7.20 coach left school drive

I’m showing my age here, but does anyone else remember the brilliant record of a school trip in The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole age 13 3/4 by Sue Townsend? It went something like this:

7am boarded coach
7.05 ate packed lunch, drank low calorie drink
7.10 coach stopped for Claire Neilson to go to the ladies
7.15 coach stopped for Barry Kent to be sick
7.20 coach left school drive

Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, aged 13 ¾

When I was about 11 or 12 I could recite the whole school trip off by heart, I thought it was so funny.

I didn’t check what I wrote here. It may be wrong, but I suspect it’s probably right.

Setting off to the in-laws’ for a very late Christmas, we had one of those scenarios.

My husband coaches the under 9s football team, but there was no time for coaching and he had a rare day off. He gave all the football equipment to his assistant coach and a friend and the kids got in the car.

Then there was a phone call. One of the nets was missing. So he went into the garage and emptied a couple of bags. Then emptied the boot for good measure. No net.

With three kids in the back of an estate car, we are totally reliant on the DVD player to get us through any long journey with our sanity intact. The DVD player was broken. The thought of travelling without it was just too much to bear. So we stopped at Argos and my husband nipped in to replace it.

Product Details

The other essential for a long journey is sweets. One sweet each every half an hour gives the kids something to look forward to. Yeah, I know, it’s tooth suicide, but we don’t go on THAT many long journeys. We looked in the ‘sweetie box’. No sweets! Emergency!

So my younger son and I hopped out of the car and walked to M&S a few doors down to rectify the situation.

A Packet of Pigs - Marks & Spencer Percy Pigs Food

We got back in the car, but no headphones! The DVD player plays two separate DVDs, so headphones are an essential. We drove home. I looked for the headphones. I couldn’t find them. My husband (with good reason generally) doesn’t trust me with finding things, so assumed I was just being stupid. He went inside to look for the headphones. I knew they weren’t there.

‘They’re not under the seat, are they?’ I asked the kids.

‘Oh yeah, they are.’

Back in the car, DVD on, headphones plugged in…

We were heading for the motorway when my husband realised the Christmas present his mum had asked him to get for our son was still in his bedside drawer.

So it was back home and back inside the house. By this time we’d been gone so long that my daughter and I actually needed a wee.

An HOUR after we’d first got in the car we actually got on our way.

7.20 coach left school drive.

Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. I used to love all the Adrian Mole books but I never watched the series (although I remember them coming on tv!)… Our trips are a bit like that. We always forget something!

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  2. Great post. Brought back so many memories of reading Adrian Mole. Spookily I can remember things like his referene to woodbines and his dalliance with Pandora was it? Anyway back to the present, so glad I’m not alone in thinking travelling with children is a nightmare without the essentials of entertainment & bribes.

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  3. Oh yes, been there, done that. I am the worst culprit for delaying departure 🙂 Glad you got your belated Christmas outing tho’ x.

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  4. Sounds so like us and mine are still under 2 can’t wait to see what like when bigger


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  5. Thanks very much, everyone. Really appreciate your comments!
    Glad I’m not the only one with these ridiculous journeys – and glad I’m not the only one who remembers Adrian Mole!
    I watched the series Tas – I think Julie Walters was his mum! I’ve read all the books – they’re still very funny now. He makes a particularly cringeworthy middle-aged man.

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