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Going to Brittany on Thursday. Seem to be the only family member DOING anything about it!

(16 Posts)
teslagirl Tue 19-Aug-08 09:12:12

This should be in a ranting area, really!

I've asked DH to sort out money. He seems to think 275 euros for 5 of us for 10 days will be sufficient.

I've asked him to work out the 2 hour route from St Malo to our destination, on his day off yesterday. Has he? No. "Don't stress, it won't be a problem".

I've asked him to investigate what the current rules are re what you need to drive in France are now. Has he? No. So today I have to fit headlight protectors, I have to work out how and where to stow the legally requires hiviz vests and warning triangle (which of course, I bought), I have to slap on the GB sticker. And hope no one asks to see our spare headlight bulbs!!

I asked him to check the tyres, oil and water in the car. Has he? No.

I've just been trawling through a French translator/dictionary to work out the inventory of the cottage to see what's supplied. Took AGES!

Bear in mind I work as many days as he does and it will fall to me to wash, iron and pack EVEYONE'S kit. "Did you pack my...?"

Sorry for the moan but I'm fed up. I know I'll be the one sitting next to a thin lipped, stony faced troll alongside a French motorway with bored, howling children in the back when all this lack of prior preparation leads to the (p*) poor performance the scouting movement warns us about!

Funny thing about being the mum, isn't it? You're seen to be the paranoid worrier when you're rushing around crossing all the 't's but should YOU say Soddit, let's go with the flow- and something goes wrong- it's suddenly all YOUR fault for failure to anticipate and prepare accordingly.

SqueakyPop Tue 19-Aug-08 09:14:35

TBH, I think it is easier having just one person in charge of all the details.

I usually do all the booking/planning but don't mind.

Tortington Tue 19-Aug-08 09:19:46

no one gives a shit about the spare bulbs and vests stuff - never been asked in 10 years of holidaying in france.

i would wory about the money - you seriously haven't got much.

the oil and water on the car would be a big thing for me - i would kick of untilhe did it.

dh gets as excited a - no more - than i do - and he will start packing.

i think if my family showed as little enthusiasm for going on holiday as yours - i would cancel it - whats the point really

Christie Tue 19-Aug-08 09:27:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jelliebelly Tue 19-Aug-08 09:32:19

It sounds like DH isn't very bothered about going on holiday tbh. Its like everything else in a relationship - teamwork - you both need to know who is responsible for what otherwise if something goes wrong you will both end up blaming each other and falling out over it.

Are you sure he just won't leave it all until the last minute? - dh is like this and it has taken me many years to realise that it is not worth nagging because he always gets it done in the end - just not as early as I would like it done I suppose smile

teslagirl Tue 19-Aug-08 10:21:48

I guess DH and I are different in our approach. I wouldn't mind as much if DH didn't become so thin-lipped and silent when things go wrong- things that might be avoided if a little more forethought had gone into the planning! He WILL leave things to the last minute but it will involve him pulling clothes out of the laundry basket; folding up a smelly, soaking wet bath towel and packing it with my clean, dry one; oh, you get the picture!

I think also that I feel more responsibility towards the DCs. I want them to have 2 separate towels apiece, one for swimming, one for post-bath. That's seen as unnecessary. I want them to look presentable if we go out in the evening, not in the same, too short, grass and mud stained track suit bottoms they've been in for days (fine on a campsite, not on a resort!). I like there to be hard cash back-up for WHEN the French ATM won't deliver on our UK debit card. I want everyone to have appropriate wet weather gear so we don't have one person in the party cold and wet, curtailing that nice brisk but drizzly cliff top walk because they didn't have the forethought to pack a gortex.

On top of all that I have DH's brother staying from Oz. For 5 weeks. 57, bachelor, country boy. Finding this a bit stressful, not least the having to drive him 16 miles return to get some swim togs as it hadn't occurred to him that he might need some at a French beach resort. His debit card isn't configured to work in a UK ATM, let alone a French one. He has ONE pair of thin canvas shoes which have already had him saying "I'll just sit in the car" on days out cos they're so wet and manky he can't go out in them.. I've just had to politely stop him fitting the headlight protectors IN THE RAIN with NO LIGHTS ON on the WRONG side of the plastic as he doesn't believe the diagram can possibly be correct. Grr.

And add to it this HORRIBLE weather!

DH IS keen enough about the holiday, but he just won't get motivated to do anything time-sensitive about it, like pre-ordering cash, putting stuff in the wash 3 days beforehand, getting the GPS directions programmed NOW, not sitting in the car outside the house for half an hour with all of us waiting, finding that he doesn't have the postcode for where we're going. Cue the thin-lip.

I need it to be Thursday morning when it'll be TOO LATE to do anything about the non-preparation!

SqueakyPop Tue 19-Aug-08 10:46:09

Our TomTom didn't have postcodes for France - just UK and NL. You need the name of the nearest village and route numbers. Have a look at Google Earth to help you.

I don't generally find that it works to tell people both what to do and how to do it. If you want things done in a particular way, you have to do it yourself.

catweazle Tue 19-Aug-08 11:01:58

teslagirl I get this every time we go away angry I race round like an idiot trying to pack for everyone and he ends up sitting in the car saying "aren't you ready?". Then I get "did we pack the..?" No dear, we didn't pack anything..

On our recent holiday to Holland I ended up doing everything as usual, from booking it all and paying for it, to sorting out the money and the travel insurance. He conveniently changed his working nights so that he wasn't available to actually do anything. I asked him to pack his stuff. I told him to pack his stuff. He ended up doing it an hour before we were due to leave while I was out buying last minute groceries and stuff (leaving teens behind in house), and took 30 minutes to do it, so we were late leaving and missed the ferry angry.

We then got off the ferry and he had forgotten to pick up the map, so we got lost and then had to buy one.

catweazle Tue 19-Aug-08 11:06:22

Oh then last weekend we went to a music festival we go to every year. Forecast was for torrential rain all day and that's what we got. DH, DS2 and DS3 didn't take a coat shock They got very cold and very wet huddling under one umbrella (he "couldn't find the other one") and eventually we had to go to Tesco and buy them all a coat each. I was not pleased.

aznerak Tue 19-Aug-08 11:10:05

You don't need spare lightbulbs but you do need the emergency warning triangle and the high-vi jacket.

Although the new law for the jackets has been delayed, police are still targetting foreign cars (probably assuming they wouldnt know that the law has been put back) and are stopping and checking cars on the autoroutes - especially as cars leave the peage toll booths. I know people who have had this happen, so it is worth having them to hand. It is worth noting they can't be in the boot either, so you have to find somewhere in the main bit of the car to store them.

In terms of doing everything, I think that there is some automatic assumption that the mums do that job. I am the organised practical one in our house and as such, it goes without saying that I am therefore responsible for everything. Generally, that is fine, until I forget something....!

teslagirl Tue 19-Aug-08 14:08:38

Glad to hear others get this as well!

We went camping 2 weekends ago, thankfully for just 2 nights (DIRE weather!) and I had been gradually assembling the stuff in the dining area over a couple of days- doing it all pretty much alone, mind, but from a comprehensive list. On The Morning I didn't get up that early- perhaps 8am for a 10.30 departure- and I found DH and BIL had basically shut up all the bags, boxes etc etc and packed them in the car! How helpful! And the computer had been 'put to bed'. Great! Pity no one had remembered to print off any of the confirmations or maps of the area. Or done the checklist of what still needed to be packed. Then they had the whole family sitting in the car at 9.15, awaiting me! Imagine my mood when I found myself being more less told off for 'forgetting' the DCs cold weather gear! My own cold weather gear! The wellies! ALL stuff that I had every intention of sorting on The Morning had the DH/BIL team not suddenly decided to swing into action.

See I don't expect DH to THINK of anything himself, but I DO want him to do the things I ask him to!

And yes, we too have found ourselves out and about in the freezing cold and wet, the DCs without fleeces or raincoats......

SqueakyPop Tue 19-Aug-08 15:45:42

We actually used our fluorescent jackets when we were in France. We had to remove our roofbox in order to park in an underground car park in Paris - when we were reassembling it, on Avenue McMahon on a very grey day with rather fast traffic, we were very happy to be extra visible.

We have a drawer under the passenger seat wh.ere we stuffed them

teslagirl Tue 19-Aug-08 20:59:07

That's where mine are right now!

Further to my first gripe, DH and BIL are now at my mother's house, 7 miles hence, borrowing her DVD player as the chalet in France has no TV. A small part of me agrees that in the likely event of the shite weather we've endured over the last -oh- 8 weeks?- continuing, we may need, over 10 days, some DVD distraction for the boys BUT I can GUARANTEE this 'setting up the DVD player' project will take AT LEAST 6 hours. And has, of course, been suddenly thought about 42 hours prior to departure.

Meanwhile, I'm ironing.

ChippyMinton Tue 19-Aug-08 21:06:53

is a portable DVD with screen? Not sure if UK player will be compatible with french TV otherwise? Someone on here might know?

I do most of the holiday prep in this house - it generally involves an hysterical screaming fit, usually the night before departure, which DH tactfully ignores. In return I ignore his constant refrain of 'I spent 12 hours driving you all here, you ungrateful toads' for the first week, and 'I've got to spend 12 hours drivinng you home' for the second week grin

Have a good holiday!

teslagirl Wed 20-Aug-08 13:26:40

ha ha!

The DVD will be entirely 'stand alone', as in we'll take a monitor so all we'll have to do is plug it in! Then if the weather IS dire we at least can waste a bit of time! Esp when we find who's forgotten their wet weather gear....

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Wed 20-Aug-08 15:37:23

Teslagirl - wholeheartedly symthaise - this scene is played out in our house every summer whne we go to France and variations at other times too.
YOur money situation sounds very light. My credit card which works perfectly well everywhere else was refused several time in france. Would take @ least 100 euros a day cash - the euro is now about .8, - you can change it back if you don't use it.
Az - interesting about the jackets - useful info. I panicked when I saw a notice about this just as we boarded the ferry and bought them at a grossly inflated pricie on the ferry - then saw them in every petrol station and supermarche much cheaper - did not knowlaw had been posponed, not about the 'not in the boot'

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