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Strange nights spent away from where you normally sleep (usually no beds involved)

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    2018. My daughter's school puts inset days around a random June weekend, so there's a small chance of having an affordable holiday in term time. We were feeling slightly more adventurous and found out that some youth hostels now have different types of tents in their grounds. We opted for a safari tent, very luxurious compared to standard camping, with a double bed for us and bunk beds for the kids, and a lovely wood burner and mini kitchen. We stayed for three nights, cooking over camp fires and going for walks through the woods to the local National Trust property which had a café and an adventure playground. My daughter loved the walks through the woods, my son spent most of the time complaining that he wanted a taxi to take him home. My husband got a tick in an unmentionable place and was traumatised by having to remove it with tweezers. Some friends lived nearby and visited us for a barbecue one evening. A generally successful holiday.


      Fantastic stories Balderdasha! I haven't finished them yet, I really need to get on with some work.

      Can't really compete but I do recall sleeping in an Austin Allegro on Southport seafront with two mates, many, many years ago. We'd got our logistics all wrong and arrived too late to find anywhere to sleep. The only food was from a rancid take-away which served the most disgusting burger of undisclosed origin I've ever eaten. We knew it was a mistake but we were hungry teenage boys. We all spent a very uncomfortable, sweaty, nauseous night and one of my pals was forced out in the early hours to deposit a massive dump on the esplanade.

      We awoke to cries of disgust from passing tourists and to this day can remember one small boy asking his dad what kind of animal had left such a large deposit. Sorry pal.


        Edit: wrong thread
        Last edited by Balderdasha; 12-09-2019, 12:07.


          Summer 2018. I was supposed to have my gallbladder operation at the beginning of the summer holiday, but the day before, it was postponed for four weeks. Annoying because we couldn't book a holiday and I just wanted it over and done with.

          My sister had been refusing to visit me if my husband was around. I had humoured her a couple of times, meeting her and her daughters at a wildlife park and in a local pub with a soft play area, but I was getting fed up of having to look after my children on my own at the weekend without my husband for no good reason. So, I hadn't seen her for coming up for six months.

          The day before my new operation date, my mum came round bringing birthday presents for my daughter from herself, my sister and my nieces. I had previously asked my mum not to act as a go-between for my sister, and I was annoyed enough that I asked her to put any presents that were not directly from her back in the car. The air was tense, but she agreed, and we then happily opened her presents with my daughter.

          Later, we went to LIDL so I could stock up on easy food to see me through the few days after the operation. My son fell asleep in the car, so my mum stayed with him while I went round LIDL with my daughter in the trolley. My mum, who cannot resist stirring things, messaged my sister.

          My sister rang me and launched into a tirade about how ungrateful I was and about my abusive husband. I told her calmly that he was not abusive and I'd appreciate her not screaming at me. She yelled even more. I told her that I didn't want to have an argument in the middle of LIDL in front of my daughter and if she didn't stop yelling, I'd hang up. I had to hang up.

          I was shaking with rage, but trying to hold it together for my daughter. My mum and son then appeared in LIDL and I bumped into a lady who had helped me back in 2016, soon after I'd been released from the mother and baby unit. I exchanged pleasantries and calmed down.

          Later that afternoon, I dropped the kids with my husband and had a heart to heart with my mum in the car, explaining why it was unreasonable of her to act as a go-between, how it made everything worse, how hard it was talking to my sister when she either accused me of being mad or brainwashed, about my concerns about the upcoming operation because general anaesthetic can sometimes trigger psychosis and I didn't want to go through that again. I thought we had cleared the air.

          The next day I went in for the gall bladder operation. It all went smoothly and I woke up clear-headed, no psychosis. I asked to see the gallstones (you're no longer allowed to keep them for health and safety reasons). There were an alarming number of brown greasy little gallstones. I took a photo. I was home the same night.

          The next morning, while I was still in the 24 hour post-operative period where you're not allowed to drive or to sign legal documents because your judgement is impaired, we got a call from social services. First, they wanted to speak to my husband. An allegation had been made that I was having a manic episode and was unsafe to look after my children. Then, they wanted to speak to me. The anonymous caller had also repeated an imaginary allegation that I had made against my husband during my psychosis 2.5 years ago. So, essentially, the anonymous caller had told social services that neither adult in the house was suitable for looking after the kids.

          We stayed calm, spoke openly to social services for about an hour, explained the situation, both independently stated that the caller was likely to be my sister and why, gave referees who could confirm our parenting skills, and faced an unpleasant three hours until they confirmed they had closed down the case.

          My mum confirmed that it was my sister who made the call, immediately after I hung up on her in LIDL, and I have not spoken to her or seen her since. I have banned my mum from mentioning her to me or vice versa. I have no idea if she sticks to it.
          Last edited by Balderdasha; 14-09-2019, 07:55.


            Post redacted
            Last edited by Sporting; 14-09-2019, 02:36.


              I know you didn't mean harm, but I don't think that it is really fair to ask Balders to try to explain that given the current situation.

              There is a good deal of context in her posts on the Narcissism, Sociopathy, Psychopathy thread (where she previewed this story) that may be of help.


                You are right and I apologize.


                  Cutting out family members from your life is an incredibly painful decision but if they keep over stepping the mark and ignoring your boundaries your left with no choice. Both my wife and myself are barely on speaking terms with our parents. A very long story. It's for the best. There's no way I want to allow my daughter to be exposed to the kind of parenting I had and my wife feels the same.

                  I'm sorry to hear about your situation Balders but it sounds like it's for the best.


                    I don't know what the redacted post was, but it seems like I answered it in the narcissism thread. I don't mind answering questions on this. To outsiders it does seem very weird and people tend to think that surely my sister must have a point? She doesn't.


                      2019: summer. We stayed in a Haven caravan in Kent, on the Thames estuary for three nights. In the morning, the tide was really far out and the kids went hunting for crabs in rock pools (found one large dead one, and a tiny white scuttling one). In the afternoon, the tide was right up near the barriers and the kids could splash in the waves in their wellie boots and try stone skimming.

                      We travel by train so always pack lightly, one large suitcase for a family of four. The kids get spare clothes, me and my husband make do with one or maximum two outfits. My husband only had the pair of jeans he was wearing and got them covered in mud and seawater on the first day. We washed them in the caravan shower with shampoo, then dried them in the oven. I didn't position them right and burnt a small hole in one leg.

                      When offered a comfortable bed, my son will always find somewhere else to sleep. On this holiday, he repeatedly stuffed all the duvets and pillows underneath the bed and went to sleep in the nest he'd made. We kept having to extract him while he was asleep so he didn't suffocate.


                        Originally posted by Balderdasha View Post
                        Good idea for a thread. This could take me some time to answer. What I do know is that there is no way in hell that I could pass the type of security clearance test described by ursus arctos.
                        And I think I'm mostly done. I knew it would take some time. I didn't realise it would take 2.5 months. It's been fun. Thanks for humouring me.


                          A treat for us. Make sure you've saved them all somewhere as they are great.


                            Literate, thought-provoking, fascinating and evocative vignettes.



                              I've just saved all of these into a word document. It's 46,646 words. How long is a book?


                                I'm writing one at the moment which I've been given a count of 30,000 - 35,000. It's supposed to be around 100-120 pages, so 46,000 sounds like a fair length book


                                  I always used to say I was putting off writing a book until I'd had enough life experience to say something meaningful. Looks like I've reached that point and I may have just written a book.