This weekend Joni and I went to Bridlington for the weekend to see my mum. We’re very lucky that my mum lives by the sea as, as everyone knows, kids love everything about the seaside.
For reasons too irrelevant to go into in this post Joni and I went by train (eco-friendly tick there) and Andrew and Evan stayed at home. This was my first trip away since making more of a conscious effort to do less damage to the environment and the results were mixed. I did OK but I could have done a lot better.
My first ‘could have done better’ was spawned by the fear of Joni having a meltdown on the train. I bought her a Peppa Pig magazine and a Friends magazine with a free plastic toy which was wrapped in plastic. She was happy but I could have just brought her some paper and crayons and I think she’d have been just as pleased, as after 5 minutes of playing with the toy she just wanted to colour.
After sweating it out for 2 hours plus on an over crowded train (if anything is going to persuade more people to drive it’s got to be taking a ride on a packed train in summer) we made it to Brid.
Mum doesn’t drive so we walked every where and started the weekend with lunch in the vegetarian and vegan cafe Whites Bakehouse. I ordered a vegan burger (as did my mum despite not being vegan) and an elderflower drink. The drink came in a glass bottle but I forget to ask for no straw. Luckily it came with a cardboard straw, which was neither use nor ornament, but at least it wasn’t plastic.
Then, on to the beach. When I was growing up, a day as hot as this Saturday would have meant that the North Side beach would have been packed and you’d only get a good spot if you sat shoulder to shoulder with the Wessies (what we used to call holiday makers from Leeds back in the day, Wessies as in West Yorkshire). On this scorching Saturday it was busy but nowhere near as rammed as it would have been back in the day. England were playing in the World Cup semi-finals in the afternoon so it could have been that everyone was just in the pub.
Mum had heard a rumour that the cafe next to Donkey Bridge did vegan ice cream and she was right. While Joni and Nana enjoyed their dayglow pink dairy, I got to eat one of these:
The ice cream was wrapped in plastic (not sure what else it could be wrapped in but feel like that looses some points) and it was de-bloody-licious. There was a time when you’d struggle to get soya milk in the biggest supermarkets in Brid, but the wave of food gentrification has officially reached the town – my mum even has quinoa in her cupboard. Times have changed.
We had a quick pre-match trip to the beach where I watched a dog curl out a giant turd a couple of metres from us and I did nothing. I stood up to tell the owners (not sure if they noticed their dog had pooed or not) then sat back down. Then stood up again. And then sat back down.
In the end I did nothing as the desire to help the environment was outweighed by the desire not to get punched in the face. A lady from a different group of beach-goers took a spade and buried the poo in the end so at least if someone stood in it they wouldn’t know – not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.
The next day I bought Joni another magazine full of plastic crap and two pots of fruit from Tesco. The fruit pots had little plastic spoons in them so I felt like a total hypocrite for moaning to Dunelm Mills about their plastic cutlery and then buying some myself from Tesco. I nearly choked on a piece of apple from one of them though so I guess that’s justice.
All in all, I could have made better choices this weekend and the worst choices I made were fuelled by the classic parenting fear of a meltdown. Next time I’ll be more organosed and not as scared of my own child.