Thursday, 26 May 2016


If I could shed a stone for every time someone said to me, ‘I would love to be a fly on the wall for a Bhatia family holiday’, I would finally achieve my goal of being a bog standardly normal shape.  

Because of course the shipping off of the fat Kardashians of Leicester for the annual Dubai jaunt conjures images in equal measure hilarity and hysteria. And you are not wrong my friend.

It all starts about a month before the blessed occasion whereby Annie increases her daily whatsapps telling me all the lotions and potions that are totally necessary for the trip: Dior this, Guerlain this, Lancaster that,  La Prairie this - all the essentials for that elusive golden glow.  And inevitably once the ridiculousness dies down we divulge that we have not been as healthy as we should have been considering the clock is ticking until we bare all on the beach. A salad we say. The dressing we convenient leave out. Along with the bread roll we had with the salad… and half a doughnut that was sent into the office. Ok fine, I ate the whole doughnut.

Then comes the holiday wardrobe. It’s surprisingly colourful, despite my daily black parade. My holiday alter ego is one part travelling gypsy, one part Navajo Native American and one part Indian princess, obvs. A plethora of kaftans, ankle bracelets and floating chiffon – Chloe girl on carbs I like to call her. By this point I am like...

The day before the family holiday there is always, always an argument, which culminates in, ‘Fine, I’m not even going to come on this holiday!’ We kind of take it in turns as to who gets the dramatic final line, and depending on who it, the ending goes a little something like this... A slamming of the front door as they fumble for the car keys to drive off Fast & Furious style (but really you go to the Waitrose carpark and sulk), a kicking of the suitcase as they silently endure a stubbed toe, a slightly primal scream and a call for Chester to reassure themselves that someone still loves them. Sometimes I go for the grand trifecta - The Holy Grail of tantrums. 

Of course we all end up going on the holiday, no one is sacrificing the tan and the comfort of Jumeirah Beach pillows for the sake of pride, that’s certainly not the Bhatia way.

And so comes the holiday day – it’s all shouting and hustling to use the bathroom for the last minute leg wax and deep hair conditioning, a scramble for the good suitcases (heaven forbid you get left with gaudy Ralph Lauren suitcases, whilst Baz nabs the Mulberry).  Ever the over prepared Annie is showered, packed and has applied the most glamorous face of make up an hour before we need to leave. I on the other hand have at this point realised I’ve left all my sandals in London packed the wrong swimming costume and looking for my all important anklet, am essentially wearing pyjamas and I’ve missed a patch of wax on my legs.

Finally all suitcases are lined up ready to go: Baz’s might as well have just brought hand luggage. His suitcases comprises simply of a capsule Ralph Lauren collection and all the apple gadgets – that includes four pods, one of which is purely dedicated to Bruce Springstein. Poor Geeta gets lumbered with all the sun care (and there’s a lot of it), the first aid kit (this is mainly for my accident prone ways), a very sensible collection of classy clothes and cooler cossies than mine. Then comes Kimmy K Annie. Her suitcase is actually busting with every make up item you can ever imagine, 8 pairs of shoes (for a 7 day holiday) and 4 blazers – obvs essentials only. For the very first time I came in under weight, simple packing maths really - more floaty dresses than one person should own and 20 pairs of pants, just in case.

The taxi arrives and Baz fumes at the weight of Annie’s case – which she very generously pretends is mine and so I have to endure to wrath of sweaty Baz complaining that I can never pack light. Bullet one, taken. Baz is in a strop because he’s already hot (we are still in 14 degree Leicester at this point), Annie’s in a strop because Baz shouted, I’m in a strop because for once I packed light and no one patted me on the back for it, and Geeta’s in a strop because she’s realised she has to spend a week with these idiots. A silent car journey to the airport ensues.

Now for a wise (ish) man, BBB is a TERRIBLE traveler. He has no idea about anything. It’s all a barrage of questions, annoyed sighs and angry quips at how far we have to walk (I wonder where I get it from?) I lead the pack with the check-in because Baz doesn’t understand that we have already checked in online – he ums and ahs over upgrading himself and leaving the rest of us in cattle. But I assure him that if he doesn’t take me with him in Business our alliance on this holiday is over. Before Baz blows the best part of a Rolex watch Geeta gives him the eye of, ‘You guys have got to be fucking kidding me’ and we all pipe down back to the reality that we are total brats.

Time to get on the plane and THANK GOD it’s basically empty. I dart for the window seat, Annie the toilet seat, Baz his own row entirely and Geeta as far away from the madness as possible. 7 hours of alone time, bliss.

Touch down in Dubai and it’s already 35 degrees…at 7am. For once we manage to get through passport control (without fear of Annie being deported for being a sasspot), get our luggage and find our driver with considerable ease. Spirits high for the sunshine and deliciously cool water that awaits.

But of course it wouldn’t be a Bhatia holiday unless a drama very quickly unfolded. We arrive at Jumeirah Beach Hotel, my fave spot in Dubai. The food, the pool, the beach, the rooms, the views, THE PILLOWS – it’s what dreams are made of. Annie and I swipe our room cards and dash up to not waste any tanning time, begin to unpack when there is a knock at the door, ‘Excuse me madam you have been moved to another room.’ Annie and I look at each other with silent knowing, ‘Baz’. Dear Darling Dad has been up to his old upgrading tricks – despite me giving him a talking to saying please don’t make us move rooms precisely 24 hours before.

We reluctantly pack our bags and are shipped up to another room. And there he is, Baz, wit  a big grin on his face, ‘Look what my friend sorted for us’. At which point Diva Billie, having not slept for 24 hours, was unleashed. The room, as lovely as it was, was exactly the same as the one with had previously been usurped from – except the shower was smaller and the views weren’t as incredible. I know, I know, I am a bad person. At which point mum and Annie (feeling the same way but more gentle in their approach) went back to see if we could have original rooms. Strop like I sat in the room whilst the fire went off the hotel was evacuated. Is this what parental nightmares are made of? That your children might turn out like me? I apologies in advance if they do. Just put it down to be strong minded (read: stubborn asshole).

Third move of the day and we were all back to our original rooms, Baz is throwing the mother of all strops and the rest of us bolted to the water to avoid a telling off.

Sun, sea, pool, cocktails and no split contact lenses things could only get better, right?!

Stay tuned...

Fatty BB xxx

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