An Ode to Caravan Hatred, 2010

The ‘2010’ in the title is the year, but considering how fed up I became on a regular basis, this could very well be Volume 2010.

In 2010, I joined my close family in a caravan holiday to Hoburne Bashley, a caravan park in the New Forest. It’s been recurring favourite location for us to visit. Kind of. Despite a love affair with camping at music festivals, I can’t say that I have ever been a massive fan of caravan holidays.

After a recent visit to my parents’ static caravan there two weeks ago, during a tidy out a few days later, I discovered a diary that I kept (written by hand) to keep myself sane and give me something to do when my laptop’s charger broke.

Sadly, this is no more. Sniff.

This rediscovery, along with the recent demise of its swimming pool (sadly in favour of a more dire, rectangular and mushroomless design, currently under construction), which provided a vast majority of content in the diary, has compelled me to dump its best bits here. Apologies go to anybody that I hurl offense at in the following paragraphs. To some of you anyway.

I hold this all quite dear, since it is a great documentation of one angry Nick, getting increasingly peeved from paragraph to paragraph. Annotations circa February 2014 are in bold, alongside typed and forever preserved diary, now pointless published, primarily for friends and to put myself under pressure to post more productive content to shove this off the front page. Rarr.

The crap caravan pitch is taking its toll due to an invasion of creepy crawlies. A myriad of wasps and perhaps thirty spiders had to be cleared off the towels since they were hung up to dry. How is it that in my silly little tent at festivals, I’ve never had insect troubles, yet an army of bugs has found a home in our seemingly secure caravan? It’s obviously not the grand fortress that we had first thought. Mum had been very proud of the fly nets too… 

(Yep. Within two words, I was in a foul enough mood to reach for mild profanities. And so, onto the late swimming pool.)

Eventually we got to the swimming pool. Most of the time I was in the steam room (or ‘Turkish Room’ as the plaque specified). It’s a good place to meet people and have a conversation. Most of the time. I met some people who seemed my age who were nice. It was very friendly until a girl in a green bikini poked her head in, and she and the guys I was talking to exchanged vocal abuse and middle fingers briefly until she left. One of the guys opposite then stated in his almost unintelligible Welsh accent, “she’s only 13 and she’s a right cow!”

(They weren’t lying. Apologies to any Welsh readers, but her mixture of chavvy scumbag and Walespeak was very difficult to decode.)

What’s interesting about talking to strangers in there is that it is difficult to judge people by appearance. You can converse about whatever as it’s not very relaxing in there, so it’s good to have another focus. However, after age entered the conversation, personal details unfortunately came into play. They said they were 15, and the usual guessing game (today ranging from 14-17) followed by the standard disbelief (“fuck off, you’re not!”) began. Again the atmosphere changed. Damn.

(This was an ongoing thing for the last few years, until recently. The day that somebody correctly guessed my age as 23 was very depressing.)

We left, and found each other again at the ‘hot tub’, strategically placed in inverted commas, because it wasn’t hot. It was just a tub. I assumed a fetal position and said I felt out of place. A conversation went mostly like this.

Guy 1: He’s twenty!

Green bikini girl with second rate negroplasty: No fuckin’ way!

Me: It’s true.

Guy 2 (hairier and older looking than me): You just look like a tall 16 or 17 year old!

I found them one more time with rest of the posse that perhaps I would have liked to have had a civilized conversation with to pass time. A few live in locally so it might have been good to get to know them. All I know is that the girl that I met a couple of days ago is called Georgia (or judging from her chavvy manner as well as who I think was her father’s, it might have been spelt oddly or something, like the couple that called their daughter Ikea… I don’t know… Djyoorja?), that they are thick as two short planks (and that is thick, thicker than clotted cream) after her bikini clad friend asked me if I was a ‘piano-ist’. I said that I could play keyboard but that I am a drummer. It was at this point that I learned a vital detail. 

(I hate the term ‘chavvy’, but amidst my angry spluttering via pencil, it was all that I had.)

They are tw*ts, nay c*nts.

(Whoa. I guess their naughty words had rubbed off on me, and ‘crap’ was no longer strong enough. Also, I bizarrely censored these in the diary with images like hashes, skulls and ampersands, hence the asterisks above.)

Maybe not full time. Everyone does it, changing his or her attitudes around different people. [Son of family friend] is a great example, as his voice changes around his friends, almost trying to sound like a hardnut, but he just seems to channel the sound of thousands of football attendees, minus the profanity (most of the time). Maybe if it were that guy next to Georgia alone he would have been all right, or any other of them, just the same, but he in particular seemed to show off in front of his new friends. Again, my age came up to infinite disbelief.

That guy asked me to do a beat when all I could do was tap on the door. It was packed so I couldn’t sit down, and was belittled further when they started talking to me (or AT me) in Welsh when the subject of where we live came up. The guy next to Georgia insisted that he was from Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, though again he was probably just showing off. I was tempted to repeat it again back to him (or maybe even spell it – I can) though I would only have been committing the same crime.

A guy with an unsual skin problem, covered in bruise-like marks (like a Dalmatian), told me to ‘fuck off’ in Welsh. Charming. So I ‘fucked off’, though not before I was told that I reminded them of James May. I might have lost the hair, but I must still have the manner. What a daft claim to fame… though considering how it is perpetually pointed out, it’s probably true. Bugger. That also meant that I was questioned about whether I had a boyfriend, due to the myth that May is homosexual. 

(Yes. My hair tempted many a James May comparison. These have slowed, by haven’t gone away, even post haircut, as represented in the above paragraph.)

A much needed shower, a cup of tea and a King-size Galaxy bar later, we will shortly depart for the entertainment centre, have some curry and see Sammy the Seahorse. Inevitably I will spend too much on Crazy Taxi and Time Crisis II. If that pipsqueak who ruined my game turns up again and pulls the same trick again, he might end up with broken fingers or toes from an angry squeeze on the gear lever, and furious stomp on the accelerator. Perhaps both. Probably both. I might see the group from earlier, but I’m not sure if I want to. It’s sad that I am scrounging for friends and also failing. It makes me feel out of place. I shouldn’t be here…

(Earlier that day, 30p had gone to waste on Crazy Taxi when one of the aforementioned bunch decided to sneak up behind me, stand on the brake pedal and pull the forward/reverse lever back and forth. Suddenly all those naughty words become justified.)

At this point, I calm down to discuss how beautiful the sky was that night, (in the knowledge that I wouldn’t have to put up with them again) before everything becomes far too poetic. I reckon I could salvage a song out of all the references to isolation, beauty and claustrophobia.

And now you know.


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