Monday, 8 September 2008

Festivals at Lille and...the local park?

Current mood:  tired

So yesterday, as planned, we got up at 4.30am in order to catch the coach to Lille from Greenford at 6.40. (David needed a long time in the bathroom, you know?)  Mum and I observed with horror that "Wifey" (the woman who sat next to David on our trip to Bruges) was waiting for the coach too.  That surely meant we were to spend most of our time at the duty free shop.
We had a hilarious journey to Folkstone.  The two drivers had three cell phones between them, which rang non-stop all the way (one of the drivers in the other coach to Lille, John, seemed determined to keep in touch every second!), and reminded David that he had left his own phone charging in Grottsville.  He scared Mum to death telling her that he "wasn't sure if it was safe".  Mum went mad screaching about how we had to turn back, in case the house was burning down (with her precious photos, "the only things in that dump that matter", inside!).  Of course we couldn't turn back, and Mum fortunately calmed down after a while.
I managed to sleep most of the time we were in the Euro Tunnel, which was the bit I was dreading (my ears really hurt down there!), and woke up for the drive through France to Lille.  It took rather longer than expected and we didn't reach our destination until 1.15pm!  A bit late to grab any bargains at the Braderie, I thought.   Still, we were finally there.  So how long did we have?
"Everybody back on the coach at 3pm!" on of the drivers, Tim, called out.  There was a cry of shock from everybody - even "Wifey", much to my surprise.  "That's English time!" Tim tried to console everybody, but they demanded the time was changed to 4pm.  Apparently, in previous years, nobody has had to leave until 5pm, so...  The driver agreed, so we had a whole three hours and forty five minutes.  Perfect for a normal car boot sale.  But the stalls at this event, Europe's biggest flea market, span TWENTY MILES!!!  There was no way we could make it around all of them...which was awful, because I just had to pick which roads to go down, and will never know if I missed some rare Nirvana pony just because I didn't choose the right path.
There were lots of signs of ponies in the roads we did go down, although I think a lot had been sold earlier.
Mum got two sets of salt and pepper pots in the shape of kangaroos and bulldogs for 5 euros.  The first pony item I saw was the European G2 castle...but no ponies with it, so I left it there.  Then I found the first pony of the day - Baby Sister Sweet Celebrations.  Being a duplicate, I decided to leave her there.  But David said I should get her so that I "could say I had a French pony".  Mum rolled her eyes at us while we argued, and the stallholder produced a McDonalds Morning Glory, who I then felt I had to buy too.  Agh!
I'm not going to go into details about where and when I found everything, but by the end of the day I had found a Nirvana pony!  Yes, so exciting, isn't it?!  Want to know who she is?
Italian Peachy!
Oh my, however did you guess?  But you can't really say you're a true pony collector until you've found an Italian Peachy on a European flea market, can you?  I do believe she is the dwarf version though, so does that make her a little more special?  I bought Peach Blossom, and a Takara fakie along with her, and then found three G2 comics and a French G3 colouring book on another table for what worked out at 6p each!
I saw part of the G2 mansion there, but I didn't think it was worth buying that and cluttering the house up.  It annoyed me to be so near to having one at last...and yet so far.
But my most exciting finds of the day definitely came along in the last thirty minutes.  First off, a pony I have wanted for a very, very long time - the first new second had pony I have found offline for about three years.  She cost a whole 2 euros (twice the price of Baby Sister Sweet Celebrations we didn't need!  *Gasp*) - David was horrified at the price, and wanted me to put her back.  Mum and I had no European money on us at all, so I had another argument with David.  Eventually, I won the argument and managed to get the little pony.
But it was actually the very last stall we looked at where I got what I believe counts as my find of the day!  The seller was a toy dealer who had bunched together three ponies and part of the G2 castle (yes, the same one we'd seen earlier) and was trying to sell the lot for 6 euros.  I really almost didn't buy it because two of the ponies weren't really worth anything to me - an ordinary McDonalds Ivy, and a very scruffy Newborn Twin Fluffy.  However, I had never seen the third pony before in my life, so I decided to take the risk.  (Anybody want the castle?  I really need to get rid of this thing before we move!)  Having asked around the pony community, it seems nobody else has heard of her either, so maybe she was worth it after all.
May I present to you...

EASTER SKY SKIMMER!!!, mini Easter Sky Skimmer.  At first glance, she looks like a McDonalds toy but the markings on her belly just say "2001 Hasbro Int. Inc. China".  I have no idea where she came from.  Here's a link to the thread on the Arena about her, if you want to see what everyone else had to say about her.  There's one on the Trading Post too, where Ahrian thought she might have heard something about her being packaged inside an Easter egg, but she couldn't remember the details...  I'm beginning to think I might never know any more about her.  *Sighs*
So then we had to get back to the coach.  We didn't realise how far away from the coach park we'd walked!  As it was, we were the last back on the coach, and possibly the reason the coach missed our train back...  So we had to get a later train.  Meanwhile, John (the driver of the other coach - who had set back at 3pm via the duty free shop, which I'm sure Wifey was annoyed we hadn't now that she'd realised we weren't going to get the opportunity to buy any cheap booze!) kept ringing Tim and the other driver Pat, and asking where the coach was.  Then John rang the boss of the coach company, Sue, and she rang up too - we could hear her shouting from the other end of the phone!
I really hope those drivers didn't lose their jobs over being nice to everyone on the coach...and then us being five minutes late on top.  They were really scared of that Sue, and she does look a right nasty piece of work in the book about the coach company. 
Anyways, it's getting really late now, so I guess I'd better through the story of last night and today...
David went in the bathroom right as I was about to go to bed last night, and refused to come out until 1.15am!  Then when he did come out, he snuck across to the communal bed, obviously hoping I wouldn't hear him and he'd get a chance to sleep up there.  As it happened, I kicked him off immediately, having been calling and waiting for him to come out of the bathroom.  Already, he'd left some kind of weird black flakes all over the mattress though, which made me feel totally sick.  I think his belt is falling apart now.
Today, I overslept, and didn't get my weekly fix of Canadian voice acting.  Why?  Did I forget to set my alarm clock?  No.  Mum must have heard it, and SWITCHED IT OFF!  Then the idiots in this family say it's fine for us to sleep in the same bed.  Even if it didn't disgust me, I have that kind of problem to deal with.
We were supposed to be meeting Emma at Boston Manor Park between 2pm and 2.30pm for their yearly festival.  So what did David do?  He went in the bathroom again at 1pm!  He knew that Mum and I still had to go in there, and yet her took his Mills & Boon book, made himself comfortable, and despite being called numerous times, stayed in there until 1.50pm.  Then Mum went in the bathroom and "changed her clothes" until 2.05pm.  (Although how changing your clothes can take fifteen minutes, I do not know!)  Then I went in there to have a quick wash, change into a t-shirt I don't mind being seen wearing in public, comb my hair and apply my mascara.  I worked as fast as I could, but by 2.10pm my parents were banging on the door asking me why I was taking so long.  I was out before 2.15, so I spent less time in there than either of them, and did a heck of a lot more in that time!  But still Mum decided to start ranting.
"You are so selfish.  You'll leave Emma waiting at the park with four little babies she's had to take there on the bus, just so that YOU can change your t-shirt?!" Er, I don't think a boy who's going to be seven in November would care for you to call him a baby, but oh well, never mind...  I pointed out how long David had been in there with his book.  "Precisely."  Mum answered.  "So you should have cut down your time in there."
We ended up getting into another fight in the car, where I slapped Mum (I thought across the top of her arm - but she claims I hit her in the chest where she's "already having problems".  Did I forget to mention she has breast cancer now on top of all her other terminal illnesses?!  Fortunately, I can be pretty sure in this case that she's just being a hypochondriac.)  Anyways, I pointed out to her that I'm always uncomfortable in that department, due to the fact she seems to think I don't need proper underwear.  She retaliated that she "doesn't control me over what I wear".  Yeah, not much.  Like when I brought up the subject recently, and SHE wants to go and pick out underwear for me.  WTH?!
Anyways, in response to the slap, she gets hold of the top of my arm, and digs her nails in so hard that I've now got three red swellings there.  Meanwhile, the bad chest has not been mentioned again.
The arguments and fighting continued, with David pulling up by the edge of the road, and telling me to "get out, and go and find a hostel to live in."  Then I wouldn't be such a "spoilt b*tch complaining about not having a bed, and having to sleep next to my mum because I'd be sleeping next to some f***ing foreigner."  So as well as being nasty towards me he's being openly racist now?!  I stood my ground (or rather sat it without taking my seatbelt off or even being phased the way he wanted me t be) and pointed out that the pair of them were making us later and later to the park, so he finally moved on.  Apparently, despite having no bed, no chair, no education, no real life friends, no way of getting a job, no independence, no park during my childhood, and being locked up in this house day after day, I "hadn't had a bad life as Mum was claiming".  I pointed out to him that the way he'd acted all my life has made me fear all men to the point I'm actually scared when somebody asks to meet me quite innocently (May I take this opportunity to apologise again and thank you for being so understanding about everything <3).  He seemed stunned by this.  "Why?  I've never hurt you."  He's just so ignorant when it comes to other people's feelings.  Just because you don't hurt anybody physically or set out to do anything harmful towards anyone at all, doesn't mean you can't hurt them emotionally.
Right, so he dropped us off at Boston and went to park the car.  Mum was still wandering around whining about how what I'd done was dangerous and I would have increased her cancer risk or something, so I walked ahead.  When I turned around, I saw Mum with Allan hanging around her neck.  Obviously, Emma and the kids had just arrived themselves and approached from behind.  Mum told Emma about the terrible thing I'd just done to her (like I really care who she tells.  Everyone already has a bad opinion of me for other reasons.  Get a life already, mother? *Sighs*)
I had a great day overall.  There were old Edwin Hall rides on the roundabout there, but I couldn't get pictures of them, because the kids were running everywhere, and knocking me over in the mud.   David paid for us all to have ice cream just to prove a point about what a wonderful person he was (Hello, Emma and co - I'm the cheerful, jolly step-dad/grandad, and never yell at my wife and daughter.  Come play happy family with me!)
There were stalls there, and I think there had probably been ponies there earlier.  I saw a couple of kids walking around with fakie ponies.  I was able to pick up Sweet Breeze's hot air balloon and part of Sky Wishes' jewellery box for 40p.  I got Allan a Toys 'R' Us trailer for 20p from the same stall, but the girls didn't want anything, so I feel bad now.
Do you remember when we went to the festival the last year, I mentioned one of the stands had a whole stack of "My Scene Goes Hollywood" DVDs priced at £4 each?  I didn't get one because I didn't want anybody to see me buying it.  Well, the stall that had them last year was there again (in fact it was the one I got the pony stuff and trailer from), and was selling five copies that must have been left over from last year for £2 each!  David tried to hand me 50p to pay for the trailer and pony stuff (er, three items priced at 20p it me, or was my father being stupid as ever), but I was determined to get that DVD, so I said I'd pay myself.  I got a nice surprise when the woman reduced it to just £1!!!!  Well, if it works, I call that a deal!  However, I fear both David and Emma saw me picking it up, so David is probably laughing at me right now, while Emma is most likely wondering why on Earth I picked it up and checking up the cast list on IMDb... Oops. *Cringe*  Mind you, it's as much for Kathleen Barr and Mark Hildreth as anyone, not that my weird family would think that.  As I already mentioned, Ellis is not a main character in the movie by any means.  Eleven lines or something...  Um, why are you all looking at me like that?  I'm not obsessed with that voice.  Honest!
Allan was annoyed because he wanted to get inside a fire engine, but after patiently waiting his turn they left before he had a chane to "drive" it.  He did get inside the ambulance, and a big green truck though.  I had to bring Kizzy to the truck too.  We were waiting our turn when Kizzy decided to dash forward between the parents of the little kid who was currently in the truck, where I couldn't get to her.  I got hold of her hand, but she refused to come and started acting silly, and grabbed the father's leg.  I apologised, and the mother of this other kid starts talking to me as if I'm Allan and Kizzy's mother!  Great.  That's made me feel 100x better.  Do I really look old enough to have a seven year old son?  I know stress ages you, but...
After battling to get the kids out of the playground, we had to walk them out of the park (which is a hard job in itself!) to meet Nick who was driving up and down the road outside, obviously wondering where we were.  We put Allan, Abigale and Kizzy in the car, then Emma, Gabriella, my parents and myself walked.  Well, my parents made a very deliberate act of going to our car halfway down the road, asking if "Emma and me wanted time to talk alone".  Um...I'm not really sure what they were on about, but the first thing Emma said to me after Mum got in the car was, "We must arrange this shopping trip..." (You know, the one I thought had been forgotten because I didn't e-mail Emma back for a while?) so perhaps that was Mum's intention.  We got stopped by some friendly Ealing people asking about Emma's rugby fleece though, so we didn't get very far with that conversation.  I hope I can meet up with her some time.  I really feel I hardly ever get a chance to talk what with the kids attacking me, and my parents being stupid.
We took Emma and Nick in Woodberry, while David looked after the kids in the car.  Allan later went in with Emma, Nick and my parents though, while I looked after the girls, even though he wasn't supposed to.  We didn't really get around to talking about colours before the kids wanted Emma back.  Oh well, maybe some other time.
Hmm, I think that's about it.  I spent the evening watching the 2005 movie version of "The Producers" which was on Channel Five.  It's a great film, and Matthew Broderick is great as Leo Bloom.  I wish I had somewhere to go to watch the TV without my parents chatting loudly about family history, and David studying the scabs he's just picked off of his legs about ten inches away from my nose.
And on that cheerful note, I must leave.  I just noticed it's 1.30am, and Mum's going to kill me when I wake her up for bed!  Probably I've caused her sleep deprivation snore cancer too.
Yours sincerely,
Desiree Skylark  xxx

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