We had a fantastic weekend. We ate and drank and splashed about in the waves, and then ate and drank some more. But much more importantly, the children were in heaven. Lord of the Flies heaven. This place we went to has what they call “a kids’ club”, which is nothing like any kids club you’ve ever encountered before. Certainly, the website will have you believe that it’s all touchy feely and nature and learning, troops of trained child-minders doing the conga down the beach. Ha! The children basically spend all their time in a large wooden shack gazing in adoration at a gaggle of teenage boys trapped in the bodies of men, who carve them weapons. Swords and daggers and cross-bows and spears. At 2pm a horn is blown, summonsing all the children in the island from lunch, and away they scamper, the taste of blood in their veins, for a “game” called The Hunger Games. This is how the Boy describes it:
It’s a game where you grab your weapon and run into the jungle and hide and you have to stay hidden and don’t let anyone see you, but if you see someone you have to sneak up on them and KILL THEM and once they’re killed three times they’re DEAD and out, and the last one alive is the winner.
Which actually, sounds like a fairly accurate facsimile of the book / movie. Although without too much killing. I hope. Anyway, needless to say they all fell on this game and became converts to feral living and jungle hiding and weaponry and were basically filthy base animals for three days. 28 kids, whopping and hollering around the island, while their parents shrugged and assumed the minders knew what they were doing and would stop them from actually using that dagger / spear / cross-bow. The Boy became quite obsessed with it all, and spent most of his time with us (a scant two hours a day, at most) asking over and over what time it was, and were all his friends going to play too, and did we think he’d ever win it? He did, on the last day; he was feted, and given free drinks and marshmallows at the bar, and best of all – he says – was his coronation:
That is real. I am shuddering as I type.
When they weren’t festooning themselves in ginormous arachnids, they also did treasure hunts and watched movies and practised with their weapons, and on the rare occasions that they joined their parents, there was snorkelling and sea-trampolining, and jetty-jumping. They also did a pig hunt one day (see? LORD OF THE FLIES) but apparently the girls were talking too much and scared away all the pigs. And of course there was an enormous beach bonfire with bamboo sticks and marshmallows every night and consequential burnt tongues and singed hair and sad tales of lost candy (the Baby is still bleating on about not liking Daddy because “him is mean and him dropped my mashmashil in the SAND and then him burn it on FIRE and then him THROW IT AWAY”, all spat out with her trademark scowl and air of insolence).
We, meanwhile, spent a good chunk of our time sprinting from one place to the next as we realised we hadn’t seen this or that toddler or baby in a while, or turning around and finding them suddenly gone (and then turning back and finding our drinks also suddenly gone, and wondering if perhaps the kids’ disappearances were so sudden after all). I also hung out with the Baby quite a bit – which was lovely, because she’s so gangly and smooth and delicious, just like a baby giraffe. Although scowlier, and less sure on her feet (but just as tall; the kids is a giant.) We also managed to rack up quite an impressive bar bill – which I put down to the kids ordering chocolate milkshakes every 5 minutes, but I’ve just checked the bill, and sadly, we seem to have fed them tap water for the entire time. Oh well.
Anyway. It is over and we are home and the children have yet to forgive us from tearing them away from their heartland. The cats leapt for joy when they saw us, and purred and meowled and begged for food, and I wiped my first kitty arse before I went to bed, which is always lovely. Tomorrow is December which means two things: I am absolved from updating this every day (or as near as), and: THE ELF ARRIVES! Yay. Because, you know, there was something missing from my hour-long pre-bed routine. Oh, I also have the dentist, which means more misery for the next few days, so you will all be glad to see the back of me. (But I will miss complaining about the cats and the teeth and the no-time-for-anything, so I might be back sooner than you expected. We’ll see. )