How to destroy a holiday location in 10 easy steps.

This is a really simple set of steps on how you can effectively destroy not only your own day on holiday, but also the day of everyone else unfortunate enough to visit on the same day as you. It can be in UK or anywhere else in the world. Just remember, the bigger the audience, the greater the impact you will have. (Obvs, this only works if you are the parent/keeper of one or more little shits darlings.) Here goes:

1. Choose a peaceful and tranquil location, popular with tourists for that very reason. Take, for example, Porthleven in Cornwall. A beautiful and very tranquil spot.  At least, it was.

2. Destination selected, pack your kids into the car, along with all the stuff they may need for a day out. Make sure that you pack in a shambolic way. Do make sure that you forget at least one key item per child. I opted for Emily’s pink spade, Lucy’s pink rock pool net and Benjy’s yellow plastic pick axe (the one he has carried everywhere and even slept with for the last 3 weeks). If you have more than two children, you can do what I did and bring everything for one of the children. This helps emphasise the total unfairness of life, shows how much you love one child more than the others, and basically gets the kids in the right frame of mind. An added benefit is that you have just created your own unique sound track for the journey. Crying, screaming, fighting, hitting, and accusations of parental neglect. This sets the scene perfectly for your day. If you fail to do this you face the small but very real risk of spending your journey with happy children enjoying the view, or worse still, signing songs like ‘Wind the Bobbin up’and ‘How much is that Doggy in the window?’, which I am sure you will agree, is an horrific prospect. 

3. Aim to arrive at your destination at precisely 11.30 am. The timing is important. As everyone knows, 11.30 am is lunchtime for small people. Obviously, however, there are no eateries that will satisfy the little darlings that are open at 11.30 am. Restaurants open at 12 noon because whoever invented them was completely f**king incompetent, and had clearly never been a parent to a hungry child. 

4. Now grab whatever bits your have remembered, pile them into a bag, and drag the little darlings off for a walking tour of your destination before lunch. Being too tight to pay for parking also enhances the experience. Now you can drag them into the village from one end and out through the other so no-one you pass misses out. Don’t be alarmed if you get sympathetic  or indifferent looks at this stage. You are just laying the foundations now. We will deal with the sympathisers and indifferents shortly. Obviously, you should give yourself a big pat on the back for really pissing off at least 25% of the people you have passed. You are a quarter of the way now. Keep dragging the screaming kids while muttering about chips to them. Repeat this until 12 noon. 

5. At 12 noon, startle the unsuspecting waiting staff in your restaurant of choice by barging through the door with 4 snot covered screaming infants, and demand a table. It’s 12 noon. On a Wednesday. In a small village. Enjoy their discomfort as they try to work out whether they can plausibly claim to be fully booked. When they realise you have them rumbled, they will mumble and take you to a table in the deepest darkest corner, or in our case, outside. You may need to duck as they launch the kiddies menu at you and then scuttle inside.

6. Meals ordered and drinks on the table, just sit back, drink wine and watch. They kids really have a natural talent for turning a civilised restaurant into a complete circus. Behavioural examples may include (but are in no way limited to):

– spilling drinks (repeatedly) all over the floor, and themselves. When they are wet, they probably strip. After all, the little darlings love being in wet clothes unless you actually want them to stay in wet clothes. Then wet clothes are the worst thing ever. Complete nudity is much better. 

– Cutlery can and should be thrown on the floor, used for sword fights, and used to scrape paint off the furniture giving it a ‘distressed’ look.

–  You will always have one less electronic device than you do children. Try to look a little like you are trying to mediate the screaming war while really just drinking wine and zoning out. 

Lots of other behaviours are good too. The more outrageous, the better. Benjy excelled himself today by throwing our beach stuff one item at a time off the balcony. He would wait until Daddy was nearly at the top of the steps returning the item, then he would chuck the next one. This is great entertainment for everyone (except Daddy), and great exercise for Daddy. Momentarily, the screaming may turn to laughter. Don’t worry though, as soon as their meal arrives and they realise that the chef had the stupidity to actually make their food f**king hot while cooking it, and they will start screaming again. 

7. As other customers start to arrive, enjoy their horror at being placed anywhere near you. The Europeans will immediately demand to be seated elsewhere (pat on the back for you, well done!). The Brits are less direct. They will want to move just as much, but don’t have a clue how to a do for this without breaching some unwritten British etiquette rule. Convention demands that they sit it out. Just enjoy their discomfort, and drink more wine.

8. No need to ask for the bill. It will arrive promptly as soon as the last bite has been consumed. As the kids will now be playing lions and pirates, using cutlery as weapons, and involving any other kids in the vicinity, the eating area will quickly resemble a Butlins kids activity camp. Other parents will look alarmed. Obviously, if there is dog water sitting around, this is even better. They can throw it over each other to ‘cool off!’. When it gets thrown over another non child friendly diner, you should just grab your stuff and leave. There’s lots more damage to be done elsewhere.

9. Remember those people you were worrying about earlier? The indifferents and the sympathisers? This is your chance. Now you can fulfil our earlier hasty promise to take the little darlings to the beach! They will, of course, all be screaming and crying because you said NO to pudding in the restaurant (face it, they were never going to serve you a second course!). All you have to do is parade them round town, passing at least 5 ice-creams vans and finally giving in at the last one. Obviously someone’s ice cream will be bigger than someone else’s, cue the reasumption of screaming because even with ice cream, the world’s not fair. The indifferent’s and the sympathisers are now getting frankly quite pissed off. You had your opportunity to sort your kids out, and 3 hours later they are still screaming. The once peaceful seafront, home to coffee drinkers, cafe diners, and wine suppers (all child free of course) now sounds like pre-nap time at playgroup. They are getting quite irritated now. Leave them. We will come back to them.

10. Arrive at the beach and strip the kids before wrestling them into Lycra swimsuits and beach shoes. You know as you are doing it that the whole process will last longer than the actual play in the sea, but never mind. For the first 5 minutes, there will be a lull in the crying. They will be laughing and having fun. Don’t worry, it won’t last. Within 5 minutes someone will have been knocked over by a little wave. They will scream, blame someone else for doing it, and before you know it at least two of the little darlings will be crying very loudly. Hold on, you are not there yet. Next you need to suggest leaving, as they are all cold and shivering. This will prompt a chorus of furious screaming. Next you need to strip them all and dry them. They will scream about scratchy sand, being cold, being hot, clothes being wet, being hungry, being thirsty, wanting to stay, wanting to go and so on. Now you are ready to complete the ruination of the tranquil holiday resort. You simply parade your brood back through the town to the other end before loading them into the car. The townspeople and visitors alike will hate you, and blame you for ruining their day. You have succeeded. 5 whole hours of mid-behaviour has totally destroyed the air of peace and tranquility they seek. In order to celebrate your achievement, the little darlings will continue screaming until you are about a mile from home, then they will fall asleep. Obviously as soon as you park the car, they will immediately open their eyes, and it all starts up again.

Good Luck! I hope you succeed as well as I have. Remember, if you keep your fridge stocked with wine, you can do it!

The Un-yummy mummy x


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