Updated: Apr 16, 2020
20th September 2018
Well, it's our last full day at Centre Parcs and I'm ready to go home. I don't quite know how it happened (maybe it's the rain), but my mind must have just made this shift to say 'okay, I want to go back now.' It's funny how the mind does that. It's gone from being worried about how to make the most of every day - and what if the time goes so quickly? - to being fine about it ending. It used to happen a lot at the end of summer holidays in teaching, as well. I used to dread the holidays running out, about two weeks from the end, and then they finally would and I'd usually be fine about term starting again. I wonder if the mind subconsciously makes an adjustment in preparation for home.
On reflection, it's a lovely thing to want to go home and to be happy with the thought of it. It's nice to miss it after a change of scene and then appreciate the little things, like your own bedroom or kitchen or special mug. That's what a holiday can do - refresh your appreciation, I guess.
And the 'meal' we had out did nothing to make me want to stay away from home much longer, either. Even if my own cooking is questionable and sporadic. I made the naive mistake of thinking that the venue we went to today had a rather reasonably-priced menu (less than £10 per head) and the door, a bit trendy-looking, made it look like a Gourmet Burger Kitchen-type place (the venue shall remain nameless). Well... the final bill for the three of us came to £28 and it was nothing to write home about, unless you were writing to complain. And to add insult to injury, Grace didn't eat any of hers. It did consist of a dry burger bap with a small burger - no tomato slice, lettuce, mayo or guerkin there - so I can't really blame her. There wasn't even a slice of cheese to entice the poor child.
But what added comedy to the scenario was how lacking in lustre and dynamism the whole place was. You never quite knew what was happening, at this place that served 'plastic food', as Michael calls it. I felt a bit sorry for the staff to be honest; it seemed understaffed. The sign at the entrance said to wait to be seated. But standing there made you realise nobody was coming out from the McDonalds-looking counter, behind which the fries were fried and the burgers were burgered. It was, in reality, a glorified McDonalds or Burger King, but with slower service and higher prices.
Anyway, on another topic, I've seen a lot of tattoos today. For some reason there seem to have been more today than on any other. When I mentioned this to Michael he said there's been an explosion of them in Britain recently. I hadn't noticed. I did see a couple of guys here with tattoos all over the back of their heads, something I hadn't really seen before. But today at the pool, there were tattoos everywhere. It felt as though some secret Tattoo Club had entered Subtropical Swimming Paradise. One man had a huge tattoo on his chest which was kind of two thirds a woman's face and then a huge skull overlapping it - what did this signify? I saw a tattoo of a unicorn between shoulder blades, entire shins and arms tatooed and POW written across one arm. I saw cryptic writing that seemed to have hidden meanings, colourful tattoos, black and white tattoos, an intricate elephant tattoo... Michael says there's a huge craze of them at his work and everyone's getting them. I just don't quite understand how I hadn't noticed this before.
I might get tattooed on my arm the word 'because' in response to Gracie's eternal question 'why?' Would save me some time. P.s Have just had to log in and add this. Michael's just told me that he's seen two 'Made in Mansfield' tattoos, complete with a map of Mansfield coloured in with a Union Jack, one between shoulder blades and one on a lower back. Thought that was brilliant!
Gracie's phrase for last night: 'Daddy, when I grow up please don't make me have mummy and daddy toothpaste. It's too minty.' (this was after she'd been told she could have her 'little girl toothpaste' between the age of 3 and 5).