Monday 03 August 2015

Woody has mainly been impressed with moving two stools around the floor of the…the thing we’re in. I’m not sure what it is, I think it’s a caravan. But it’s not a caravan like I think of a caravan. Can I even go on talking about the stereotype of what a caravan looks like without being racist? I suppose it depends if the word gypsy is racist. And I think it probably is. Note: there was a little girl called Gypsy on the beach on Saturday afternoon. Was she? I don’t know. No-one was dressing her in a £40,000 wedding dress or punching her in a bare-knuckle fight in a barn…definitely gone a bit racist. Or have I? At least part of this is based on the Channel 4 series. Nothing on Channel 4 has ever been small-minded or racist.

But it’s not a caravan like the one I picture attached to the back of a car. But it’s also not a proper building. And it’s on a caravan site. The word luxury was used to describe it when we booked. And luxurious it is – compared to the caravans I took holidays in as a child (up until about eight or nine – you probably think that at this stage we probably started holidaying abroad and staying in hotels and such. No we just stopped holidaying completely.)

The thing was that I kind of wanted to be in that kind of caravan, the kind I was in as a child. However, I have been disappointed by the realities of nostalgia enough in my life to realise that nostalgia is little more than a very good salesperson, massaging my sentimentality to get me to do things that seemed idyllic. But were in fact, shit. Time is many things: a great healer, for one. It is also a great prism for distorting one’s judgement. So, the mature decision was to just leave my memories of the childhood caravans in the past and accept that I wanted somewhere Woody could move about when it inevitably rained.

And it did. And he has. And one of the things he has done with more room is push some stools about.

The past isn’t the only thing I idealise. I certainly idealise some elements of my own future with respect to having fun. I definitely idealised my capacity to have fun on a British holiday camp in the summer holidays. Moreover, i idealised my ability not to get annoyed by the people around me, not to judge the people around me…but it’s very hard. People…they’re, well they’re fucking wankers aren’t they? And while I am sure there are fucking wankers everywhere, while I am around them in other countries my tiny mind can’t understand what they’re saying. It can hear what they’re saying around this campsite. And some of it makes me worry about the children being raised.

Venturing out of the site helps me lose these horrible prejudices – judging people on snippets of conversations (“And you wonder why we fucking argue..look at him he doesn’t give a fuck about his own daughter”). Because on our trip to the local steam railway there are some Welsh people there and I can’t tell what they are saying. Sadly, for anyone hoping this paragraph ends in anything other than me being a horrible figure of malice, I judge them on their clothes, hangdog expressions and the actions of the small boy in the party who seems to want to taunt Woody with his toy helicopter. Actually reader: I fooled you! This paragraph ends with me NOT striking this four-year-old and handing his helicopter to Woody, I just ignore him. So, i end the paragraph a kind of noble hero after all.

i would say i was somewhat of a Cilla Black fan. If the context was people who presented TV shows I enjoyed watching with my tea in my adolescence [I am not going to write about the time they uncovered the journalist on Blind Date, I did that already in a blog a while ago.]. I was less a fan of her Sunday night emotion-release Surprise Surprise. That was more the domain of my mum, who would be disappointed if she hadn’t sobbed by the time the credits rolled.

How many people left the Surprise Surprise studio disappointed? If someone had suggested going to see SS back in the day I think alarm bells would have been ringing. And, if not, then how naive? Like the groups of four 17-year-olds who were still thinking that they were a part of some new TV show that wasn’t the one where the parents watched them vomit into some high-heels from a nearby restaurant balcony. There must have been some really disappointed people leaving the studios some weekends, people who’d not seen their brother/sister/aunt/uncle for 14 years and convinced it was going to happen.

I would like to think there were people that spiteful out there that at least one person played on this over the years and dropped hints that there was going to be some kind of reconciliation and took them to the recording of the show knowing full well it wasn’t going to happen. Surely it did…

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