For two weeks prior to going away we’d been using CBeebies as our blueprint for our summer holiday, little did we know how much had been filmed in Scarborough … and so began our CBeebies Summer Song pilgrimage!
Despite the excitement of seeing the Tipi we’d be staying in I was confident the afternoon at the Rail Museum in York had been enough to tire them out, forgetting they’d had a dangerously long nap in the car on the way. So after our BBQ and given it was a lovely summers evening we headed into Scarborough, confident the sea breeze would finish the job. I mean, what could dull their senses more than seeing their first ever giant sand-pit of a beach coupled with the soothing sounds and soft pastel colours emanating from the amusement arcades?
We eventually dragged them away kicking and screaming from the seafront and began the impossible job of settling them down to sleep.
Never before have I wished for the long dark nights of winter as by 10pm the excitable twosome were still bouncing around inside the Tipi only interrupted by one or other of them poking their head out of the tent to,
“just checking you’re OK daddy!”
Eventually by 11pm all had gone quiet and as I crept inside I was met by the two of them in their own beds, cuddled up with their teddies, blissfully snoring away. When I say snoring away what I actually mean is munching their way through a bunch of grapes they’d pilfered from the bottom of a bag. Apparently I was asking them to fall asleep in the equivalent of an open cupboard of snacks?
I’ve no idea what time they eventually fell asleep as my last memory of the night was succumbing to my heavy eyelids with Luca still using me as a makeshift trampoline.
Whatever time it was it would obviously have been late enough to ensure a lie-in … and by lie-in I mean a bright and breezy 6am?!
By this point I’d already stumbled out of the tipi and through the means of modern technology had googled the nearest Costa and was on my way to a fresh cappuccino, or so I thought. As I stood bleary eyed in the town centre, from the corner of my eye I noticed the welcoming bright lights of an open Costa. With hindsight I can now appreciate it was probably natural justice for sneaking away from the campsite and for previously laughing at a similarly embarrassing incident for Sonny, but as I quickly turned towards the shop I walked straight into a lamp-post and as I staggered back tripped on the corner of a bench before falling to the floor directly in front of an amused audience sat in the front row of the Costa stalls. Too embarrassed to then enter the shop I was reduced to nursing my bruised head and ego outside the nearby McDonald’s which was half an hour off opening.
Oblivious to the flooding that appears to have affected every region around us we got off lightly with a day of mixed weather. It began with a walk around a showery yet beautiful Peasholm Park, introducing the boys to the joys of Pooh sticks, and in the process discovering they share an unhealthy competitiveness that could come from either side of their gene pool.
This was followed by excitably watching one of the last remaining Water Chute rides in the country and then taking the short trip on the North Bay Steam Train which began in bright sunshine and arrived 500 yards later in drizzle.
Undeterred we managed a game of Crazy Golf where the unwritten rules of play were blatantly ignored by the boys and any prospect of keeping scores ruined by having to repeatedly chase Luca around the course in order to retrieve my ball and club. Despite this I think its fair to say I was the eventual winner, and although Janet will vehemently dispute this, until such a time as she writes her own blog let this post be the written proof that I am indeed the reigning Crazy Golf champion!
By the time we’d made our return journey on the train the clouds had broken away so we could spend the best part of the afternoon on the beach flying the kite and building sandcastles. By we I mean Janet flew the kite while I made sandcastles. The boys split their time between digging holes, feigning interest in the kite, and sharing the responsibility of demolishing anything I attempted to build. Our perfect day by the seaside was completed with some great fish and chips which were so good that Sonny proudly announced afterwards that,
“I love fish now daddy!”, which was quite a revelation seeing as he’d just eaten a battered sausage?
After returning to our Tipi, and with the boys absolutely shattered we all retired for an early night, except for Luca who once again decided a second wind was in order. He was obviously still smarting over my ability to fall asleep despite being bounced on, and quite clearly had spent much of the day thinking about how he could ratchet up his sleep deprivation techniques, so if the FBI are reading this I can confirm the following torture is highly productive. It involves waiting for me to close my eyes long enough to be lulled into a sense of security before creeping up and dropping random objects on my face from the highest position possible. Then when my pain threshold has increased sufficiently the final act involves plucking eyebrows a hair at a time!
As at home, our day began with Sonny asking the obligatory question,
“What shall we do today daddy?”
followed by Lucas game of charades with the answer invariably being ‘getting a train to the dinosaur museum.’
We compromised on another day in Scarborough so packed up the car and headed back to the beach.
After a stroll along the seafront and past the harbour we walked up through the lovely old town to the castle via a brief stop at the church with its traditional cider drinking drunk sat in the gardens. I’m not sure how I’ve described religion to Sonny previously but I may need to rethink my explanation as he apparently feels it involves magic as he walked around repeatedly shouting,
“Abracadabra!” at every opportunity?
The castle was wonderful with Sonny and Luca fighting off Vikings whilst Janet and I polished off a cream tea. I’m not sure whether the Vikings ever visited Scarborough but given my terrible knowledge of history I’ve rightly or wrongly left that subject to CBeebies, and as such every castle belongs to Mike the Knight who is forever being invaded by snowball throwing Vikings (we’ve only ever watched one episode!)
After some lunch we headed back down to the coast and spend a good hour in the funfair with Sonny going on his first ride alone and Luca settling for a seat on a Bob the Builder digger.
At this point I’d advise granny to skip to the next paragraph (*) as despite the gale force winds we all took a ride on the Ferris Wheel with a tired Luca non-plussed by the views and Sonny rightly suspicious of the apparent lack of any health and safety procedures other than the grunt of a uninterested attendant.
Welcome back Granny … We then walked back along the seafront stopping for the best ice-cream ever from Alonzis Ice-cream parlour in all its authentic 50’s splendour.
As we returned to the car the heavens opened right on cue with the noise sending the boys to sleep instantly and with it making an otherwise unbearable four hour drive home through rush hour bearable.
It was a fabulous holiday albeit a short one, but since returning home the boys have sat patiently through hours of CBeebies just to see the Summer Song in order to recognise all the places they’ve been to.
The only downside has been the daily request of,
“can we go to the beach today daddy?”
which unsurprisingly has not been appeased by my offers of the Library, Museum, or Park.
(*) The issue for Granny with Ferris Wheels relates to an incident some 35 years ago when a trip to a funfair was cut short by a Ferris Wheel breaking down then starting to move again whilst Fire fighters desperately tried to rescue the people still sat in the highest carriages.