Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Help! It's the School Holidays!

Well this will be a very short post because it's that dreaded time of year...The School Holidays. Of course, whilst I relish the idea of not doing The School Run, I'm still Mrs T's Taxi Service running my Terrible Trio in my deadly Cmax all over the place. Our summer vacation to Ireland approaches too so I'm vaguely thinking about packing some stuff but as usual I will endeavour to leave it to the very last moment just so I can remember what the word "excitement" means. "Excitement" usually means a giant sized bar of Cadburys these days but the stress of packing which always nearly brings Mr T and I to blows is always good for letting out a little bit of pent up frustration. At the moment I'm trying to figure out how to get Mr T's fishing rods into a 4x4 sq inch space. Fortunately, I have a rather good idea; it may involve a mallet or possibly a small chainsaw. Who knows, I'm feeling daring today...maybe both!

Well I had some sad new on Monday from my home town of Weston Super Mare. Yes, that's right Mrs T was raised in the birthplace of John Cleese and Monty Python. Hmm... maybe that explains some things? On the other hand the delightful Jeffery Archer comes from Weston too - the only thing I have in common with Jeffrey is our political rule the world by fair means or foul! However, I don't think anyone could accuse me of ever telling enough porkies so that I end up behind bars like Mr Archer; I am 100% honest and never prone to lying or the slightest exaggeration.

Well back to the sad news...
The Pier at Weston has burnt down. The fire was apparently started by a deep fat fryer early Monday morning and within a short time the building was ablaze and the pictures making headline news across the UK. ( I'd like to point out at this juncture I don't have a deep fat fryer for this very reason - I have way too many cooking problems without potential explosive electrical devices lying wantonly around) Anyhow, having spent many years wandering the seafront, strolling the beach, feeling the surf splashing on my face and the wind gusting through my hair and and gazing across to the Welsh coastline I shall miss The Old Girl. She was a grade II listed building and a feature of the coastline I will always remember with affection... especially in more recent years where I have revisted it with my children and played silly games, sat astride the ghost train and enjoyed overpriced ice creams. I suppose in time it will be rebuilt..but I guess it will never be the same again.

Life moves on.. every time I go back to Weston it has changed and expanded until in recent years it is almost a hinterland of Bristol. The Seafront, home to the second highest tide in the world, and with it's Victorian Hotels and sandy beaches was the one thing that had remained fairly constant and now with the death of The Old Girl my only attachment left is my mother who still resides there. Our family home was sold a few years ago and my mother now has an apartment looking out to the sea. It was a good move for her and I have no regrets.. but one day I reckon I'll move back to the coast.. probably not Weston though.. .so I can feel, once again, the sea breeze on my face and hair, the taste of salt in the air, watch the fierce waves crashing upon the promenade and rejoice in the cries of seagulls as they soar in the dull grey skies.

And when the holiday makers have gone, I'll know that this is once again England, my England.

Copyright Jane Turley 2008


  1. Oh you are so right! Verily, one has not lived until one has left the packing for a two-week family holiday until the night before. It cannot be done before because a) there's no space and b) as everyone knows, children are like ants and will slowly remove the pile of stuff to other parts of the house. There has to be a better way, a Third Way? Any ideas??

  2. "England, my England" eh? You nearly had me draping a Union Jack across my shoulders and singing "Land of Hope and Gore" or whatever that little shanty is. And what a bonfire to sing it to. That's gonna create one giant-sized carbon footprint for sure. Which goes to show that deep fat friers are not only bad for your health but bad for the environment. I love piers and seem to remember this one as being a classic, although I never liked the gaps between the planks. Maybe the British government should slap a massive tax on deep fat friers, and use these funds to repair the hole in the ozone layer and build a new pier. But before they do, I have the perfect solution for the fishing rods, but it involves investing in the aforementioned domestic appliance of destruction: Cut up each rod into 4" lengths, toss lightly in batter or breadcrumbs and cook for eight minutes. Serve with salt and vinegar.

  3. FFM... I am drawing out my Uzi as I write with the sheer frustration.. where are those bloody pac a mac things?! And where's my swimming costume? I haven't seen that since the last time we went camping. I CAN'T FIND ANYTHING!! (Well to be honest that's no change from usual... Mr T though has been tidying with abandon ...Last night he cleaned the fridge!! My argument is... Why bother? If burglars look through the windows and see a tidy place they will know we're away. I feel if we leave it messy everyone will think we're at home! Am I right?)

  4. Ok, ok PB I got a bit carried away with the romanticism of it all! I have this strange habit of being patriotic .. unlike some of my fellow Brits who have legged it to a warmer climate - Get your butt back here PB and suffer the greasy fish and chips and a Labour government like the rest of us!

    If you think the gaps between the planks between Weston Pier were bad you should have seen the gaps on Birnbeck Pier! (That's the older Pier just around the bay which is derelict now - although I think there are plans for a luxury hotel to be built on the rock the foundations are on) Even 30 years ago it was virtually derelict but there were still some retailers using it.. I particularly remember a carpet retailer... my mother and father rountinely made us walk across (Also one of the longest piers in the UK) to look at carpets.... but get this... SOME OF THE PLANKS WERE MISSING!!! I'm not saying I had the jitters but frankly my bowels have never recovered.

    I like the idea of taxing deep fat fryers.. jolly unhealthy things anyway.. and as for deep frying Mr T's fishing rods that sounds excellent! Only.. I don't even have a normal frying pan at the moment as that came to a sticky end with my last cooking diaster....

    So grilling it is then!!

    I wonder if I should soften the pieces first with a mallet like when you prepare steak? Hmm.... let me think about that whilst I get into the mood...

    "Land of Hope and Glory... Mother of our...OOps upside your head, I said oops upside your head..."

    Yeah, that's more my cup of tea...

  5. Of course you are right! Where I come from, it's called common sense!!! (I think some people call it feminine logic ...)

  6. I'm feeling very queasy about the internet at the moment, having nearly finished "Blind Faith".

    Hope you ain't gonna blog me up sister...

    Re the fishing rod problem - why not put them together, attach one to each corner of the car and attach a suitable pennant to each, say Mr T's Calvin Kleins, which can flutter merrily all the way to your destination. Would also save a bit of room in the suitcases.

  7. Had seen mention of the blaze on the BBC website, but did not associate it with you.
    Have an exciting, fun-filled pre-Ireland time whilst packing and may your swimsuit and various missing articles turn up in time to add to the excitement! Only hope the trip won't seem to flat by comparison :)

  8. Oooh... Ireland sounds like a lovely family vacation. I'd love to visit the place someday soon. In fact, I've never been to Europe and I'm afraid it won't happen anytime in the near future as the American dollar has fallen quite a bit in value (that's a good thing for you :).

    Sorry to hear about your old hangout's demise. Hopefully, this will prompt others to rebuild an even more beautiful place to share more memories upon.

    Hope you're doing well, Mrs. T! Take care and God bless.

  9. How sad when a building goes down like that. By the way, have you tried trading out that Cadbury for a bottle of wine which also helps the stress level, and makes for some interesting packing solutions and kidding).

  10. Wow! Horrible fire! Sad too. Thanks. The link worked fine for me. Hugs!


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