Half-term – cash and capers…

Posh & Becks Waxworks

Posh & Becks Waxworks (Photo credit: reveriewit)

Help! Help! I’m haemorrhaging…CASH – yes, it’s half-term this week and next – yes you read that correctly, my little darlings have got 2 weeks for half-term – twice the time to fill, twice the money to spend, twice the number of tantrums, twice the amount of alcohol required by me each evening.

Yesterday it was the turn of Madame Tussauds – or as Boy 2 calls it, “Madame Twoshoes” (which Boy 1 corrects to “Madame Twoswords”).  Facts first – it cost me £55 to get in (after queueing for 40 minutes) – that was the cost for one adult and one child (one child was free because of age and one because I had a voucher).  Approximate time required in the attraction – 1.5 hours. By any mathematical equation that seems to me to be daylight robbery. Enter attraction.  Guess what we are met with….yes, the popcorn and sweet shop – £10 lighter we finally get to see the world-famous waxworks which of course my children are not remotely interested in now that they have a large tub of popcorn to stuff in their mouths and with which liberally to litter the floor.

The waxworks are good – some are very good.  But is it just me who thinks it is deeply weird for adults to be posing for photographs with a waxwork model of a celebrity?  Somehow it is OK in Disney World when your kids clamour for photos with Mickey and friends and at least they are moving, talking, dressed-up people.  Not so here…and most of the people at Madame Tussauds yesterday were adults – maybe I’m missing something here but I can’t think of one reason why my husband and I would choose to spend enormous sums of money going to Madame Tussauds without the children and then take turns to take photos of each other with the likes of Posh and Becks, Boris Johnson, Usain Bolt etc – except, remember, people, it is not Posh and Becks, Boris Johnson, Usain Bolt etc – they are waxworks…sorry, but I think it is very, very odd behaviour.

People walk around “Madame Tussauds” saying in a surprised voice, “Look, there’s so and so…” – again, strange, because there is no-one there that you wouldn’t expect to see in a museum of waxworks of famous people.  Except, perhaps, that is, one Mohamed Al Fayed lurking in the corner of the room dedicated to world leaders – still trying to work out why he was there amongst Obama, David Cameron, Margaret Thatcher…have I missed something?

Today, I tried to keep the costs down – well, relatively – and we went to the cinema to see “Madagascar 3” with some friends.  We had lunch in M&S (cheaper than the pizza places) but unfortunately you need a degree to understand their children’s meal deal – apparently, 2 of the 5 pieces your child chooses have to be “snacks”,so to fulfil the criteria my children were forced to swap their relatively healthy smoothies for  considerably less healthy biscuits and in my daughter’s case some frankly disgusting disturbingly bright pink “yoghurt” (I don’t think so) coated “Hello Kitty” raisins, which we promptly renamed “Hello Sicky”.

Next stop the cinema – having spent a small fortune on popcorn (another bugbear of mine is the daylight robbery that is popcorn/sweets purchasing in cinemas) and bought 3D glasses for the film, the cinema management then informed us that due to technical difficulties, they were unable to show the film.  Tense negotiations followed and I’m pleased to tell you that we got a full refund plus free tickets for future use (if you don’t ask, you don’t get!).  We promptly spent the money we saved on a quite ridiculous “hurricane tube” experience in the cinema lobby – 90 seconds of your children being buffeted by a “hurricane” force wind (basically, a giant hairdryer) – sounds strange, it was strange, although strangely amusing too (mainly for us adults) and it made me return to the thought which I often have – what on earth goes on in some people’s minds that results in such a bizarre product as a “hurricane” experience? Whenever you think people are all the same and we all think the same sorts of things, you come across something so bizarre that you realise that in fact we are all very, very different.

After a quick cup of tea and 8 donuts in Krispy Kreme, I totted up the nutritional intake for my children so far this half-term – popcorn, smarties, McDonalds (at a service station on the way back from Madame Tussauds – classy), “Hello Sicky” raisins, and Krispy Kreme donuts.  I’m not proud of this by the way and I can already hear the audible gasp from you Annabel Karmel types but once in a while it doesn’t hurt and the last two days have been quite amusing and I don’t often say that about half-term with three children under the age of 8.