Friday, 5 June 2015


It was probably the expression on her face just before she tucked into the octopus. Or the smile she gave as she took a bite of her frog’s legs. No, wait, it was the gasp of delight as the waiter carried out the paella. Or it might just have been the sigh of satisfaction as I handed her the good old-fashioned tuna sandwich I’d packed for the plane journey.

My daughter’s holiday highlights always consist of food; it’s the Prader-Willi way. And to tell you the truth, more than a few of my holiday highlights are enjoying her joy at what’s on her plate. 

We’ve just got back from a week in Spain. And we had it easy. Although it was our first holiday abroad for a few years, we had an advance team who had recced the heck out of our destination. The crack FSAS (Food Special Air Service) was made up of my brother-in-law and his wife, who have a part share in a villa in Calpe. Not only were they able to take out a boxful of healthy snacks and my daughter's extremely special hot chocolate for us in their advance car (they drove, we flew), but they knew most of the restaurants and menus - putting us In The Know, too.

So it was that we ate in the Bar Aleman on barbecue night, where there was a huge selection of lovely healthy salads, all available to serve yourself instantly. (There was also an insanely happy German fella in his 70s with a trumpet and a Bontempi organ singing "Digging Ze Dancing Queen!" and a light show that made it appear that people were being targeted with red dots by nearby snipers, but that's another story). So it was that we were able to pack up healthy picnics, and spend a couple of evenings making our own tasty dinners. And so it was that my girl was able to pick her own seafood selection, watch the Taiwanese chef expertly heat it up on his sizzling hot plate, and eat exactly the right portion at exactly the right time.  

I’m skating over the sailing day lunch, which involved us sitting for 15 minutes in front of a café that we didn’t realise wasn’t serving, but there are always blips. And funnily enough, it was my six-year-old non-PWS Horrible Henry son who was carried kicking and screaming from the square for misbehaving, whilst my PWS daughter ignored her hunger in favour of putting in an increasingly smug Perfect Peter performance.

Her postcard to her cousin says it all:

"I am haviing a lovely time on holiday in spain the weather is lovely in SPain I went to the beach and watch daniel on the Jet Ski I like eating my curry and my paella I went on a boat. I bought with Nanny money a dream catcher and a doll. I Had Chinese the over day. I am having spag bowl to night."

It didn’t list every meal; just lots of them. Why wouldn’t her cousin want to know what she’d had to eat? Spaghetti bolognaise of course, will hereafter be known as a ‘spag bowl’ in our house.

There is, however, another expression that we have adopted, although it’s not one for the children’s ears. It came out of the innocent-looking mouth of a tiny Russian boy, aged about five, who approached my son on a nearly deserted beach and was babbling away to him in a thick, deep Russian accent straight out of Crimson Tide. His mum was on her way over, but out of earshot. Luckily, my daughter was having mini-siesta under the parasol on the beach, so her super-powered hearing was switched off. Even more luckily, my boy was confused by the accent and had kind of lost interest and was digging another sandcastle, so it went straight over his head. The boy said something along these lines: “Glasnost, glasnost, Russki lavatka frappachoiska blah blah blah.” I pointed to my boy, and said his name, and pointed the child. He looked at me non-plussed. “English,” I said, pointing again. “You are Russian?” “Ah! English!” he beamed. He then launched into another stream of incongruously throaty Russian words, finishing, after a cheeky look directly into my eyes, with a triple pronouncement - a troika if you will - of: “Farking hell, farking hell, farking hell!”.

Man, my poker face is good.

Song is The Fall - I'm Going To Spain. I know I've already been, but my daughter already says we're going back again next year, and who am I to argue...

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