Let’s get this out of the way: I can’t stand beaches. I don’t know if that’s because I grew up in England, where we don’t have beaches, redolent of golden sand and happiness. We have ‘the seaside’ where you go to get lashed with salty gales and sit in a car drinking from a thermos and eating cling-film-wrapped ham sandwiches. Which are probably better with the clingfilm left on. Or, if it’s not freezing cold and wet, there’s wasps. In particular, when I was two or three a wasp flew in my mouth and I imprisoned it by closing my mouth. So it stung my tongue and that swelled up so much my parents thought I might die. (Spoiler alert: I didn’t.) But regardless of the reasons, I have a great antipathy to beaches, and particularly getting sand between my toes.
So of course for the Hari Raya holiday in Singapore, we went to the beach.
It started off ok, because we went to the Port of Lost Hope waterpark, in the middle of a huge rain storm. There was no sand, and because of the threat of lightning the kids weren’t allowed in the water, which meant we parents could stand around without worrying that anyone was about to drown, and concentrate on drinking cava out of paper cups.
Eventually the rain stopped, and then we went down to one of the beach clubs in Sentosa. This means a crappy wooden hut with uneven floors to trip on, unhelpful staff and cuisine that peaks with chicken nuggets. There was some Eurotrash there smoking like chimneys on the decking, and I wanted to have a word but I thought her overmuscled boyfriend might smash me in the face, so I kept schtum. The children ran into the sea and had a whale of a time, while I stood on the edge of the sea and worried about waterborne diseases. And got sand between my toes.
AN hour or two of that, and finally the kids admitted defeat and would go home, although before that La Serpiente insisted on standing right next to the smoking chimney until I had to manhandle her away, cue wailing and gnashing of teeth. I got to go climbing afterwards, which made things feel ok again, and then fell asleep with the kids at 7:30, waking up at 9:30. I guess I needed my sleep.