Birthdays in Thorpe. Tilf takes the squash on a birthday trip.

Well, we’ve just returned from the squash’s birthday surprise trip, off to Thorpe park. He was utterly surprised, no clue, and over-joyed. Success. It was a thoroughly enjoyable few days away. Apart from a few things. It was fun, though I did feel like the worst mummy in the world. I know, enquiring minds must know.

So, the decision I made was to take him off to a nice hotel near Thorpe, have a posh evening out, followed by a nice sunny couple of days in a theme park. This was all planned a good couple of months in advance, and kept very quiet, at great cost to my sanity. It was specially planned to make sure we woke in the Thorpe Park hotel, for his birthday, simply named The Crash Pad, arranged just at the last bit of school term. The idea was to make sure that there wasn’t going to be hoardes of kids everywhere.

This did not go entirely as planned.

So first for three, the original hotel, a place called Hamilton’s, in Chertsey. Which greatly reminded me of Epsom, sadly, because the only thing I can think of with Epsom is “Fuck Epsom.” Chertsey is a very pretty little town, almost village like in its size, very olde worlde. Hamilton’s, it turns out, is not a hotel, as advertised. It’s a restaurant with rooms. Small, over-heated rooms. And had I have known anything about the place, I would never have paid £90 for a night. Dinner was apparently included, but the restaurant is closed Tuesdays, so no dinner, and no discount. No kettle, just one of those silly coffee machines. So, the tea-bags were completely fucking pointless. And Earl Grey. Who the hell still drinks Earl Grey?

No-one. That’s who.

A stroppy polish arsehole sweeping round me in the morning, huffing and puffing because I refused to get up and move from where I was sat, outside, smoking as far from the building as possible. That just improved everything. No, really, it did. Really.

But, apart from the bugs in the room in the morning, the rubbish left under the bed, the radiator turned up full, 24/7, the rude manager and the lack of dinner, which I may remind you, I’d already paid for, and the shitty e-mails because I complained about all the above, and the tiny room, it was a nice enough stay.

So we headed off the next morning to Thorpe Park, to find that no, we hadn’t avoided the kids, they all showed up for end of term holidays. Great. Never mind, we promptly went on all the rides, avoided a gang of kids trying to queue jump and spent 20 minutes in the first queue (first ride of the day, we ran there!) listening to screechy school girls declare how much they loved Marcus or hated Amelia and all the other things they squawk about. Hooray, Swarm backwards, woo-hoo, lots of fun! Go to Thorpe Park, even if it’s just for Swarm.

The first day was mostly awesome, despite my body suddenly reminding me that my hypoglycemia was now making itself known, with a vengeance. Basically I keep my sugar levels up, I’m fine. If I let them drop I get shaky, angry, hungry, confused etc, this eventually leads to me getting double vision and fuzzy hearing, followed, after a few dozen other warning signs, by me collapsing. Not fun. But I couldn’t eat anything, or I’d throw it all up on rides. Normally, not a problem, I would just skip a few rides, if need be, but we’d already bought the fast passes for the big 5 rides. And they’re time matched. Oh dear. Skip rides = lose a load of money, not good. So off we went, lots of rides, and the photos of them, well, let’s just say I look a bit psychotic in them! But I was determined not to ruin his birthday. After the rides, an entire yard of slush puppy was consumed by yours truly, and all was well with the world again!

Turns out the Crash Pad is a load of container units, like the B&Q advert, which would be cool, but it was a little disappointing, no kettle, so no tea, monumental tragedy! But the rooms were well designed, and very inventive. The other upside was waking up, (late, eek!) to three cygnets, four moorhen chicks and an Egyptian gosling, all very cute, and very fluffy. So off round the park for another day of fun, dosed to the gills on sugar first thing. No brain fuzz for me! Sadly Stealth was broken, disappointing but it happens. And school kids, turns out they’re more stupid than previously thought. For example:

“Oh my god, I can’t believe we survived that ride, I thought we were gonna die, like for real.”

“Oh wow, like that ride was well epic, and I, like well, loved it.”

I’d like to remind you I have translated those from ‘teen-speak’. I shudder at their behaviour, which was, at best, horrifically rude, disrespectful and just plain grim. One kid tried starting on the squash, in the dark, when he was sat down. The squash, by the way, is well over 6 feet tall, the kid suddenly shut up and hurried off with as much swagger as possible, the second we got outside, stood up, in the sun. Surprise surprise.

We did meet a lovely Scottish woman, taking get niece on a tour of all the theme parks, she’d already done Chessington and Legoland, and after Thorpe, on her way back home, they were going to stop off at Alton. I wish we’d gotten her name, and I wish her all the fun of the fair, as it were, with everything she does.

But, as for the worst mummy in the world. Boo had to stay at Granny and Grumpa’s, also known as my parents, as cats aren’t generally accepted at theme parks, and being horribly agoraphobic, she’d be screwed. But the look she gave us as we left, oh gods, I think I finally understand why mums feel so bad when they drop their kids off at school for the first time!

But all in all, sun-burn, misbehaving kids, horrible expense, sugar crashes and traffic jams aside, it was a wonderful birthday holiday, the squash loved it, we both had fun, and now we’re back home and safe with Boo.

But how the hell am I going to top it next year?!


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