In 1892, George and Weedon Grossmith picked up pen and paper and crafted a masterpiece: the fictitious diary of Charles Pooter, a City clerk. The journal is packed with hilarious anecdotes, vignettes and goings on (or should that be ‘gowing’s on’?) from the daily life of lower middle class surburbia, which is laid bare in all it’s glory, including the Pooter family’s holiday trip to ‘good old Broadstairs’.
So, in the spirit of holiday diary keeping, here’s my diary for Thursday, 23rd August 2018. Location? A hotel in The Dominican Republic.
6am. Awake early, as usual. Doesn’t my body clock remember it’s supposed to be on holiday?
7.30am. Oh bugger, still awake. Everyone else is still asleep.
8.00am. OK, I’m getting up. I need café descafeinado (mucho). And breakfast.
[Off to hotel restaurant. Pulls on grubby shorts and other assorted clothes from bottom of wardrobe, first, obviously].
8.10am. Breakfast. Why is it that restaurants make you feel like an epic loser if you have a meal on your own? All the other place settings are ripped away from your table because you are a sad loner with no friends or family. Quick breakfast required after that welcome. Speedy exit.
8.30am. Off to coffee shop. Massive queue. Fortunately, staff are now used to me ordering 3 large coffees and don’t baulk at my order any more.
8.45am. Back to room.
Boil on patio, reading and drinking coffee stash. It’s hot, hot, hot. No sign of movement from rest of Family Unit.
10.00am. Finally! The Offspring staggers out of bed and wants breakfast.
10.30am. Back to restaurant again for second breakfast. Better now, as I have people with me, so am not in ‘losers corner’.
11.00am Coffee shop again for second epic coffee order.
11.15am. Back to room. Me, to carry on reading. Family Unit, to do whatever they do with iPads, while I read from my book pile, do cryptic crosswords and peruse edifying information on USA Today.
1.30pm. Family Unit now sufficiently together to start getting ready to go to beach. Temperature outside? Enough to melt rocks, but mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the mid-day sun, so let’s get to it.
2.30pm. Finally, leaving the room for the beach. How can it take so long to fill a small bag with suncream and a few bits and bobs?
2.40pm. Beach, sea, swim. At last.
6pm. Return to room. Have a rest. Today’s been exhausting.
6.30pm. Get ready to go out for dinner. Will be eating at a restaurant on the beach, so put on shorts, rather than nice dress. Spend time bickering with family.
7.30pm. Finally leave room, for the 200m walk to restaurant. No time for pre-dinner ‘relaxing’ drink, as everyone is ‘starving’, in spite of hot dogs/nachos eaten whilst on beach.
7.45pm. Dinner. More random bickering that passes for conversation in our household.
10.15pm. Finally back at the room, in a totally British state of tutting annoyance following a Fawlty Towers like dinner that left us sitting waiting for our order to be taken for about 1.5 hours. Waiting staff didn’t even ask us if we wanted to see dessert menu. In fact they seemed to just disappear, so we left. Very disappointing, but Family Unit fun as always.
10.45pm. Am sitting in bed.
So that ends my diary for the day, which has not been without Pooter-like annoyances. However, unlike Mr. Pooter, my child hasn’t made funny comments about my holiday clothes, so I should consider myself lucky.
Me voy a dormir. ¡Buenas noches!
[I’m going to sleep. Good night!]
Want to find out more?
The Diary of a Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith