holidays.

I mean grounding an outbound flight to Alicante in Madrid 5 years ago over a spilt cup of tea should have taught me that.

Yes this happened.

Or, perhaps the time my Mum offended (the quite frankly overly dramatic) family in front of us on a flight to Paris by repeatedly calling the young boy 'she'  "oooh she has lovely curls doesn't she" "She must take good care of her hair" until they all moved seats.

What about the time the hire car got stolen in Spain? On my birthday too naturally, and I spent the whole day waiting in for forensics to come to the villa and do a full blown CSI investigation. How the Guardia laughed and laughed when my husband told them (in a station 2 towns away via a hastily hired translator)
And how laughed and laughed  cried a bit when in an attempt to salvage what was left of my birthday my Mum went to gather all my gifts and cards to take to the restaurant. Only to find my 4 year old had gotten to them first and "helped" by opening them all and hiding them around the villa.

Never did find my brother's gift, suspect he hadn't actually got one and was happy for S to take the fall.

I mean imagine vlogging all that? None of which has been exaggerated for comedy effect by the way.

It'd be categorised under comedy/drama on Youtube for sure.

Also these vlogging families have grandparents and husbands who take excellent pictures to post all over social media. This is what happens when I ask someone to take a picture of us..


So to prove how rubbish we would be at vlogging, anyway here's some of the types of footage that may have ended up on my daughter's Youtube channel.

1. Despite the fact that you know you have checked everyone in online, and holding the actual boarding passes in your hand! You spend the 50 minute queue to check your hold luggage, worrying that you didn't do it properly and trying to log in to your Easyjet account with the airports shit wi fi

2. Although you know full well that you haven't packed any guns, crack or fireworks in your suitcase, you still worry that you have un-wittingly been picked out to be used as some some sort of crap drugs mule , and actually have all three stashed in your suitcase.

"Any restricted items in your hold luggage Madam"


3. You've checked where your boarding passes and passports are 67 times since arriving at the airport. But when it comes to ACTUALLY needing them you can't find them.

Give me strength....

4. When your Mum gets stopped at security for the 9th year in a row for having handcream/hand gel/scissors in her hand luggage despite proclaiming loudly (for the 9th year in a row) that she has NONE of them.

5. You hope there won't be anyone staying in the Villa next to you so you don't have to pretend to be a nice, quiet, normal family for 2 weeks. Or if there IS hopefully it'll be a family as loud and as crazy as you are!

Then you step out that first morning and you're greeted to this......

Won't be popping over for drinks then Carol?

6. What you think you look like coming out of the sea... 

what you actually look like

7.80 per cent of the holiday is spent covering your child in sun lotion on, making sure they wear a hat  and ensuring that they aren't going to drown in the pool/sea

8. The other 20 per cent is basically spent thinking about wine and food and how much of it you can consume in two weeks.

Quite a lot it turns out

9. You say you won't be handing out what feels like 234 euros on those machines that produce tat like bouncy balls, tattoos and out of date tubes of pringles and buying endless slushies.
Obviously you spend about 234 euros doing just that.

10. Trying to find a spot on the beach when you've had a small lie in.

11. You actually all HATE the beach. You daughter hates sand and sea water but LOVES everything else. Which isn't a lot. Everyone else seems to be very organised and brings cool boxes, chairs,wind breakers and drinks.
Sod that.We'll spend 25 Euros on sunbeds to avoid sitting on sand, but still get sand up your bum.
47 euros on ice creams and drinks like bloody idiots and spend about an hour there before leaving, posting a beach selfie first though


12. You take 4000 pictures of everyone else but the only ones of you are hastily taken selfies.

13. You spent about a week ironing, rolling and packing everything perfectly.
Coming home? Not so much

Will we all do this next year though?

Already booked it.



Friday, 18 August 2017

10 Not So Simple Rules For Looking After Our Pets

Hello Friend,,

Thanks so much for agreeing to come into our home and care for our animals whilst we are on holiday. The animals being one atopic dog, one naughty kitten, a grumpy old Cat, and of course 6* pond fish.

As well as generally keeping the animals fed, watered and alive, we also thought it might be helpful to have a list of little tips and advice that you might find helpful during your stay.

This list is by no means exhaustive of course, they also like to throw you a curve ball occasionally, by doing such things as:

Going missing for 2 weeks - the cat.
Running and jumping out of the bedroom window - the kitten
Chasing a ball so fast into a hedge that you get stuck in it - the dog.
Getting stuck up a tree - the kitten

Don't worry none of the above were seriously harmed during any of these escapades, thanks to several relatively large vet bills over the years all are still alive and well.
Touches wood, touches all the wood

So here goes....

1. Hunger.
As well as the timetable of feeding times I also thought it would help to inform you of the mind tricks each animal likes to play when it comes to their alleged  'hunger'
Each will at some point behave as if they have never seen food before, they way they exhibit this is as follows

The Cat - The cat get's 'hangry'!

If you have not fed the cat at the specific times given she will alert you to the fact she is hungry by howling very loudly outside the cupboard that stores the food. She will also paw at the door and look at you scornfully, as you are an imbecile that has somehow forgotten she exists.
If this still hasn't got your attention she will then decide to regurgitate her last meal, by retching and stretching as if she is turning herself out, then leave the gift of vomit somewhere for you to find.

The Kitten - Will look sorrowfully at his bowl and pat at it with his paws. If he had the ability he would hold it up and say "Please Sir can I have some more" he would.

The Dog - A Lab always hungry.

If you're eating he'll look at you with his brown eyes and stand stand closer and closer until he's practicaly sat in your lap, will also try a sly lick of what's in your hand. If you lock him outside then you'll hear him sighing loudly or he'll come to the window to stare at you while you eat, never once blinking - it's quite an ability.

2. Stairs are death traps.

One or sometimes all three animals will actively try to kill you as you walk down the stairs.The dog likes to race past you and stop dead immediately in front of you. The kitten will often be found sleeping on one of the stairs so check. Especially if you're getting a drink in the night as I learned the hard way, oh and the grumpy old cat will often try to take a swipe at you through the banister.
Be on your guard when using the stairs at all times!

3. The dog has selected deafness.

If you shout his name for telling him off for eating the cats food, humping an animal outside the co-op, or for sniffing the crotch o a guest then he's deaf as a doorpost.
Open a packet of biscuits in the kitchen? He's by your side in less than 2 seconds.

4. Thirst.

Despite all three having access to fresh water at all times they all prefer to drink out of the pond, a random dirty puddle or just any spot where water has collected. The cat has been known at times, especially when we have company, to be found desperately licking the bottom of the tap in the downstairs toilet, as if to show that we are mistreating her by withholding water.

5. #Weegate

The dog will need to go out for a wee before bed, when you let him out he will go outside and sniff at a few things and then come back in, giving you the illusion he does not need one. And knowing he had about 40 on his walk you think you can go straight to bed right?


Just as you are about to drift off in bed you'll hear him get up from his spot of the bedroom floor and go downstairs, he will lull you into a false sense of security at first thinking he just wants his own bed for a bit, but NOPE just as you close your eyes again he'll whine at the back door. You argue with your other half, and one of you gets up to let him out.
He looks at the open door as if you are showing him the magical to entrance to Narnia and looks back at you blankly. You gently coax him outside Mutter through gritted teeth to bloody go for a bloody wee   and he will finally wander around the garden as if it's the first time he's drawn air.
When you finally look like you are about to break down, that is when he will piss up the swing set or garden furniture and come in.

6. Identity crisis

The kitten is a bit confused. We think he believes the dog is his parent, he follows him everywhere, and they sleep cuddled up together. He allows the dog to sniff his butt for uncomfortable periods of time and enshues any kind of cat related fun - ball of string? toy mouse? Dreamies? No thanks! Will try and chew the dogs bone, eat his food and chase a ball though.

7. Attention

The dog likes to be fussed all the time, the kitten likes to be fussed all the time, but the cat? No. Only when she actively seeks you out are you allowed to touch her.
Do not, I repeat do not make eye contact with the cat if she jumps up on your knee for a fuss, she will scratch your eyes out for noticing her weak moment. Just stroke her until she has had enough and then she'll jump down.
If she's decided your knee if her's for the night? It is, send out for help to bring you food, water and a wee will have to wait.

It's her house we just live here.


The cat does not like closed doors, it's her house remember she likes to know whats going on at all times. Bathroom time? She'll knock on the door with her paws until you give in and open it and then walk off.

The dog will let himself in through the back door when he's had enough, yes he can open the back door. Still chases his tail though.

The cat and kitten only like to leave the house via a window, kitchen or living room. Yes even if the back door is wide open.
If it's raining or they want to come back in they will sit on the windowsill glaring at you until you get up, they may choose to come in then, they might not it's like some sick mind game they play until they finally come inside.

13 times is the record. I think I actually wept.

If you forget and go to bed or have drifted off on the sofa? Good luck with that.

9. Sleep

Despite the dog having a bed in the hall he sleeps where he damn well likes, mainly the bedroom floor at night. Sometimes tries it on by putting a paw on the edge of the bed.

The cat sleeps at the bottom of the bed but only if I am there, we have an understanding you see. She takes the whole of my side of the bottom of the bed, and I sleep with my legs hunched up or face an excessive scratching. It's an agreement that's worked well for 12 years, when I am not there she sleeps elsewhere, I like to think it's because she misses me , and not because she's actually made me her bitch.

The kitten

10. Seperation anxiety.

The cat hates us going away and shows her displeasure by doing things such as sleeping in the suitcase, rolling around on freshly laundered clothing, and throwing up on my new beach towel as an angry protest. Whilst we are away you will notice she will have a permanent resting bitch face, please note it is nothing to do with you! When we return she will secretly be pleased but will punish us by ignoring us for several days, and also by refusing to eat for several days. Every time I say I won't give in to her behaviour, every year I break and can and am found on all fours coaxing her from under the kitchen table with salmon.

She judges, everyone judges.

Nice holiday? Good because you will pay for it no.. B******S.

The dog is pretty disloyal, apart from the kid who he adores, he won't care that his primary care givers have left and you have moved in, as long as you feed him, fuss him and tell him he's a good boy.

The kitten gives zero fucks what we do as long as the dog is around.

Anyway I know they are in good hands, please don't let this out you off staying!

Oh and the fish, there's now 5 the kitten left a gift at the back door.