Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Torquay, before and after kids

In 2003, just before Tom and I moved away from London, I attended an Indian Head Massage workshop in Torquay.

I drove out of London after work on the Friday evening, picked Tom up from Heathrow (he had been in Geneva for work) and we headed down to Devon.

We spent that night staying up very late, getting drunk on the marina, eating delicious food, holding hands, and playing the 'guess the line from the film' game; stopping every so often to watch the next stag or hen party spectacle enter the bar.  

I spent the following day massaging people's heads with a hangover, and Tom explored Torquay, read his book, and lunched while gazing peacefully at the sea.

That was the last time we had both been to that part of the country, until this weekend.  It was Tom who was on a course this time, learning how to grow oyster mushrooms on coffee grounds, and build a profitable enterprise from it.

The main difference this time was that we had two little ladies in tow. So while Tom was on some farm in Totnes getting perhaps a little too excited about fungi, I was keeping the kids entertained.  

We went on a wildlife boat trip around the coast, but while attempting to buy tickets, Dolly shouted crossly 'I AM NOT TWO, I AM THREE!'  There was no charge for two year olds, but Dolly wasn't playing ball and successfully exposed me as a fraud and a liar.  

While on board, and still trying to get over the embarrassment, we had a 'naughty lunch' as Betty called it (she has since told EVERYONE that I only fed them crackers and chocolate biscuits all day).  

After the boat trip, I wrestled Betty and Dolly into their fabulous new wetsuits (very kindly supplied by MandMDirect), and they took to the icy cold waters of Teignmouth beach.  This photo doesn't show the Siberian chill that was blowing that day. But it does show that absolutely no one else was in the sea. 

Teignmouth beach
We then went onto the pier where they spotted rock for sale in the sweet shop.  We have been reading 'Lost at the fair' a lot, where the little mice eat rock, so I reluctantly let them choose a stick each and allowed them one little nibble (the rest is still knocking around in the bottom of my bag).  

Next on the relaxing itinerary: Betty and I had a massive argument about the lethal-looking, mile-high inflatable slide that I wouldn't let her go on.  She stroppily had a bounce on the 'baby' bouncy castle with Dolly, but soon cracked a smile when I opened up the world of Penny Fall machines to them in the arcade.  I'm not sure Tom would have approved, but he wasn't there was he.  

We were all absolutely knackered by the time Tom finished his course at 4pm.  So when Dolly informed me that she was not intending to leave the hotel room that evening, I was more than happy to stay with her.  

At 6.30pm, I was in my pyjamas, tending to a vomiting child, and watching reality TV, while Tom and Betty were out eating tapas and having a ball on that lethal-looking inflatable slide thingy. 


Unknown said...

Love your picture. We regularly go to Teignmouth seafront. The kiddies love playing on the pier x

AliBlahBlah said...

Great photo. Looks like my two California girls (and the water is probably just as cold here).

My oldest (almost 7) still hasn't forgiven us for smuggling her in to a National Trust property while we were in England with the cunning use of a pushchair and a wooly hat. At least she didn't blow our cover though!

Unknown said...

Glad it's not just me who has tried the smuggling thing - altho too scared to ever do it again!

nappy valley girl said...

Haha at Dolly - I have never dared to lie about the boys' age, because I just know they would contradict me in loud voices!

I haven't been to Torquay since I was 9...I remember going crabbing, and to a typical 'end of the pier' type show. Somehow in my mind it remains in the 70s!

Unknown said...

Hi Nappy Valley, it is still in the 70s! x

Lorraine The Party Times said...

made me laugh about Dolly saying her true age - something I can imagine my 3 year old doing too readily!

Becky said...

Once when I was a kid my parents tried to take me to see a 12 year old film when I was 10 (I think it might've been Who Framed Roger Rabbit!)... I successfully colluded with the lie, very excited about breaking the rules, until he asked me what year I was born and I couldn't work it out. Red faces all round.

Anna @ green tea n toast said...

Your girls sound brilliant! I have a memory of my brother doing the same thing as Dolly - except he refused to be four instead of five. I bet so many parents get outed like that! x

Only Best For Baby said...

Great photo, looks cold but nothing puts children off! The sea is always the sea. And Penny Fall machines, that brings back memories of my childhood!