Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Fabulously British

Orange Wednesdays have now been changed to Orange Thursdays. The last Thursday of the month I am organising a crew night in Flame. Its not as easy as you may think to get everyone together but I am commited to making it work. Julys Orange Thursday was actually alot of fun. I didnt finish work til 11pm but I did a quick turn around at home, put on a dress, put on some lip gloss and arrived at Flame. I ordered a round of drinks which included a double vodka redbull and RJ made me down three shots of tequilla Rose... so I got in the swing of things quite quickly! It was a really good night and I hope this months one will be as good!

Sunday was my last working day and I was despretly hoping I wouldnt get called so we could start out camping adventure early. Unfortunatly crewing had other ideas and clearly wanted to ruin our fun and called me in for an Amsterdam and back. This was annoying but Janice and Jonny didn't let a little detail like this bring us down. We jumped in the car and headed to St Albans were we purchased some fablously british Jack Wills clothes then onto Millets for sleeping bags. We called Farrah and asked her if she would be up for a midnight trip to Norfolk so she could be there early doors to see Joseph (her son who she was missing massivly). She agreed so we then had a plan...what could possibly go wrong?

Firstly I got to work and the plane went tech which delayed us...not a good start. Lucikly it wasnt to bad and I was home for midnight. We had a mix cd that Jonny compiled as its always important to have a holiday soundtrack. We had a crate of beer, new hoodie and tent but we DIDNT HAVE a tom tom, road map, camping reservation or any sense of direction.
We got diverted and eneded up in Baldock TWICE.
On the A11 there was someone (or something) behind us. They kept flashing. We slowed down, they slowed down. We went faster, they went faster but always flashing. They turned out thier lights so it looked like they kept vanishing. It was really freaky! Suddenly they overtook. It was lots of men in a white transit. Have you seen the movie Hush? We was sooo scared. The roads arent well lit and during the whole journey we only saw ablout 4 cars. Im a scardy cat when it comes to men trying to reinact HUSH. We managed to lose them but during this time we also managed to go completly the wrong way and we ended up in Ipswich.

We finally arrived in Scratby (Nr Yarmouth) about 3am. I remembered a campsite on the cliff tops and managed to direct Jonny. We stopped at the toliet block and managed to scare ourselves...or should I say Jonny successfully managed to scare Janice and Farrah...his karma was then falling over (Classic moment and absolutly hilarious). We tried to find a reception or manager so we could book and pay but there was no one about (probably due to the fact that it was 3am). We decided to find a pitch on the cliff top and try and sneak on. We must have woke the full campsite on arrival. Jonny was driving around in circles, full beam shining into the tents and the only tourch that we had was the loudest wind up tourch... it is pratically impossible to be quiet when you are trying to be unnoticeable. I aint going to lie.. i really didnt think Jonny would be able to put up the tent and I especially didnt think he would be able to put it up in the dark. I already knew that both Farrah and i would be utterly useless at this. I find it difficult to read instuctions and follow instructions. I can read and I am not stupid but my brain just stops working when it comes to stuff like this. I love camping but absolutly hate the beginning bit of putting up the tent...I have no idea how Farrah and I will cope at V Festival. Anyway...Jonny did put it up and he did this practically on his own. Tent was up by 5am and we all wrapped up warm and got in our sleeping bags. We then realised we was mega hot, stripped off and finally fell asleep....we woke up 2 hours later and went for a fry up. I had a full english to start off our fabulously british adventure.

My childhood holidays were mainly spent in Scratby and Hemsby. They are both traditional seaside holiday destinations. Traditional British seaside holidays are less understood by younger generations. Easyjet and other low cost airtravel have lured families out of the UK in search of affordable sunshine vacations. I honestly believe that england is one of the best palces in the world but unfortunatly you can never garentee the weather... this puts alot of people off. Nowadays you can get to Spain for the same cost - you can see the attraction! But there is something fabulous about the british seaside and I dont think I ever truely appreciated it until this weekend.

My young nephew had an accident and knocked his teeth which required an emergancy trip to the dentist so Jonny and I walked to Hemsby along the cliff tops and had a few cheeky drinks in the Lancon Arms and waited for my house mates Andrew and Harry to arrive.

Ive always thought of Hemsby as a dirty chavvy ghetto resort that "time forgot" (its not really changed since I was a kid). But we sat back and really appreciated the old-fashioned values of fun, friendliness and fish & chips. Combind with arcades, buckets and spades, wind breakers and shops full of tat.... the brittish seaside is still alive (just). I sat back and people watched (ok Hemsby IS very chavvy and ghetto) but I really had a lovely afternoon and got really nostalgic. I had some fantastic holidays in Scratby and Hemsby and have some wonderful memories.
The boys arrived and we had a couple more drinks before the ridiclous amounts of hornets, wasps and ladybirds got too much. Even as a kid I remember there being hundreds of hornets and ladybirds and this summer is no diffrent. Ladybirds seem to love Norfolk and I have no idea why this is.

We walked up Beach Road and spent a silly amount of money on the arcades. Joseph (my nephew) really did hurt himself so we did our best to win him teddy bears. There was a machine that had a teddy "Mater" from Disneys Cars... I must have put in at least £20 and god knows how much Andrew put in. Once I realised that it was impossible I moved on to the peppa Pig machine and continued the pattern untill I run out of pound coins.
we then got a call saying Joseph was ok and we headed to my mums holiday chalet in Scratby. Andrew and Harry wouldnt camp. they were to camp to camp! Andrew said that he didnt like the flying creatures so we got them a chalet on the same site as my mums (infact it was on the same sqaure). It was cheap and was ideally located. Although the decor left alot to be disired! My mums chalet is modern and tastfully decorated but this chalet was similar to alot of the other chalets in the area. They are badly decorated and full of 70's furniture..... retro but not in a good way.

My mums chalet is on Beach Road chalet park. The chalets are set out in squares which is great for the children as they can play outside and make friends with the other children. There is an outdoor pool and membership into the Oasis "clubhouse" on the California Sands park-just a 5 minute walk away (if you like that kinda thing).

Mum and Ron put up the windbreakers and cooked us lots of lovely BBQ. We sat outside til about 11 drinking, talking and laughing. It got cold so Jonny and I borrowed PJ bottoms and socks from my sister and Harry and did the walk home looking absoltly ridiclous. We got into the tent and fell asleep more or less straight away. I woke up once and could hear that it was raining. I love the sound of rain on the tent when im drifting of to sleep. Its actually one of my favorite sounds. Obviously I don't like it to be raining in the day time...wet, cold, damp, soggy camping would suck and be no fun Brrrrrrrrr! Luckily the daytimes were sunny and warm! Jonny and I actaually slept the best as we got woken up in the morning by everyone else... I had one of my best sleeps in ages!

Joseph was still in pain and had a swollen face so we said we would take him to the funfair. We all got in the car and headed to Great Yarmouth.
Great Yarmouth is basically Blackpool for southerners. Its full of poundlands, souvanier shops and amuesment arcades. It has a nice beach but has a terrible funfair. Pleasure beach is one of the worst funfairs ever and really should take a few tips from Blackpool(Blackpool has a fantstic modern fair). From 2011 Yarmouth intends to take passengers to and from Holland and works is currently being undergone on a new outer harbor. Yarmouth really does need some investment and some modernisation. I used to love Yarmouth and Im not sure if im looking back with rose tinted glasses but its heart breaking to see how ugly, dirty and run down the place has got. Hesmby and Scratby have charm but Great Yarmouth itself is horrible. We made the most of it and brought some tokens for the fair and sent a good few hours on the rides before heading back to Scratby to pick up our tent and have a final holiday drink.
I said in a previous post that I want to live by the sea. When I wrote that post I was refering to a town like Whitstable and not Yarmouth. I would not like to live there but I have had a fantstaic time and really wish we could have spent longer there. I will try and get back there later in the year and if not this year I will go back next year and spend a few days there. My mum was thinking about selling her chalet and I want bothered by this but I have now changed my mind and hope they keep it!

In the current climate and with the nation going through the credit crunch I really do believe that there is still a place for the traditional seaside resorts. People have simply forgotten about how much charm these places have got. Places like Scratby and Hemsby are great locations and have wonderful beaches. The chalets are fantastic value. The main problem is alot of them are cheap looking and shabby. In this day and age it really doesnt cost alot to modernise a chalet. Pontins is now deserted and empty which is a bad sign but hopefully one of the other companys will buy it.

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