You knew, didn't you, that there had to be a Shearon holiday sequel? Come on, I left it on a race-war cliffhanger. Aren't you just dying to know what happened next? After Alice stroked a Korean family's inflatable whale? Well, I’ll tell you. We came back down to the beach after lunch, and the buckets and spades were exactly as I’d left them (hidden underneath the beach towel). There was also an inflatable baby car floatie thing, which had been there all day, untouched. It was RIGHT NEXT to our loungers. Now, let me explain. People came and went at this hotel, as is the nature of hotel guests. They come, they buy floaties and buckets and spades, and they leave them on the beach for the next family. That is the right and proper way. We acquired one pair of goggles, a Minion bouncy ball, three buckets and a starfish during our time in Bali. We also nearly acquired an inflatable baby car floatie thing. Nearly.
My mum - who is the authority on stolen goods - said that the inflatable baby car floatie thing had DEFINITELY been left by a previous guest, and we should DEFINITELY use it. So I popped Alice in, and took her for a paddle. Then I popped Frankie in, but before we’d even made it out of the shallows I heard an UNGODLY screaming from the side of the pool. I mean, there’s screaming, and then there’s THAT FUCKING WESTERN CHILD HAS STOLEN MY INFLATABLE BABY CAR FLOATIE THING AND I WANT IT BAAAAAAAAACK. The two Korean children were standing there, clawing at their dad, pointing at Frankie and SCREAMING. Even their mum turned around, and I swear to god, she’d been deliberately avoiding her children all day. So yeah. I’d stolen their floatie, and the dad was involved, and they wanted it back. I gave it back with a thousand apologies. I may have bowed.
But it doesn’t end there. The next day the two Korean children were having a breadstick swordfight at breakfast, which they then used to feed the koi. You can’t feed breadstick to koi (I think). So I dobbed on them. I told the lovely waitress, and she told them off and HA, that’ll teach you to engage in a floatie war with ME, motherfuckers.
Race wars aside, our last few days in Bali were perfect. We were upgraded, because the toilet in our room overflowed every time you flushed it. Nice! As an interesting aside, we were possibly the first people in history to upgrade to a room with less floor space, fewer cupboards and a smaller bath. The view was nice, but.
And then Ben talked Grandad into buying him a dodgy football kit from a dodgy dude on a dodgy market stall, and woke up the next morning with a vibrant, angry rash all over his bottom, upper things and lower belly. Yes, that’s right, he had a rash in the exact shape of his highly flammable, entirely nylon, possibly arsenic-laced (Paul googled) football shorts. Then his hands started to itch, which spread to his feet, culminating in him ‘accidentally’ falling in the pond in the lobby, because his feet were on fire. Dickhead. So yeah, you can add replica football kits to his long, long list of 21st-century allergies, just after guinea pigs and fresh air.
And then, as is the nature of holidays, it ended. I wish they wouldn’t do that, holidays. And to add insult to injury, we had to engage in international air travel with our children. To their credit - all of them, unbelievably - they were wonderful. The air hostesses, not so much. I forgot to tell you about the air hostess on the flight over from Perth. I mean, is air hostessing really the profession to enter into if you hate your fellow humans, especially the small ones? Possibly not. The one on the flight over was so Cruella De Ville like - with a bored, monotone Aussie accent - that it was almost laughable. She HATED her fellow humans. She actually said, as she wheeled the drinks trolley down, “Wanna drink,” just like that, no intonation, no question mark. Just: “Wanna drink.” I did, but I was too scared to say yes. And then, on the way back to Perth, the equally lacking-in-soul air hostess attempted to pour water in my plastic cup, and spilt it all over me. ALL over me. Her response: “You moved the cup.” And I - because I am British, by nature - apologised. Apologised! As the water dripped down my inner thigh, I said sorry. I’ve really got to work on this.
But yes! The kids were great, up until we landed in Perth, and my dad bopped Alice on the head with his duty free, and she started screaming, and then Frankie and Ben went on the run, and we couldn’t find the pushchair, and basically we just became THAT family, until an airport lady sidled up to me and said: "Have you filled in your forms?” and I said: “Yes. Have you got a secret exit?” And she nodded, and said: “Follow me.” This was a RESULT. We skirted around the endless, snaking queue for customs, and snuck - snuck! - through a side exit. My kids came up with the goods, again, and thus rounded off a thoroughly brilliant holiday (although my mum might disagree. She’d spent two full nights smearing Sudocrem on to Ben’s naked, searing arse, which rather takes the shine off holidays in the sun).