We all went to the sea-side. Dad drove us to a town called Yarmouth. We stayed in a house called, Bed and Breakfast. I read the sign but Cisi couldn’t. Cisi is my sister. She is four. I am nearly seven.
I asked Mum how long we were staying. Mum said we had booked for a week. I asked what a book had to do with us going on holiday, so Mum took me to the counter and talked with a woman who lived there. That woman showed me how everyone who comes to stay here writes down their addresses in this large book. Addresses are where we live, when we are not on holiday.
When we got there, Dad stayed in our car. Then he took our cases upstairs. He didn’t sign in that book for us. Mum did it.
After breakfast, eggs and red jam, I ran down to the front. I smacked five lampposts and counted them. Cisi ran after me. She felt tired, so we walked back to Mum and Dad. They were talking about something. We couldn’t hear them, but they stopped anyway when we came near.
We played on the beach. We made sandcastles. I let Cisi dig in my hole too. We shared a big towel on the sand. Mum’s hat blew off. Dad brought it back, gave it to her, then walked by himself to have a look at the shops along the front. Mum said, bring me back an ice cream, but he didn’t and I think he must have forgotten.
Dad and Mum took us to the funfair. The man told us we must have a parent on the dodgems with us. Cisi is only just big enough anyway. Last year, Dad went on with me. This year, Dad stood at the side and said, go with your mum, Sean. It will be alright. We only bash the other cars a bit. Of course, it’ll be alright. Why say that? So Mum came in, with Cisi. They are not real cars but big enough to hit each other and there are electric sparks from the top of this pole from the car to the ceiling. Me and Mum and Cisi went around and around the space. Mum told me not to hit anyone, so I only hit them a little. I put one of Cisi's hands on the wheel- kept both mine on top of hers. She got a bit scared, so Cisi ran after me. I gave her her hand back. Mum smiled at us but didn’t want to drive herself.
We got off the dodgems and looked for Dad. Only he wasn’t there. I asked Mum if he had gone back to the Bed And Breakfast place. Mum said, your dad loves you very much. What had that got to do with anything? Cisi pulled at Mum’s arm and said I want a wee-wee.
I thought it odd. Not that Cisi wanted a wee-wee. She always wants a wee-wee. That Dad had just gone.
Mum said he’s gone home and I’m sure you’ll see him before long.
So Mum took Cisi for a wee-wee and after that Mum took us on a fishing boat. She called it a treat. The boat was blue and white. I don’t know why it’s called a fishing boat because no-one even tried to catch any fish from it but the people all seemed happy just to be there. The wind made Mum’s eyes water. Mum took us out on boat trips all week. Cisi asked where dad had gone? But Mum just hugged her and didn’t answer. I didn’t want to be hugged, so I didn’t ask. Those boat trips took us to different little seaside towns every day but they looked all the same. A few houses, somewhere where they tie up the boats and a cafe. Mum looked around each place to start with, then lost interest. There was usually a square we’d run around in, which was good.
Then Mum would take us for lunch. Mum made me try some of her crab salad.
She had asked for it and then didn’t want it. It was horrible, but Cisi eight it. I don’t know how seagulls eat crab-meat, even if it is good for them. I had eggs, same as breakfast but Mum didn’t seem to care. I had chips with them and put red sauce on them.
On a boat back to Yarmouth, I ran up and down the deck. I liked the clump my shoes made on the wood. I thought mum would tell me off but she didn’t.
When we left the Bed And Breakfast, Mum signed the book on the counter again. The lady, who owned the book, called that checking out. She told me about it.
You have now checked out, she told me with a smile. Checking out means all is in order, so you can leave now. I looked in the book. There was our name and address. Mum paid the woman at the desk and told her that we all had a wonderful time. Mum asked Cisi to tell the lady what she liked. Cisi said she liked the bacon. I liked being told what ‘checking out’ was. Then, I liked rolling my suitcase to the station.
We‘re home again, except Dad. Mum said Dad would already be back but she was wrong. She tells us he’s working away. Cisi keeps on asking when will he come home and I don’t blame her. I think he’s still on holiday. He knows where he lives. Wherever he is now, he must write his address in that big book on some counter. Then, at the end of his holiday, he can check out and he is allowed to come home.
That is what we did on our holiday.
Published in Issue #25