Wanted: hermitage for summer holiday 2014

Because Ned (aka Danger- time for a proper name now though) is properly mobile this year, we’ve varied our holiday days out a bit. Normally when we go to Norfolk we spend at least a day on Holkham Beach. It’s very long, quite bleak and very beautiful and you can go hours without coming within 20 metres of another person. But it is a bit of a trek from the car park across the dunes until you actually get to the sea. Coupled with the boy’s sudden and inexplicable hatred of sand, we’ve not spent as much time on remote beaches as we would have liked. And it’s had repercussions…

Ned is now 18 months old and very loud and boisterous. We are fundamentally responsible parents and I’m quite firm with our kids when we are out. In fact, when we went to Dorset in April, a couple of old ladies complimented us as we left a restaurant because the kids had been “absolutely perfectly behaved”. But it’s the summer holidays, and there are kids every where. Bizarrely there are also hundreds of utterly miserable pensioners who appear to resent the very existence of kids.

It’s the final day of our week here in Norfolk and I’ve pretty much had enough of people.

I’ve had enough of people menacing wifey off a bench because she didn’t have tattoos all up her neck or something, so looked like an easy target. Sick to death of pensioners picking the table directly next to us in Cley bird reserve cafe, when there are 10 other free tables, purely so they can huff and puff squeezing past Ned’s high chair and tut when he starts throwing cheddar bites about. And utterly sick of people queue jumping because they’re in a hurry. This happened at Pensthorpe* today, and the woman’s sense of self worth was staggering, she actually queue jumped another family but refused to even acknowledge that woman when she joined in our complaints. Some people have no shame.

And there are the dog owners who let their pooches bound up to Ned, and terrify the poor blighter. Saying, “It’s okay he’s friendly” means sod all when your bloody dog is twice the height of the one year old shaking in terror and crying his eyes out. If you can’t control your dog, for gods sake put it on a lead.

Finally lets not forget the elderly people who go to a pub early on a Friday evening and sit next to a family with 3 kids purely, it would appear, to make snide comments about the kids behaviour, culminating with a “Thank God their going.” Well thank god your old and you wont blight this earth with your unadulterated misery for too much longer.

We’re not the family from hell, our kids are well mannered, shy in public, and generally well behaved. If you want to go out of your way to get offended by my family, picking a table right next to us when the entire place is empty, or generally begrudging kids existing in the summer holidays, you can bugger off as far as I’m concerned.

So next year we’re looking for something remote. Not too fussed about ‘leccy, running water a must, people within 10 miles a definite no no.

*Pensthorpe review: it didn’t get off to a good start when the girl on the desk dourly stated “We don’t do family tickets, the prices are up there.” As far as I can tell, you pay your £37 or so for a family with 2 kids over 3 and two adults, and you get a play area and some well paved walks free of dogshit. Being free of dogshit probably more or less makes it worth the money to be honest. It’s just the attitude at the entry that rankles.