Thursday, 30 April 2015

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside.....

Never mind all the fuss about the "beach body ready" ads, if you've got small children then there are far more important things to be worrying about than fitting into a minuscule yellow bikini.  Here are the questions I'll be asking myself before we head to the seaside this summer:

Have I got three lots of sunscreen?

One tube to use as soon as you arrive, a second tube because the first one will get dropped in the sand rendering it impossible to apply without exfoliating your children, and a third to use because the second one has only got a teaspoon of sunscreen in it because it's last year's and you didn't check it before you left.

Are the buckets and spades the same size and colour?

The ad they should have run..
"I want the castle-shaped bucket!" 
"No it's my turn to have the castle-shaped bucket!" 
"Mummy; Daddy promised me I could have the castle-shaped bucket!!!" 
Don't let this happen to you - it will end in tears and expense and you can bet the only castle-shaped bucket left in the beach shop is larger than the one you already have....

Have I packed enough carrier bags?

Wet clothes, soiled clothes, nappies, cheese sandwiches that have been left out in the sun, the trainer that fell victim to dog poo.  You don't want any of these working their way unguarded into your bag - they make for terrible discoveries after a four hour drive home in a roasting hot car.

Have I packed a book and a magazine?

Don't kid yourself that you're going to get to read either of them - you'll need the book as a weight for the corner of your picnic blanket.  The magazine should be pre-rolled to hit wasps with / use as a megaphone to beckon your children out of the sea, because at some point during your adult years your tolerance for the temperature of British sea water has dropped to zero.

How much would it cost to hire a donkey?

What with walking miles to find the "right spot", hauling a windbreak and mallet (I cannot believe that forms part of my beach packing - the glamour!), needing to give at least one child a piggy back, carrying a cool bag, beach bag and rucksack filled with towels that will be twice as heavy by the end of the day because everything will be soaking wet, I am seriously thinking about making the investment before my back gives out.

Have I stamped on my sunglasses?

You might as well do it in advance.

Given that family trips to the seaside are technically a feat of endurance, I'll settle for the small triumph that is being able to drop my tired body into a picnic chair with a drink that doesn't have sand in it.  Oh wait - the chairs.....we forgot the flipping chairs!!

Soundtrack: I Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside by John A. Glover-Kind

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