Been living in an artificial environment too long and have lost all sense of time and reality. Day 4 I think.
Activity: LASER COMBAT F*** YEAH
The only activity that all three of the boys can do and want to do. What self-respecting boy wouldn't? Running around in the woods hiding behind fortifications and shooting each other with lasers? Need I explain? Things panned out pretty much as an action replay of the last time J, M and I did this during our last visit three years ago: I die immediately in every game, J wins or comes second whilst M does OK but looks grumpy, confused and dissatisfied. Newbie G just has a ball. I like to think that Laser Combat is a useful indicator of character: G's and M's responses mirror their attitude to everything and mine is typical of my "Sod it I'm just going to throw everything in and see what happens" strategy for everything. I'm intrigued by J's apparent prowess with a weapon; this means that he is calm and methodical, or that he's a born killer, or both. Let me know what you think. For the final game (everyone for himself) I was overcome by parental horror at the thought of my little G being mercilessly killed by older boys, girls or shudder, a grown man. I therefore grabbed him and ran to hide behind a barrier at the edge of the arena for the duration, much like Tom Cruise desperately hiding with his daughter in a basement in the recent remake of War of the Worlds. As just like in Hunger Games, I planned to sacrifice myself by allowing G to kill me should we survive to the end. As is the way of things my plans came to nought as we were picked off by another even more cowardly middle-aged bloke sniping from behind a camo net. There is neither logic nor justice in war.
Emma meanwhile spent the day in the on-site spa having her nails done and getting a massage. A mixed report: whilst such an indulgence can't fail to have a positive effect, there was something transactional about the way that the massage ended suddenly, time up, clunk. Behind all of the stuff about getting back to being you using hot stones, Hopi ear candles and nice smells there is a hard-nosed business model. You find your inner peace by the hour, and when the hour is up the peace ends. Also the girl who did the nails - and who apparently does nothing else all day, every weary day - "had no craic". Surprising that. How does a nail technician in a holiday resort make conversation if they can't ask "So, where are you going on holiday this year?"
While Emma was being ostensibly pampered it was my job to do lunch. Curried favour with Emma by shopping for healthy stuff, salad and that, to accompany and lessen the impact of the cold cooked meats my boys crave and which would surely have otherwise killed them outright instantly. They even ate some of the salad.
All week G has made friends with neighbouring kids in his easy and casual way, forming relationships based on a teacher-pupil dynamic. It seems there is an endless supply of kids who don't mind being told what to do by a super-confident nerd with a permanently sunny mood. They even come looking for him, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if they asked "Is Gerry coming out to lecture us?"
Went out for a curry in the evening. A decent effort for a bunch of white Nottinghamshire teenagers, authentic even to the extent of giving Emma and me a sleepless night and making us feel shit the following day like all good curries should. God we're getting old.