Girls’ Weekend! Girls’ Weekend with seven kids under six. Yes, we did it again, yes there was an extra baby on the trip this year, and yes, this time I was prepared for the extreme weather conditions as rammed into my car (before any of the essentials like clothes and food) was a heater, a double duvet, two water bottles, my bed socks and my friend’s ‘Where’s Wally’ onesie.
After returning home from Primrose Valley last year, I vowed never to stay in another caravan again. Looking back in hindsight, I wasn’t fully prepared for the experience and I suppose sleeping in Marks and Spencer silk Pyjamas and regurgitated breast milk was not the best way to get a decent night’s sleep in the ‘Coldest Place on Earth’.
But then, one day the message from my friend arrived:
I’ve found a deal; I can get us two basic caravans for £20 each.
I replied with a firm ‘no’.
We can get an upgrade for another £20 each.
‘Hmmm…’ My mind began to ponder, but then I recalled last year and how I saw my breath coil out in a smoky whirl every time I spoke.
It’s not Primrose Valley.
And so, the weekend arrived and this is my post about Barmston Beach and how you know you’re on a girls’ holiday…with seven kids.
- Unfortunately, your fridge will be packed to the brim with milk as opposed to alcohol. There will be blue top because you’re toddler is still not on the correct centile for his weight despite being able to literally inhale a Tesco Shortbread Chocolate biscuit in one fail swoop – i.e he shoves it all in at once. Then there will be your friend’s green top milk, your red top milk because you’re on a diet even though you went to Marks and Spencer and bought a huge bag of crisps, two tubs of mini-chocolate rolls and at least two bags of Haribos. On top of this, I had four cartons of Aptamil, my friend had a tub of Cow and Gate and outside, tied to our railing, were two beautiful bovines named Rosie and Jim… It was safe to say that our two bottles of unopened Bud looked a little lost among the litres of calcium. I almost reached for the Bud at 7am on the first morning after my girl demanded Coco Pops without milk.
2. Your caravan, after an hour, will look like Nick Junior has spewed up over it. Being the mothers of the two youngest children, my friend and I chose to share the ‘sensible caravan’ with the ‘party caravan’ being the one that the elder children were to stay in. However, we had barely unpacked before we had the dulcet tones of Peppa screaming out at us from a ‘fun’ phonics game, Chase, Marshall and Trevor (I may have made that name up) were ‘guarding’ the settees while Blaze and his Monster Machines lit up our TV. Dens were being be made in our bedrooms and five children, three of whom were not ours, were screaming and charging up and down the living area. Amongst the chaos, we happended a glance over to the ‘party caravan’ to be greeted by a serene image of our friend lifting a glass of Rose delicately to her lips and turning the page in a book.
3. The entertainment will be provided by Timmy Mallet’s Grandsons. Barmston Beach is not on quite a grand a scale as Primrose Valley, which suited us just fine. As the evening drew in, a gust of ice cold wind blew us into the entertainment centre and we bought our lagers and seated ourselves front stage and centre. Together, my friends and I sat poised, savouring the drinks in front of us had not been pulled from a cow’s udders and watched children dashed, jumped and skidded along the empty dance floor. Just as we were about to enjoy our first taste of alcohol, two young bespectacled lads, one dressed all in yellow, one all in red, both sporting bandanas raced onto the stage and performed the most awesome dance that I have ever seen to a small bunch of four year olds who now resembled deer in the headlights.
4. The only drinking game you’re going to play will involve you competing for and winning a mug. Timmy Mallet’s grandsons had an array of games planned for our cherubs and in turn, each child was invited on stage to take part in a competition of some sort. As my girl was leaving the stage, she was asked to point out her Mum and so she picked me out. Now, because I had had a lager, I whooped and insanely cool ‘whoop’. Myself and an equally lucky Dad had been chosen and we were handed a beach towel each and told we had to cross from one side of the dance floor to the other side by scooching along on our bums. I saw this as the perfect opportunity for a little bit of bum busting cardio and suddenly became very competitive. With my head down, I shuffled across the dance floor using my bum and I totally won. My impressive arse skidding won me a mug, however, much to my disappointment, the dad was presented with one two as Timmy Mallet’s grandsons deemed it a draw. It wasn’t a draw and two people wearing glasses should have been able to see that clearly. I am not bitter…
5. The only ride you’re going to enjoy is a kids’ one. Yes, on the Sunday, we departed our complex and headed for the bright lights of Bridlington. After following numerous diversions, we arrived in convoy at the Bridlington sea front. Much to my absolute delight, we went to sit on a cold and blustery beach and watched our children battle against the elements and build and destroy sandcastles. The majority of my time on the beach was spent berating myself for having dressed my girl in tights and dungarees, chasing after the Dude and stopping him from running into the sea and making sure my hood was pulled tightly over my head all while yelling: “Oooh it’s sooooo cold!” in the hope that my friends would get the gist and suggest we leave.
After half and hour and after JC admitted that the sand had now worked it’s way through her ripped jeans and into her underwear, we admitted defeat and went to eat fish and chips.
We destroyed a nearby fish shop (as we insisted on having an adults’ table and a children’s table) and when we left to head back to the beach to enjoy the rides, I swear I heard cheers from the other customers as the door slammed shut behind us. We sold our souls and bought at least a million tokens for the rides. Unfortunately, some of the children didn’t like the rides so us mums thought we would benefit from the tokens. I’ll leave you with the video below.
6. The important thing you will all remember is that a weekend away with your closest friends and your kids is something very special indeed. Being busy working mums, we rarely get to spend a lot of time together and sometimes you just need to chew the fat with some old friends because it keeps you sane. Sometimes you just need to laugh until you cry whether it be at your friend’s child telling you that her poos look like snails (I can confirm that they do) or that time when you looked away for a moment at the adventure playground and when you turned back you were greeted with the sight of your friend’s son dangling upside down from a climbing frame swinging back and forth and gathering wood chippings in his hair.
And do you know what really made this trip at success for me? At night, I was warm. Toasty in fact.