My name is Clio and I am 11 years old. I wish I could say that I am named after an Egyptian Queen, but no, I’m actually named after a car. It’s apparently significant to my mum and dad but I really don’t want to know why.
When I was about 8 my mum started acting all strange. Well, she’s always been strange, but this time she was even worse. She decided that I had to call her Cheryl rather than mum and it was just after this that she left my dad. I don’t really know what happened as they said I was too young to understand (rubbish). All I know is that mum had a new boyfriend after about 5 minutes and dad went travelling around the world with some 20 something year old bimbo (mum said that not me).
Anyway, a few months ago mum started going to a yoga class, but instead of ‘finding herself’ (as she put it) she found a new boyfriend. Mum said that he was a ‘new age hippy’ and that people used to dress like that in the 1960’s. All I saw was a man in a dress who never washed his hair and whose favourite saying was ‘yeah man’. The two of them were like love sick teenagers. It made me feel sick.
After knowing this new hippy man (Larry) for only three weeks, mum decided that they needed to go away together, to make a visit to their real spiritual home, Tibet.
My mum said ‘wouldn’t it be such fun for the four of us to go away together?’ The four of us being me, mum and Larry and, wait for it, his son Barry, who happens to be my age (cringe!).
I said ‘Is there a kids club and a pool?’ (I know. It was a long shot).
Mum said ‘No Clio, it’s not that sort of place, but there will be a swimming pool and you kids can join in any of the classes that you like.’
‘Classes’ I said, ‘it sounds just like school’. Great, I thought. Some holiday this is going to be.
So, for however long the flight was ( it seemed like about 3 weeks), I had to sit next to the love sick couple (and try not to be sick myself), nodding my head now and then as Larry turned to me saying ‘be cool’ or ‘peace.’ On the other side of me was Barry who hardly spoke for the whole flight. He was too busy listening to his i-pod or playing his DS to be bothered with anybody else (can you believe that? ‘Boring Barry’ I secretly nicknamed him). It’s not that I particularly wanted him to talk to me or anything it was just that I was so bored. Occasionally I did try and say something like ‘Ooh look at that cloud,’ or ‘loving this free orange juice,’ but he would just look at me in disgust, so I gave up after the third attempt, which incidentally was ‘hey look, wasn’t that a bird just flying by?’ (How sad am I?).
As for the holiday itself. Apparently in order to ‘find one self’ you do not need all the luxuries of modern day life. This, of course, was my idea of hell. I had to spend two weeks in a room without electricity, which means a number of things. Firstly no lights, so every time I got up to go to the toilet in the night I stubbed my toe on the rock hard futon thing they called ‘a bed’. Secondly no TV, not that I would have been able to understand any of the programmes but at least you can watch and laugh at the funny accents, and thirdly no hair straightener’s. This meant that after a few days I developed a kind of frizzy perm because it was so hot and sticky over there. Not that I should have been bothered, as there weren’t even any mirrors in the whole place so it’s not as though I could have tried to style my hair even if I’d wanted to. I only had my tiny little compact mirror to judge for myself how bad it was and I couldn’t see the whole effect because it was such a big hairdo and the mirror was so small. Mum said it suited me and Larry just said ‘cool man,’ and it was the only time I saw Barry smile the whole holiday.
Everyday mum and Larry would go off to do a class or to meditate leaving me and Barry on our own. I decided after a couple of days of sitting by the pool that I should do something so I had a go at the Tai Chi. But I didn’t have a clue what I was doing so I just chopped my arms about and kicked my legs here and there and tried to look cool. In the end I was laughing so hard that the instructor asked me if I would leave as he said I was putting the rest of the class off.
So it was back to the pool for me where I decided I would be better off. On the one and only occasion that Barry and I did speak to each other, we both agreed that our parents are complete weirdoes and we couldn’t wait to get home.
That was a month ago and I can laugh about it now. The funny thing is two weeks after the holiday mum and Larry split up. Well, ok, I know that’s not funny but what is funny is that mum has given up yoga and Buddhism and she’s now taken up, wait for it, judo. She says it’s for self-defence but all she keeps going on about is how lovely the instructor is. All I can say is watch this space….
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