Butlins 2017

18th to 25th August 2017 at Bognor Regis


I picked Lorraine up at 10 am and we set off for Bognor.  Apparently I had passed the intercom test with flying colours!  The intercom on the gate at the convent was broken and the sign said "press the button and state who you are and why you are visiting" which I had done.  Everyone else had pressed the button and then gone "hello...... hello.....".  We had a good journey down and arrived about 12.30.  We messaged the family WhatsApp group and discovered everyone else was on the same train!  Lorraine and I had a nice lunch in the new Fish and Chip restaurant where Lorraine was able to get tomato and basil soup and some chips.  I had a delicious fish cake.  I then allowed myself to be accosted by one of the awful dressed up people so that we could send a photo to the WAgroup showing we had started!!

Lorraine and I checked in and had a little wander and then the others arrived at the gate.  Ifty had travelled with them to help with the luggage and pram but had to go straight back as he was working that night.  Leanne was quite upset when he left.  Our accommodation was good - we had two ground floor chalets one block apart.  John, Carolyn and I share one while the younger generations had the other which worked well.

Amanda arrived on Saturday evening.  John and I walked to the station with Lorraine who went to Gatwick Airport to meet Amanda.  Unfortunately the flight was delayed and they therefore missed the train - which was the last train of the evening.  So they had to get a taxi - £100!

The whole week went  really well - with mixed weather of hot sunshine and cold pouring rain but it didn't seem to matter.  I went "swimming" with Ollie almost every day.  It was unbearably crowded but we had fun - and found that by going at 10 am it was more pleasant and less crowded at least to start with.  I couldn't quite get over my distaste at all those people sharing the water but managed to put it to the back of my mind.  I went to 8 am service and ringing at Felpham on Sunday morning but once again didn't get to the practice on Wednesday night.  They always ring the front 6 on Sunday mornings, even when there are 9 ringers there, so I am still waiting to get my first proper grab.

I walked in to Bognor several times, either on my own or with the others.  I tried to do my 12000 steps each day and walking to Bognor certainly helped. On Monday I walked in with Leanne (and Aidan) and rocked the pram while she did some banking business.  We called in to a few shops, but the weather was awful and we decided to go back.  On Tuesday I went in with Amanda (and Harrison) to the hairdresser and waited while she had her hair washed and cut.  Then we went for coffee and light lunch before walking back.  On Wednesday we all went in - some by noddy train - and I went to the hairdresser again, this time with Carolyn.  She was having full head highlights as well as wash and cut.  The appointment was at 11.15 and we emerged at 3.40 pm!!  If I'd known I would be sitting that long I would have taken my cross stitch!  Still the result was well worth it and Carolyn was very pleased. By the time we got out the others, who had been wandering round the shops and getting some lunch, had given up and gone back to the camp and gone swimming.

One evening we formed a family quiz team and entered the charity quiz at Bar Rosso (I answered one question) and almost won!  There was a recount and we ended up second - the winners being the ones whose sheet we had checked!
Family quiz team!
We went to the circus again - courtesy of the small legacy from Uncle Keith - and enjoyed the balancing and aerial displays by Cuban acrobats.  We availed ourselves of the funfair - I agreed to go on the helter skelter with Ollie but unfortunately it was closed temporarily while the ambulance was in attendance (doing nothing for my nerves!).  Luckily I managed to escape all other efforts to get me on rides - with John doing sterling work in that area.  The rest of the family enjoyed some Arabian Camel Derby action - while I pushed Aidan around in the pram.  In fact I did a lot of pram pushing for both Aidan and Harrison during the week, which was another way I was able to keep the step rate up each day.  Lorraine and Bethany had a fairy makeover together one day, and Ollie enjoyed having Bethany around, especially to play with in the Soft Play Area.

John took us all out for a meal at Turner's on what would have been Dad's 90th birthday - we had champagne and raised a glass to him.  The meal went surprisingly well, with few niggles and some well behaved children - Ollie and Bethany being occupied with iPads when they weren't eating.

Amanda went back on Thursday morning - John and I walked to the station with her and Lorraine, who went to the airport with her on the train.  John and I walked back along the seafront and had a coffee at the kiosk - sitting looking out to sea.

We had thought that this would be the last year we would be going to Butlins, as the cost was so high in the school holidays, and we had been looking at various cottages with a view to booking one to accommodate us all.  However John went to the booking office on site and got the most amazing discount on next year's price, over £2000 cheaper than this year, so we booked there and then!

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