‘I can honestly say that, thanks to the family fights, this year’s summer holiday was the best we’ve ever had,’ said Janet Wilshaw, speaking from the step of the family’s caravan parked in the driveway of their bungalow in Coventry. ‘Bert and I had a few disagreements, the twins came to blows several times, and naturally we all fell out with Bert’s parents. So, except for the weather, which could have been better, we all had a brilliant time.’
Bert Wilshaw said the holiday got off to an ideal start when the ten-year-old twins started arguing in the back of the car as they left the house. ‘You couldn’t ask for better than that,’ he said. ‘I’d hardly pulled out of the drive and they were already going at hammer and tongs about who should have the iPod.’
‘Course,’ continued Mrs Wilshaw, ‘that set Bert’s parents off moaning about the noise. Well, I had to say something about their attitude, so even before we’d left Coventry, Bert and I weren’t speaking. You already felt you were in the holiday mood.’
Mr Wilshaw’s father, Graham (78), agreed that the holiday was the best he could remember. He said: ‘Over the years, I’ve been on many a family holiday with Janet and Bert and the twins, and we’ve had some proper set-to’s, I can tell you, but this year was a blinder. I don’t think we stopped rowing for a moment. Even when Edna and I were at daggers drawn and we’d had moved out of the caravan into a hotel over whose turn it was to do the washing up, we had a blazing row over something or other on the mobile.’
According to the twins, the highlight of the holiday was when, in the middle of Newquay’s Fore Street, the whole family had a row about the shortest way to the caravan site. ‘Grandma was crying,’ recalls George, ‘and Granddad was waving his walking stick at Mum and Dad, who was having a go at me for laughing. Rover was snarling, and my sister Jenna started kicking me for no reason. A load of people were watching and cheering. It was really cool. A five star holiday, I’d say.’
‘Yeah, I’m afraid there’s no way I can argue with that,’ Jenna said.