"I have an announcement" Bill declared causing the whole family plus David to freeze and stare at him half-way through eating dinner. "I have booked a ten day holiday for the whole family including Caddy, Michael and Carlos"
"Oh, how wonderful Bill Darling!" Eve exclaimed.
"Wicked" Indigo agreed swallowing his mouthful of food.
"Is it sunny?"
"Oh, Darling Daddy"
"Is David coming to?"
Bill looked slightly awkward. "I had invited David..." he said slowly. "But apparently his mother is already taking him on holiday"
"Family reunion" David shuddered, "Mum has now deemed me to have changed into a more responsible person that she can actually be proud off"
"I don't think you changed that much" Rose remarked.
"Rose!" everyone but Eve hissed.
"In fact apart from loosing some weight and gaining a bit of a backbone you're still the same old David"
David smiled. "Thank you Rose. I'll keep that in mind during the next family bitching about me"
"Oh David Darling, please do mind your language. Rose has only just turned twelve" Eve said.
"I'll be thirteen soon!" Rose growled.
Bill shuddered. It had been hard enough as it was to deal with Caddy as a teenager. She had been an emotional wreck. A constant rainy day with all her crying. Then Saffy became a teenager and caused thunder storms with her temper. Now it was nearing Rose's turn and with her temper already he could see tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis and twisters heading his way. It was going to be his toughest challenge and his worst nightmare all rolled into one.
"Anyway," he coughed gaining everyone's attention, "under some extraordinary circumstances I have invited Tom instead. He was supposed to be visiting us anyway and this way his grandmother doesn't have to worry about feeding him as well as the cats"
"Seriously?" Indigo blurted out.
"Yes," Bill nodded, "it's cheaper that way. Carlos' costs are minimum because he is a baby and we needed an even number of adults. Tom will be sharing with you Indigo, Saffy with Rose and the rest is obvious"
"Where are we going?" Saffy asked.
"A little Greek island with a lot of medieval history. It's called Rhodes"
"Roads?" Rose repeated. "We're going to be staying in a car?"
"Not roads, Rose, Rhodes. It's an island and we'll be staying in a good quality hotel with a swimming pool and easy access to the beach"
"I can't wait already. When are we going?" Saffy asked excitedly.
"Next week. Tom arrives on Sunday and we leave the Wednesday for an afternoon flight. Gives him some time to recover from his jet lag"
"We're going to need to buy Rose a new swimsuit" Caddy pointed out. "She outgrown her old one and has been using it as an excuse to avoid swimming"
"Traitor" Rose growled causing Caddy to smile innocently. Rose knew that one day Caddy would get her revenge on the whole telling Michael about Buttercup thing. She didn't realise that Caddy would be so evil...
"It's about time you learnt to swim anyway, Rose" Bill said sternly.
Deciding that this was a conversation she wanted to avoid, Rose pushed her plate to David and walked out of the room heading to her own bedroom.
Ignoring her father's shouts as usual.
"Eve Darling" Bill said looking exasperated. "You can't just take a bag of paints and a swimsuit. You need evening wear and some day clothes at least. Please try to set a sensible example to our children"
"Oh, Bill Darling" Eve sighed flapping her hands, "I just don't know what to take or leave behind. I never stayed somewhere so hot and far away. Can't you pack for me, please darling, I just don't know what to do"
Bill tried to remain unnerved by Eve's wide almost tearful blue eyes. But unfortunately Rose had inherited and perfected this particular look a long time ago and Bill could never say no to it for long. He sighed a long, slow, suffering sigh before giving her his best smile. "Of course Eve dear. I'll start after I check on the others why don't you relax with a nice Diet Coke and catch up with Tom?"
"That would be lovely, lovely, lovely..." Bill watched slightly amused as Eve continued to hum the word under her breath as she headed down to the kitchen.
Truthfully he didn't mind packing for Eve. It meant he could chose her clothes for her and though her style is very casual hippy, she did have some beautiful skirts and blouses that he loved seeing her in.
A brief check in with the others assured Bill that Saffy was well packed, if a little too much luggage and Indigo was sorted as well. Rose however was too busy glaring at her new swimsuit. A simple black takini with pale pink lining. Like her glasses, everyone was waiting for her to hide it and never take it out.
"Pack it" he said.
Glaring at him, she huffily stuffed the swimsuit into her suitcase along with a few skirts and shorts, t-shirts, a nightie and some wash stuff. "Done" she said slamming the suitcase shut.
"Suntan lotion? Hairbrush? Toothbrush? Towel? A book to read?"
"Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes" Rose said rolling her eyes. "Daddy, is this going to be like going to New York?"
"No Rosie Pose. Rhodes is much closer to England, only a four hour plane ride and it's much, much hotter and sunnier"
"Do I really have to swim?"
"Yes. I don't want you to drown if a boat sank"
"I won't be on a boat" Rose grumbled before running off down the stairs where Tom was now playing his guitar loudly.
The phone rang and there was a moment of silence before Saffy shouted up the stairs, "Bill! Caddy doesn't know whether she needs to pack a cot for Buttercup or not!"
Bill rubbed his temples. This was going to be a long couple days and that's just for packing.
God have mercy on him.
Eve forgot to lock the doors – both back and front - , left the bathroom window open, the lamp in her shed on and forgot her purse. This had made it difficult to even leave the house let alone get to the airport. Upon arriving Manchester Airport, they were delayed as they waited for the equally scattered brained Caddy to arrive with Michael. The check-in took forever as they were stuck in the back of the queue and Bill ended up threatening to confiscate Tom's guitar to get him, Indigo, Saffy and Rose to behave.
Security went smoothly until Bill's own belt had set the alarms off and he was forced to be scanned by security guards.
Then Eve lost her passport which turned out to be in Buttercup's mouth. "I'm so sorry Mum, he's taken to just putting anything in his mouth. It's most distressing when it's something sharp and pointy"
And then when Bill was looking for the departure gate, they lost Rose. When they finally hunted her down it was time to board the plane. Bill kept a firm hand wrapped round Rose's wrist and Eve's hand so neither would get lost. He would have to rely on Michael to keep Caddy safe which unnerved him because he never really got on well with Michael and never really trusted the man.
By the time they were strapped in Bill gave a deep sigh of relief as England faded out into a small spot of land and they were in the sky.