Well I survived my holiday
Going on holiday with my mother was never going to be a fun experience but my god what a nightmare this has been.
It literally started the minute we got there. Our lodges were at opposite ends of the park (a deliberate thing on my part) so we had gotten everyone's keys because mum refused to get out of the car and gotten directions to the different lodges. Mum then didn't understand these directions which were pretty much 'its at that end' and started screaming at me. I left her and her carer/friend to it and the nice handyman from the park agreed to show them how to get the fifty or so feet they had to travel down the one way system without getting lost.
Our lodge was not as easy to get to due to the one way system and we actually had to leave the park and drive back in to get to ours. Having driven for hours without stops (mum didn't want to stop) I was desperate to pee by this point, so we found our lodge and immediately went inside to find the bathroom.
Mobile phone signals in the highlands are pretty rubbish at the best of times, especially in the mountains where we were so it was only when I returned to the car to start unpacking it that my mobile started going. I had four voicemails and two texts. All from mum or her friend. I couldn't even understand them so I called mum back and she is screaming at me that her lodge is unsuitable and its all my fault and I need to fix it. I tell her to meet me back at reception, assuming they can retrace their steps the fifty or so feet they need to do this.
I get there and she screams at me that there is no shower and how do I expect her to get in a bath when she clearly cant lift her legs up due to her disability. she then starts screaming at me for not coming down with her to make sure she was ok (remember she had her carer with her) and that it is my job to do this, not the carers. She then slams the car door on me (still refusing to leave the car). I then go into reception like a total nugget saying there is no shower when I specifically told them mum was disabled only to be told that there is no shower in the bathroom, but there is one in the en suite shower room!
She then complains that there is a two centimetre high step into the shower when we get there to check this out. It is of course my fault as I booked it. I had specifically stated on the phone to book that mum was disabled and was told this particular lodge was disabled friendly, I had not questioned the man on the phone further, nor had I driven the eight hour round trip to check the lodge's appropriateness before booking - apparently that makes me some sort of devil daughter.
So I go back to reception and basically beg them to tell me something, anything that will stop her from screaming at me or make her go home, by this point I don't care which option she chooses. The handyman says he will go to the nearest big town the next day to buy anti-slip mats for her that's an hours drive each way. I thank him kindly, call mum and tell her there is nothing else I can do and leave it at that. I open a bottle of wine, despite not being a drinker, so that I have a reason not to drive to town myself to pick up these mats.
The next morning she has calmed down a little, its also my birthday. The handyman comes to see me and I apologise for her behaviour, he then goes to see her explains what he can do and even arranges for a mobility scooter to be dropped off for her (something I had offered to do on numerous occasions but was told not to) mum wonders why I could not have arranged this.
Being my birthday we had big plans for the day but they were weather dependant and the weather was rubbish so we were just going to hang about the park for the day. Big mistake, mum called about eighteen times with all sorts of different dramas, she didn't have any bacon because she hadn't bought any when we had stopped at the supermarket on the way, she couldn't work her cooker, you name it it was my fault. I told her I would pick her up bacon as we were going to go for a drive since there wasn't much else to do with the weather. I didn't know how long we would be because we didn't know how far away the nearest shop was likely to be in the middle of nowhere where we were.
We drove to Fort Augustus, found a shop, paid over £50 for a bag and a half of shopping that wouldn't have cost half that in the supermarket and drove straight back to give her her bacon. She then informs me that Fort Augustus is her favourite place in the world (first time in 31 years I have heard that) and we should have taken her with us. Now firstly we didn't know that's where we were going to end up, we literally just stopped at the first shop we seen, and secondly I offered to take her out with us and she said no. Then she couldn't work the cooker to cook her bacon so we went back to her lodge to show her how to work the cooker. The cooker then turned itself off so we had to go back where we were told to forget the bacon all together.
My birthday was spent basically running about after her in the pouring rain. we did go for dinner though and it was very nice but again she called asking how I expected her to eat (she had been offered the option to join us) when I knew her cooker wasn't working which it clearly was. I told her I would get her a meal from the restaurant as we were just getting our deserts then I could bring it to her. she said she would like that so I ordered it, then she called to say the carer was taking her out so I had to take the meal back to ours, wait on her coming back and then take it to her for her to moan about having to reheat it.
The next day was reasonably uneventful, the weather was awful. Mum and her carer went to Ben Nevis and we went to inverness. She still called me to update me on every single thing she was doing but at least she was in a better mood. Well until they got back to the lodge when we had the same argument about the working/not-working cooker.
Thursday she announced we were going to Skye, which was what we were supposed to do on Wednesday but she didn't want to. Five hours of driving for both me and the carer. We were there for an hour! We had to be back on time for the mobility scooter to be picked up, you know the one that she literally hadn't even sat on! We get there and I really need the toilet, I find somewhere to stop the car where there is a sign for a toilet and park up. She screams at me asking her how I expect her to get out the car there, there is nowhere for her to go and sit. I calmly try to explain that I only want to pee then we can move but that's not good enough I need to find somewhere we can park that has seating nearby, toilet be damned. Then they pull into a single parking space with no room for me to park. I drove off to find my own parking but got shouted at for that too. I did however manage to pee which helped a little. Then she tells us we are having a chippy for tea. Neither me or the other half eat chip shop food but that is what we have to have. we therefore have to find a chip shop and when we do she makes me go and get everyones food, I then cant find them. I find them and she refuses to even get out the car which was so important to her ten minutes ago! We eat our chips and its time to drive back. Over five hours of driving to eat food that I could have gotten from around the corner from my own house!
I've had enough by this point she has totally ruined my birthday and our holiday and I go sit in our hot tub for the first time since we got there. Would you believe its at this moment that the power decides to go out!!!
The best bit of the whole holiday was the drive home. Mum decided that they were going straight home, I decided we were stopping in Fort William so after meeting them at reception to check out I didn't need to put up with her again. Fort William was great, but I got so terribly sun burnt.
Mum wants us all to go on holiday again next year - I think not!