Oh man this week is going to be a blogmare.


I’m condemned to a gulag in Southport. No amount of colourful squirrel pictures on the walls will persuade me otherwise. “Pontins” is the name of this hellhole. You might think the vegetable police are more powerful than I gave them credit for, and they’ve put me in a soviet era punishment block for crimes against cucumbers. But no. This isn’t the veg police, despite yesterday. This is all my own doing. I did this to myself. I knew loosely what I was getting into when I signed up for this. Although imagination can sometimes be so much kinder than reality. After the last event I should know better, but I haven’t learnt yet.

After driving from London to Southport, the pleasant but totally useless reception people sent us to our chalet. Problem was there was a 50 year old Australian man in pants there already, with his stuff aggressively strewn about. He was very friendly, but agreed that perhaps there wasn’t room for all of us plus his Y-Fronts.  These “chalets” are tiny.

So began hours of me gradually discovering through a fog of pain after a long drive that everyone here is a totally incompetent Fuckwit, and nobody gives a shit about anything other than correctly following whatever unearthly bullshit arse-faced dickeryschlock some varnished child has written down on a piece of paper the evening before. As it transpired, the Aussie guy was chancing it. But it caused ages of running around and calling people, in a place where there is no phone reception or internet. Like anyone gave a fuck.

Now I’m ready and past ready to go to bed. I have a pallet shaped thing into which I am going to insert my body and try to make it stay still for a few hours. I think it might go by “futon” in some circles. I doubt my body will thank me in the morning based on what it feels like on a brief foray, but I’m willing to be surprised. I’ve definitely slept well in worse, but then I can say that in almost all circumstances. One of the legs keeps falling off which will be an ungodly pain if it happens in the night when this cocktail of pain relieving narcotics has worn off.

My major concern right now is “How the hell am I going to post this nonsense!” – not just tonight when all that’s happened is I’ve driven across the country and gone to war with some idiots. How’s about when the 16 hour days kick in and some Latvian Crown Prince has been howling about the temperature of his caviar for 5 of them, while I respond by being effortlessly exhaustingly charming? I’m too tired to write a coherent blog today so I’m just ranting. Bear with me, it’s an experiment 

And having written my minimum I’m going to try to post it, because I fear that it’ll involve going for a long walk. I’ll try to put in a photo on. There’s an incredible beach. People are here with their families on holiday. They are here to have fun. I mustn’t overlook that. I might think of it like a gulag, as I’m here to work and there’s no privacy and virtually no comfort. But that just highlights how spoilt I am. If it’s good enough for those families on holiday I should have nothing to complain about. They’ve even given us ten quid credit for the electricity, the hot water only takes half an hour after we switch the immersion on, there’s endless free flowing cold water, we are allowed to use the cups and there’s a lock on the door. There’s even sheets provided made out of sandpaper, but thankfully I had advance warning and brought my own from home. And I should try and sleep in them now as it’s late. Hopefully I can schedule this. Fingers crossed.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

3 thoughts on “Pontins”

  1. Al, your blog is a joy. Having stumbled into your blog via Twitter, reading about your adventures and escapades is part of my daily entertainment (so much more soul-nourishing than the newspapers!) Greetings from Southport – I’m here working on the TV production. Hope you enjoy The Open (despite the 16 hour day exhaustion)!


  2. Thank you for taking the time to say so. It means a lot that people I have not met might derive pleasure from my burblings. If you’re near The Sands pub near pontins I expect I’ll be there this evening as it’s not an operational day tomorrow. Local knowledge is always valuable, even though I don’t anticipate having much downtime after tomorrow… 🙂


    1. Ah I’m afraid, despite being here for a week, that I have almost no local knowledge. I’m over the other side of the course – in Southport town centre, but hope The Sands offers some respite for you 🙂


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