Day 26 Florida 2017

I’ve been criticised. I’ve been told that my blogs are a bit too grumpy, and i should be enjoying myself. The fact is, i am enjoying myself, and I’m not being grumpy! Being here in Florida is still a source of happiness for me, even after 50+ visits to the sunshine state. I still find new things to do, new ways to relax, and completely enjoy the way of life here. If i find myself moaning about something, its because I’m getting a bit more confident in challenging what’s not right. The price of theme parks, bad driving, bad service etc. If you’d prefer a blog that simply said, “Weather is fine, went to the pool today, then had a burger for tea before going to bed” then fine, but it wouldn’t make it interesting, not for me anyway. I’m sure you’d rather hear about the fact that non of us slept last night, due to an over exuberant son who, despite several pleas yesterday, would not put enough sun cream on, and spent all night screaming in pain every time part of the bed touched his skin. Even though he’s my son, there’s only so many times you can say “Poor Sam” before you start thinking, “FFS Sam, move house!”, before reaching for your headphones and playing Machine Head at full blast, which, incidentally, is still slightly quieter than his screams.

The first thing Nikki said to me this morning, apart from good morning, was, “I think I’ll do some ironing today, it looks sunny, and after yesterday the kids will want to relax by the pool”. Not in the sun they won’t! Not unless Hannah wants to turn from Lobster pink to Prince purple. Yep, Hannah took a thrashing from the sun too. Shame really. After us bigging this place up for months, and telling her all she’ll need is her cozzie and a pair of flip flops, its rained every day since she arrived. Yesterday, when we visited the coast to say hi to friends, the sun shone and for the first time, it didn’t rain. After just an hour in the sea and pool, both Hannah and Sam looked like they should be on a poster advertising the “Visit Chernobyl Tourist Information Service”

Anyway, back to the holiday, and as mentioned we went to see our friends in New Smyrna Beach, who treated us to a trip out around the coast on their boat. Dolphins swam by, pelicans dive bombed around us doing some fishing for their tea, and we passed some tremendous houses and luxury boats, lots of which cost millions of pounds. “Look at that one Hannah” said Georgia, pointing out a boat moored next to a shoreline home, a boat that wouldn’t have looked out of place in Dover with Sealink written down the side. “It’s even got its own Spa!”. Hannah looked at the boat and said, “Is that in case they run out of milk and pot noodle?”. It wasn’t the only Nikkism that happened today though. Nikki, trying to better her early efforts that fell short of slight stupidity, and wouldn’t normally have made it into the blog, like, “Which do you think is bigger, Congleton or New York?”, came out with a classic….”If you buy solar lights in the USA will they work in England because of the difference in sun?”. Please don’t entertain her and say “actually, she’s got a point” because it’ll only encourage her….

It seems nearly as week since i celebrated half a century on this earth, and it hit me yesterday that I’m now in my 50’s. things will soon start dropping off, and apparently I’ll start shrinking, but the advantages are that i can fake deafness, pretending I didn’t hear something, and do even more complaining! I can also start telling people how old I am with pride. Can you remember the last time you had a conversation with an elderly relative when they didn’t announce their age at the end of the conversation? “This is my Nan”, “I’m 82 you know and I still do my own shopping and have control of my own bladder”. Well OK, I’m not quite there yet, but I’m pretty sure that rather than saying “I’m 50”, I’ll be saying “Fuck! I’m 50!” I still listen to rock and rap, know the difference between Calvin Harris and Tinchy Temper, and wonder why Take That, with only three of them left, aren’t simply called Take. Or That. I’d like to grow up disgracefully if its ok with you. I’d still like to get pissed on Jack in my garden, during a summer BBQ, surrounded by friends, and getting the neighbours to tut loudly when the music is still on at 10pm (which actually happened people! A knock on the door the following morning from a neighbour, who opened the conversation with “I’m 71”, stated that the music was on at 10pm, for the second time this year (and she showed me her diary), and that “I should know better being a Police Officer”. This was the first time I’d met this woman, after living in the street for 20 years. And to explain briefly, she lived over the back as it were, and wasn’t a direct neighbour. But to say I should know better…..Nikki heard her comment from the kitchen, and I heard her running towards me….the red mist had definitely descended….the most sensible thing to do was not to engage this woman in a parlez about just how wrong her opening sentence was, in many ways, but simply to say goodbye and shut the door squarely in her face. I’m not proud but I did smile inside, watching through the glass at her just standing there shocked at my actions, and muttering “Young people these days…”.

Yep. I’m still young to some…

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