Monday, May 26, 2008

My daughter in Majorca don't behave like what she oughta*

Or, Mr & Mrs Bean go on holiday

We've just returned from a week in Majorca, where the sun alternately blazed and hid behind clouds. We hired an apartment on a residential complex on the outskirts of Cala d'or on the east coast of the island. Here are a few of the things that happened. Or should I say, here are a few of the things that went wrong...

1. Oh buggy!

The first calamity happened before we even got to the airport. Somebody - ie me, as I have been reminded numerous times - forgot to put Poppy's buggy in the taxi. On arrival at Gatwick I opened the boot and said to Sara, "Where's the buggy?"

"I thought you put it in."

"But I thought you...oh, shit!"

I blame the taxi driver for turning up early and forgetting to bring a baby seat. In the ensuing flap, I somehow imagined that Sara had magically transported the pushchair into the boot. Poppy didn't mind, though: as far as she was concerned, this meant she could spend the entire holiday being carried, starting at the airport. Our arms and backs were screaming for mercy after ten minutes. And tempers were starting to fray.

2. Tempers frayed

Somehow it was also my fault that Sara looked at the wrong flight on the departures board and took us to the wrong gate, because I was the one who knew the flight number. We eventually, after a few moments of panic and recriminations, found ourselves on the correct flight. The second we sat down and the seatbelt came on, Poppy decided now was a good time to do the smelliest poo ever. She also decided she hates flying and spent two hours squirming, screaming, wriggling and knocking our drinks over.

The best moment was when, needing to mop up some fluid that Poppy had spilled, I grabbed some tissues from underneath Sara's wine glass, knocking over the wine that Sara had been looking forward to drinking all day, which went everywhere, causing my beloved to fix me with the kind of look that would turn a lesser man to stone and say:

"This is the worst holiday ever. And it's not Poppy's fault - it's yours."

It got worse when we arrived in Majorca. In a doomed attempt to save money, I had booked us onto a coach using a shit company called Resort Hoppa (see below for more). Of course, the imbecilic coach driver couldn't find where we were staying. He drove round and round Cala d'or, dropping everyone else off until we were the last ones left and Poppy had done another of her stinking poo specials. Finally, he drove into a cul-de-sac, swore loudly, beckoned me to to the front of the coach where he offered me a chewing gum and a cigarette (as a bribe) then got me to stand in the road and stop the traffic so he could reverse out of the dead end. Eventually he found where we were staying, after two and a half hours, then blamed us. 'Residencia!' he cried. Yes, you twat, I told you that two hours ago!

3. The great flood

There wasn't any hot water in our apartment when we arrived so I attempted to rectify this by, erm, fiddling with lots of buttons and taps and stuff. A short time later we noticed a drip-drip-drip. Then a slish-splash-splosh. Then a great gush of water pouring through the ceiling.

Luckily a nice man in the bistro - 'I'm the president,' he told us, several times - helped us stem the flow and prevent us having to spend the holiday floating about in Poppy's inflatable pink boat. It was something to do with the aircon apparently.

We also discovered the same day that it was possible to hire buggies, which we did. So what if the buggy we hired wouldn't go left or right?

4. Toe be or not to be

It's fair to say that we drank quite a lot on our holiday. By the end of the week I thought that if another drop of alcohol passed my lips I'd have pickled every one of my organs. One evening, when it was raining outside, Sara ran out of wine and went out looking for some. After buying a ten-euro bottle in a cafe, she made her way back... The next thing I knew, she was banging on the door of our apartment, crying, 'Mark, Mark...'

She was covered in blood and unable to walk. She'd tripped over in the darkened underpass, smashed the much-anticipated wine, cut her hand open - and broken her big toe. We spent the rest of the evening on the sofa watching a horror film, Sara's foot encased in an ice pack. It still hurts now, a week later. She was able to walk again within 48 hours though.

I'm running out of blogging energy now, so here, in brief, are a few other highlights:

*I nearly got locked in the Spar on our first night. I was lurking at the back just before ten, trying to choose cheese, when I heard a horrified gasp from the girls who worked there. They had locked up, not realising I was there, and put all the shutters down and had just been about to leave - with me locked in the Spar, banging on the door all night trying to remember the Spanish for Help - when they spotted me.

*The TV reception broke down during the Champions League final. Then came back immediately afterwards.

*The ResortHoppa office wouldn't answer the phone so we couldn't confirm our return journey and had to get a taxi back. Then our flight was delayed.

*Our camera broke after Poppy dipped it in sand on the beach.

*I was eaten by a shark.

It was, actually, a really really super fab ace and brill fun holiday. I just happen to attract disasters and mishaps like Sara attracts interesting young men. Poppy, who didnt really misbehave, had the time of her life. OK, so her life has only been pretty short so far but you know what I mean. Seven days felt like seven minutes. Now we're back and I want to go on holiday again. I mean, nothing could possibly go wrong next time.

Could it?