Funny how such amazing ideas always seem to begin on a cosy night at home with wine.
What is not quite so hilarious is that for our annual holiday I have booked 11 nights in Marrakech with my three children.
That would be ok, on its own, but it appears the wine bravado took hold, along with the worry that we might be bored (although for the record, I don't find lounging around by a pool in ANY WAY boring) and I decided it would be very Lawrence of Arabia and daring to do a 2 day Sahara desert camping trip. Arrival and departure by 3 hr camel ride.
Now I am faced with the prospect of ACTUALLY doing it and not just having some cool pictures for Instagram, I am getting mildly, yet increasingly TERRIFIED.
Sometimes I could kick myself for the ideas I come up with.
What on earth could possibly have possessed me to think of doing such a thing? How is an overweight, middle aged mummy of three going to cope?!! I can't really think of much worse than getting a sore bum from riding a camel in heat and hauling my rotund figure up and down sand dunes. In the heat. Getting sweaty. And sandy. And HOT. GOOD LORD,think of the potential for thigh rub. Actually, don't think about the thigh rub, it's too painful to contemplate.
OOOO...I just managed to think of something worse. It's called a busy GYM full of fit, thin, "glamorous while exercising" people. At least camels don't seem to judge. Or at least are just naturally disdainful.
My eldest was very forthright in his opinion when I told him about our adventure(still riding high on the excitement of the idea.)
Notquitesupermom: "We are going on a camel trek and camping in Berber tents in the Sahara!! How cooooool is that?!"
Notquitebutnearlyateenager: " I hate sand. I don't even like it on the beach. It gets in your shoes, your sandwiches and EVERYTHING. And it's going to be hot."
This is going to be like going on holiday with Karl Pilkington. But possibly less funny as I won't be watching it from the comfort of my sofa.
List of things I am worrying about:
1. Camel spiders. People at work have taken to Googling and Skyping me lists of nasty critters that will be awaiting me and my children. I'm not allowed to bring my own pop up tents so I can't just pop them and lock them and know they are safe from nasties. I can't even go to bed in my own tent, in the UK, without having a good old check for creepy crawlies...and possibly a sweep of the tent, before I can settle. How can I clean a Berber tent and check it is critter free?
2. Due to above I am not going to sleep. I get grumpy without sleep.
3. Going to the toilet. I am not brilliant at going to the toilet ANYWHERE except for my own throne (is that a general woman thing or just me?) I don't really think I can go in a hole in the ground, where camel spiders might be lurking, and I KNOW my children are not going to find it easy.
4. The fact that camels are quite tall and my children aren't. So it's a long way for my not very well balanced children to fall. At the moment I am wondering which one will be first
5. What on earth do we wear/ pack? At the moment I really want an all in one elasticated ankle and wrist titanium jumpsuit. With massive camel spider stomping Doc Martins. And crash helmets all round, with some sort of cooling system.
I am sure there are more things, like what if there is an accident..blah blah...but I am quashing those thoughts in my head successfully at the moment, so I don't want to give them life by typing them.
I am also not flavour of the month at school. I have been denied the right to take my children out of school for 2 and a half days. Including last day of term and first day back. It does not qualify as: "exceptional circumstances."
I hate to differ with the educational establishment but quite honestly I feel that potentially risking our lives and the comfort of my bum for the chance for my children to decide that they never again want to visit the beach, or that they develop a life long regard for the possibles dangers of creepy crawlies, must SURELY be "exceptional circumstances?"
I hate to sound so disillusioned with the establishment, but do they NOT want children to learn? I am pushing my limits of my comfort zone because I don't want to raise children who don't want to see the world, or learn more about different cultures, or push their own comfort boundaries. Or are scared to.
So while it may be amusing to see Mummy shifting her overweight A** up a sand dune, it's bloody important too. No matter how many "planetarium" companies they bring in to show the children the night sky in the school hall, is it ever going to compare to standing, looking around for scorpions (me), gazing at the stars(with one eye *me*..other eye is on scorpion lookout), in the desert? Does watching The Human Planet and the Marrakech tanneries count as education as much as wanting to get the HECK OUT of there because it smells so bad?
I think it's as simple as to say: I COULD go along with the government and their "vision" of learning for my children. THAT would stay in my comfort zone. We could sit back and relax and watch the planet go about its daily business on TV. Or Ipad/ notebook/ tablet/ phone. Or use Google Earth and some good Youtube clips.
Or, we can throw ourselves out of our comfort zone, risk a sore arse and feeling disjointed from our "norm" and just start being a part of it all. Show our children there is more to the world than our back garden (we are too scared to let them out in the front.)
There will be more posts on this trip FOR SURE, but if you agree that we should not be put under pressure from travel firms demanding sky high prices for school holiday travel, you need to sign this:
And then find your local MP and annoy them too. That's what you pay them to do. Represent YOU.