Categories
Dream

Reps

[This is a pilot TV episode I wrote to enter a comp. It’s my husband’s idea so my heart wasn’t in this one, and it’s meant to be a drama/comedy but the gag ratio is too low (and the gags are not funny really either). I spent a week prepping this one structurally so I hope it moves along better than other things I have written. Again with this one, nothing much happens and I think that is one of my major weaknesses I’m more interested in inner worlds than big events yet find this hard to convey on the page.]

Reps
Pilot: ‘Training’

Kateliliblog@gmail.com

INT. JAIME’S BEDROOM – NIGHT
Cuddled up together in bed after sex is JAIME, 26, a lanky
lad, a bit of a daydreamer, and EMMA, 26, short, hardy, a
doer. Jaime’s looking for jobs on his phone.
EMMA
They’ve got noro-virus on D1.
JAIME
(distracted)
Mm-hm.
EMMA
Do you ever wonder what you’ll be
doing in ten years?
JAIME
What?
EMMA
Never mind. How was work today?
JAIME
Usual, you know.
Jaime (naked) gets up to go to the bathroom. A wonky marker
drawn moustached face on his arse cheeks clearly visible as
he walks. Shuts the bathroom door.
EMMA
Jaime?
JAIME
Yeah?
EMMA
Why is there a cartoon drawing of
Hitler on your arse?
INT. CALL CENTRE – DAY
Jaime jauntily walks through the call centre to his seat, hi-fives his CO-WORKER swivels in his chair as he sits down and
pops on his head set and makes his first call.
JAIME
Hello Mrs Ferris and how’s your
cheeky self on this fine Tuesday
morning?
(MORE)
JAIME (CONT’D)
2.
My name’s Jaime and I’m calling on
behalf of…sorry, yep Mrs Felvis
that’s what I meant like pelvis but
with an F! Mrs Felvis…Ms, sorry,
have you ever thought about the
money you could save just by
switching your energy provider?
The customer hangs up (usual). Jaime’s BOSS (46, Polish,
moustache) comes out of a little boxy office to call acrossBOSS
Jaime.
Boss gestures for Jaime to come to his office. Jaime raises
his eyebrows at his co-worker as he stands up.
INT. HOSPITAL, CORRIDOR – DAY
Emma, with her hair pinned up, walks briskly along the
corridor on her way to begin her shift as an auxiliary nurse.
INT. HOSPITAL, STAFF ROOM – DAY
Emma is stuffing her rucksack into a locker. She takes her
phone from her coat pocket to put it in her bag and sees the
pharmacy branded paper bag that is in there. Shoving the
thought aside she shuts the locker.
INT. CALL CENTRE, CUBICLE OFFICE – DAY
Jaime and his boss sit opposite one another across a table.
There is a white board on the wall. The cubicle office and
the sparse furniture within is shabby and cheap.
BOSS
(Polish accent)
Late again Jaime.
JAIME
I know but my car is still fu…
He catches himself about to say ‘fucked’ and gathers himself
just in time.
JAIME (CONT’D)
…firmly stuck at the garage.
BOSS
Your trial has finished. We can’t
offer you a permanent placement.
JAIME (CONT’D)
2.
3.
JAIME
You’re kidding me. You’re joke-this
is a joke right? I was top of the
leader-board all last week. Fuck’s
sake.
BOSS
(bristling at the swear)
It’s not good enough.
Jaime, resignation setting in, opens the cubicle office door
to leave but on second thought goes back in – the call centre
floor has fallen quiet.
Without thinking about it, Jaime drops his pants and slaps
his bare arse cheeks.
JAIME
Not good enough?
Jaime waddles bent over to the whiteboard passing the boss in
close proximity to grab a marker.
He does his best to draw a face on his arse with a moustache
then moves his cheeks as if his arse is talking and in a
mocking accent…
JAIME (CONT’D)
‘It’s just not good enough.’
Jaime pulls his pants up.
JAIME (CONT’D)
You know where you can stick your
shitty little job don’t you.
Jaime walks out of the cubicle office backwards while
sticking his fingers up at the Boss.
The Boss watches on in bored disapproval.
INT. CALL CENTRE – DAY
Jaime saunters across the call centre toward the lift waving
as if walking out on stage to his audience. The rest of the
STAFF cheer and give a standing ovation.
INT. BUS – DAY
JAIME is on a packed bus updating his C.V. on a job website
via his phone. The PERSON behind him (obese, sweaty, jogging
bottoms, unkempt) coughs. Jaime wipes flecks of spit off the
screen with his thumb.
3.
4.
He gives the person a death glare. The person is nonplussed.
INT. HOSPITAL, WARD – DAY
Emma is cheerily tidying around a PATIENT’s (elderly) bed
whilst they eat their breakfast.
EMMA
See, the thing is, he keeps saying
he wants to make something of
himself but he does himself no
favours.
The patient is trying to finish their toast quickly.
EMMA (CONT’D)
I mean yeah I wipe a lot of arses.
The patient splutters.
EMMA (CONT’D)
(removing the plate of
toast)
He was the most popular boy at
school. ‘Course he didn’t look at
me twice back then.
The patient gestures to the side of their bed, still chewing.
Emma takes this as an invitation and sits down in the chair.
EMMA (CONT’D)
(sighing dejectedly)
Maybe it’s time to call it a day.
The patient is furiously gesturing to the side of the bed.
PATIENT
(gulps)
My catheter!
INT. THE KING’S HEAD – DAY
Jaime’s mum’s sawdust pub. Jaime is working behind the bar
for his mum JEN, she’s in her 50’s, overweight though it
doesn’t slow her down. Jen is unloading the dishwasher.
JEN
Run upstairs and grab me that bag
will you Jaim’? Grey one. In the
kitchen.
Jaime runs upstairs, Jen calls after him4.
5.
JEN (CONT’D)
It’s a new nightie and slippers for
nan. You know what she’s like,
doesn’t want the doctors thinking
she’s only got the one.
Jaime’s best friend SEAN, also 26, Scottish, large hands,
dark hair, walks in and sits at the end of the bar.
JEN (CONT’D)
Hiya Sean love, you alright? How’s
your mum doing?
SEAN
Alright, but she’s still referring
to him as ‘the bastard’.
JEN
Can’t blame her love can you.
Jaime runs back down and hands Jen the bag. Jen pecks him on
the cheek.
JEN (CONT’D)
I’d better go before I miss
visiting.
JAIME
Don’t worry mum I’m here anyway.
SEAN
See you later Jen.
Jen leaves.
JAIME
(To Sean)
Pint?
Sean nods, Jaime starts pouring 2 pints of lager.
JAIME (CONT’D)
Earlies is it?
SEAN
Aye. They’re always taking on mind.
JAIME
With Emma’s shifts we’d never see
each other.
SEAN
It’s boring as shit too to be fair.
5.
6.
JAIME
Well there is that. Spoken to your
dad?
SEAN
He’s moved in with him.
A BARFLY sitting at the bar gestures for another pint. Jaime
takes his glass and starts pouring an ale.
JAIME
(to Sean)
Oh mate.
SEAN
It’s more weird than anything. I
‘spose you just assume, I mean your
mum and dad are just always
together you know?
Jaime shoots him an incredulous look.
SEAN (CONT’D)
You know what I mean.
JAIME
Do you remember Sienna from school?
Sean does a grabbing boobs motion on himself.
SEAN
With the big…hair?
JAIME
Yeah that’s her. Her brother moved
to London – got a job in sales.
SEAN
Aye. Dickhead he was.
JAIME
Yeah, proper dickhead.
Heavy air as they both sip their pints.
SEAN
Well come on then lad! Go get your
laptop!
BARFLY
Every accomplishment starts with
the decision to try.
6.
7.
Jaime and Sean react as if they’ve never heard this man speak
before.
BARFLY (CONT’D)
(shrugs)
J.F.K.
INT. INTERVIEW ROOM. – DAY
(time speed scene) Jaime, sharp suit and shoes, dressed for
an interview comes in and shakes AN INTERVIEWER’S hand. Sits
on a chair, alert, interested, enthused.
A changing troop of INTERVIEWERS passes before him in a blur
as his composure slowly changes to slumped, resigned, weary.
Jaime, now in a completely different posture to when he
walked in shakes hands with another INTERVIEWER to end the
interview.
INT. JAIME’S BEDROOM – DAY
Jaime is sprawled on his bed watching T.V. Emma is on his
laptop.
EMMA
What do you reckon of this
midwifery degree?
JAIME
Go for it, yeah.
EMMA
It’s three years but you get
student loans.
The laptop pings at the same time as Jaime’s phone. Emma
reads the email faster than Jaime.
EMMA (CONT’D)
Interview Monday Jaim’! Flipping
heck this sounds amazing well done!
What about the degree?
Jaime reads the email slowly on his phone, shocked.
EMMA (CONT’D)
You didn’t lie? Jaime that’s fraud!
7.
8.
JAIME
Me and Sean had a couple, I fired
off my C.V. to a load on that job
site. Wait, London?
EXT. HEAD OFFICE – DAY
IAN 39, worn, ex rocker poured into a suit, sits smoking.
Jaime joins him in the smoking area to vape and check over
his notes for interview.
IAN
Don’t mind me I’m hanging out my
arse.
JAIME
Right.
IAN
Interview?
JAIME
That’s right yeah. I’m justJaime nods toward his papers obviously irritated. Ian stubs
out his cigarette and leaves.
INT. HEAD OFFICE – DAY
Jaime is performing a maths test on a computer in a room full
of other interview candidates.
SIAN is well dressed, slim, British-Indian, business-like,
she steps out of an office to call Jaime in to interview.
SIAN
Jaime Taylor?
Jaime removes his headphones and follows Sian into an
adjoining room.
INT. INTERVIEW ROOM – DAY
Ian stands up from the desk and shakes Jaime’s hand and winks
as he does so.
IAN
Hi Jaime I’m Ian, I’m the national
sales manager for the U.K. and this
is our HR manager, Sian.
SIAN
Hi Jaime. Please sit down.
8.
9.
Jaime’s confident composure is only momentarily shaken. They
all take a seat.
INT. HOSPITAL WARD – DAY
Emma is walking to the sluice room with a full bed pan tray.
She looks nauseous. As she gets into the sluice room she’s
looking for somewhere to throw up. Unstoppable, she vomits
into the already full bed pan tray.
Absolutely disgusted she puts the whole thing quickly into
the waste machine and runs out to the toilet.
INT. INTERVIEW ROOM – DAY
The interview is over. Jaime is looking confident. It’s
wrapping up. Jaime shakes hands with each of them as he
leaves.
INT. THE KING’S HEAD – NIGHT
It’s a lively night in the pub. There is a band on. Jen is up
dancing. Jaime is sat with Sean. Jen gets up to speak on the
microphone.
JEN
I hope you’re all having a great
night.
The CROWD cheers. Emma walks in, still in uniform.
JEN (CONT’D)
We’re celebrating in the Taylor
household tonight because my baby
Jaime has got some good news. C’mon
up here Jaim’ c’mon.
Jen gestures to Jaime to join her on stage but he refuses.
JEN (CONT’D)
Oh well I’m not shy about it. He’s
only gone and got himself a posh
new sales job in London!
The crowd cheers again, a few people raise their glass to
Jaime, the band starts playing again. Emma looks over to
Jaime, hurt, and goes back out.
EXT. THE KING’S HEAD – NIGHT
Jaime has followed Emma outside.
9.
10.
JAIME
Em’s I was going to tell you
tonight.
EMMA
So what does this mean, are you
moving?
JAIME
Don’t be daft. Come here.
Jaime hugs Emma and kisses her on the head.
EMMA
I wouldn’t kiss me, honestly. I
need to get out of this uniform. I
just came straight from work
because I wanted to talk to you.
She hesitates.
JAIME
About?
EMMA
I don’t know Jaim’ can you really
say you’re happy?
JAIME
What, with life in general or what?
EMMA
With us.
JAIME
Are you saying you’re not?
EMMA
Oh I don’t know. I’m going home.
I’ll ring you later.
Emma walks off. Jaime thinks about following but then turns
and goes back inside the pub instead.
INT. HEAD OFFICE – DAY
Jaime is in product training with a GROUP of other new
recruits. In a boardroom, Ian is presenting.
10.
11.
IAN
If watching young women playing
with old men’s cocks is something
that gets your rocks off then
you’re in luck WELCOME TO LIFE AS A
UROLOGY REP!
Some jeering from the group.
IAN (CONT’D)
Gemma we all know you love it.
A pen comes flying at his head.
But seriously -because I have to be
serious or Sian wraps my knucklesafter your training you’ll all be
out on the road like mini baby
groots working with nurses and
clinicians and our awesome Premier
Health products
Cheers and whoops from the group.
IAN (CONT’D)
…which means you need to know the
features and
Ian waves his arms in the gesture that elicits reaction. Some
of the group respond loudly.
GROUP
Benefits!
IAN
Features and benefits. We start our
whimsical journey through the world
of urology with an old faithful-the
male catheter. And don’t forget
folks, time will come when the
lovely nurses will be helping us
all with our own sheaths and
catheters and I for one would like
them to be using the best on the
market.
EXT. FIELD – DAY
Paintballing. Team building. Ian and Jaime are crouched down
behind an obstacle. Fully Suited up in paintballing attire –
mid battle.
11.
12.
IAN
Trust me don’t even give it, her –
Emma was it?
JAIME
Emma yeah.
IAN
Don’t give her a second thought.
You’re going to be neck deep in
nurses from next week. Trust me.And
Don’t go easy on the girls today
just because you’re feeling weepy.
They’re vicious!
Ian jumps up and starts shooting. Jaime follows.
Out of nowhere they get bombarded from behind. It’s GEMMA
she’s 24, bobbed dark hair, strong, fit, attractive. She’s
relentlessly shooting at them. Ian and Jaime retreat.
INT. HOSPITAL, WARD – DAY
Emma and a STUDENT NURSE are making up a bed together.
EMMA
So you’re on the bank as well?
Student nurse nods.
EMMA (CONT’D)
I wouldn’t want to be skint.
STUDENT NURSE
I get a loan too, for my tuition.
EMMA
Yeah. I’m not sure if it would just
be like working, but for free, you
know?
STUDENT NURSE
I’ve had some great placements
though. Before this I was on a
surgical ward. Get some really
gross stuff on surgical. I loved
it. It’s a bit boring here really,
easy though isn’t it.
Emma throws a sheet into the linen bin.
EMMA
(no longer friendly)
Don’t forget to change your gloves.
12.
13.
INT. HEAD OFFICE – DAY
Jaime and Gemma are picking up their company laptops and new
phones with Sian.
JAIME
Bit of an upgrade.
GEMMA
For you maybe.
SIAN
You’ve put in your forms for your
company credit card?
JAIME
(enthusiastically)
Yeah.
Gemma, nonchalant, nods.
SIAN
Have you both had the car list?
JAIME
Mine came a few days ago. It’s
mint. You’re still waiting on yours
aren’t you Gem?
Gemma narrows her eyes at him.
GEMMA
(to Sian)
It’s going to be delivered in time
for me to start calls next week.
SIAN
Good, well you’re both almost all
sorted then just need head over to
I.T.
EXT. HEAD OFFICE – DAY
Ian and Jaime are in the smoking area. Ian is smoking Jaime
vapes.
IAN
Got your car sorted?
JAIME
Yeah, amazing mate.
13.
14.
IAN
What did you get?
JAIME
Had to be the BM mate didn’t it.
IAN
Nice choice.
Gemma walks into the smoking area. She’s vaping too.
IAN (CONT’D)
(to Gemma)
Oh another cloud sucker then.
GEMMA
I just tried one of our catheters.
Ian and Jaime exchange a bemused glance.
IAN
Why would you…
GEMMA
Bit horny now like.
Ian and Jaime burst into laughter.
EXT. HEAD OFFICE – DAY
Ian, Jaime, and Gemma are all walking back indoors together.
Jaime’s phone rings.
JAIME
It’s my mum.
He answers while simultaneously gesturing to the others he’ll
be 2 minutes. Ian and Gemma go on ahead.
JAIME (CONT’D)
Alright mum?
JEN (O.S.)
It’s your nan. I Didn’t want to
bother you but I think you need to,
can you come home Jaim’?
INT. JAIME’S CAR – DAY
Jaime is driving home in his new car. He puts it into sport,
gives it some welly, laughs to himself. He’s thinking
‘somebody pinch me.’
14.
15.
EXT. HOSPITAL CAR PARK – DAY
Jaime’s parking his new car. He gets out, walking towards the
hospital while looking on his phone.
Emma gets out of her car as he walks past it. They are
surprised to see each other.
EMMA
Nice car!
JAIME
Emma. Hi. Oh yeah, thanks.
EMMA
Jaim’ we really need to talk.
JAIME
(flustered)
I know, yeah we do but it’s my nan
that’s why I’m…
EMMA
Oh God, course, which ward is she
on? I’ll walk up with you, I’m on
my way in.
JAIME
That’d be great thanks, I’m just
trying to find it on my
texts…umm…D2.
EMMA
(Gesturing toward phone)
Bit of an upgrade!
INT. HOSPITAL CORRIDOR – DAY
Jaime and Emma round the corner. They see Jen standing
sobbing in the corridor just outside a private room.
Emma holds back as Jaime rushes to hug Jen. Jaime kisses the
top of Jen’s head as she sobs. Emma walks away.
INT. HEAD OFFICE – DAY
The new recruits are being given a tour around the clinical
suites. This is where new surgical Premier Health products
are trialled on cadavers by registrar’s completing their
training.
They have plastic gowns on and overshoes and surgical masks.
15.
16.
GEMMA
(walking past Jaime)
That’s really doing it for me.
Ian comes over, surgical mask hanging off one ear. Pats Jaime
on the shoulder.
IAN
How’s your mum holding up mate?
JAIME
She cried for two days and now
she’s just getting on with it.
A clinician opens a big freezer which is full of body parts,
legs, arms, to show a small group of people.
IAN
If it gets a bit much at home just
stay in the hotel here on the
weekend, that’s what I do. I’ll
sign it off for you.
Ian absent mindedly picks up a model of a penis with a
catheter attached.
JAIME
Thanks mate.
IAN
Are you O.K? I can’t tell with the
mask.
JAIME
Yeah I’m alright. (beat) Just
wondering when you’re going to stop
fondling that cock.
Ian kisses the model before replacing it on the shelf all the
while staring at Jaime.
INT. THE KING’S HEAD – NIGHT
The pub is busy. Jen is serving on the bar with another
WOMAN. Her phone rings she doesn’t see it. We see the phone
screen – missed calls from Emma.
INT. RESTAURANT – NIGHT
The new team are celebrating their end of training with a
curry. Ian is giving a toast at the table, he’s a bit drunk
already.
16.
17.
IAN
You’ve all been brilliant these
last few weeks. You’ve gone from
baby groots on that first day you
were so tiny and wide eyed to
spreading your branches and gaining
confidence. A bit too confident
mentioning no names, Gemma, I’m
still bruised from paintballing.
GEMMA
You love it.
IAN
But honestly, I can’t wait to get
out on the road with every single
one of you and watch you smash it!
Cheers and clapping from around the table.
INT. THE KING’S HEAD – NIGHT
Jen’s phone ringing again, she sees it, answers it then goes
off to the side of the bar to speak to Emma.
JEN
Hiya love, what’s going on? Is
Jaime alright?
INT. EMMA’S FLAT – NIGHT
Emma is sat on the closed toilet seat on the phone to Jen.
EMMA
I haven’t seen him. That’s why I’m
ringing you. Could You tell him
when you see him [heavy pause] I’m
pregnant.
EXT. RESTAURANT – NIGHT
Jaime is outside vaping. Gemma comes outside to join him.
GEMMA
What’s he like. Ian.
Jaime just sort of raises his eyebrows not really conveying
much.
GEMMA (CONT’D)
I can’t wait to start shadowing
next week. Earning my own
commission. How’s the car?
17.
18.
JAIME
It’s a beast. Has yours come yet?
GEMMA
Yeah, it’s awesome. I got the BM
same model as yours. My boyfriend
was spitting feathers. Well ex
boyfriend. Just waiting for the
flat to sell.
A small comfortable silence while they smoke.
Jaime’s phone peeps and he notices missed calls from Emma. A
text: ‘I’m pregnant’. Jaime goes white.
GEMMA (CONT’D)
You O.K?
JAIME
Yeah, well no, well. It’s my ex.
She says she’s pregnant.
INT. THE KING’S HEAD – DAY
Jaime is working behind the bar. Sean is sat at the bar.
SEAN
I’m just wondering, how many model
penises did you have to play with
to get that car out there?
JAIME
And vagina’s.
SEAN
Oh! Well that makes it alright
then!
JAIME
Piss off.
SEAN
I’ve just been hanging round here
waiting for your return from the
big city with tales of nursing
homes and penile sheaths.
JAIME
Well I don’t have any. Yet. I go
out next week. How’s things with
your dad?
18.
19.
SEAN
O.K. He bought me breakfast last
week. I’m getting used to it. My
mam still hates him though. What
about you and Emma? Have you seen
her yet?
JAIME
No.
SEAN
Mate.
JAIME
I haven’t had five minutes.
SEAN
You’ve gotta go over there.
JAIME
She rang my mum.
SEAN
I know, Jen told me aye. Do you
think she’s telling the truth?
JAIME
Who, Emma?
SEAN
Aye. She’s winding things down then
you show up in a posh new car…
JAIME
Hmm. You staying for another?
SEAN
Nah, early start tomorrow.
INT. THE KING’S HEAD, UPSTAIRS – DAY
Jen is counting the till up. Jaime is talking to her.
JAIME
Mum, are you alright?
JEN
35, 40, 45, 50. Yes love fine why?
JAIME
Just with nan and I know you’re
arranging everything for the
funeral.
19.
20.
JEN
It’s been a bit stressful. As much
as I miss nan, she was very old
love. Are you ok? Have you been
over to see Emma yet?
JAIME
If you need a hand mum I’m always
around.
JEN
(stopping counting,
suddenly very serious)
Listen love. This new job is a
massive opportunity. You make sure
nothing gets in your way ok. I mean
it. Nothing.
They hug.
INT. EMMA’S FLAT – MORNING
Emma is in her uniform. Stood in the bathroom having just
done a pregnancy test. She puts the positive test in the
cabinet with the other positive tests.
INT. JAIME’S CAR – EARLY MORNING
Jaime is driving along a motorway. His phone is in a cradle
on the air vent.
A text from Emma flashes up ‘Are you coming round?’
INT. HEAD OFFICE – DAY
Jaime is working at a desk on a computer. Ian walks in.
IAN
You’re keen! Come on then.
INT. JAIME’S CAR – DAY
Jaime is driving. Ian is in the front seat holding a Krispy
creme box.
IAN
Tip no 1 always bring doughnuts to
nurse training. Are you excited?
JAIME
Yeah!
20.
21.
IAN
(shouting)
Are you going to smash it?
JAIME
Yeah!
Ian whacks the radio volume up.
INT. LECTURE HALL – DAY
Jaime stands wide-eyed and nervous in front of the room full
of NURSES about to deliver his first training session.
END
Tag:
INT. CHURCH HALL – DAY
Ian is at an AA meeting in an old church community hall. The
GROUP are sat in a semi circle on chairs.
IAN
My wife left me. She took the kids.
INT. HOTEL ROOM – EARLY MORNING
Jaime is just waking up. He’s on one side of the double bed,
the other side looks recently evacuated. The door is being
opened. Jaime looks bewildered. Gemma comes in with take away
coffees.
GEMMA
I guessed your order. See you
later.
Gemma walks out.
JAIME
(calls after her)
Thanks.
EXT. CLINIC – DAY
Emma is in the clinic car park crying in her car.
21.
22.
(CONT’D)

Categories
Dream

Deserted

[This is 6 pages of a 30 page half hour drama episode I wrote. It’s based on a story my mum once told me about her childhood. Names have been changed. I like the beginning, and the 60’s setting. I hate that it’s too wordy, and you may notice there are no character descriptions either, that wasn’t on purpose, just in error.]

EXT-DAY-LONDON STREET
(1963) MARY (age 11) is running fast along the street. We
see her legs. She is wearing knee high white school socks
and shiny school shoes.
INTERCUT WITH:
INT-DAY-BARBARA’S HOUSE
ELEANOR (10) and her mother BARBARA are engaged in a
pushing pulling fight.
INTERCUT WITH:
EXT-DAY-LONDON STREET
Mary is still running. We can see more of her now.
INTERCUT WITH:
INT-DAY-BARBARA’S HOUSE
Barbara slaps Eleanor round the head.
BARBARA
You horrible child.
Eleanor manages to pull free and gives a scornful look back
at her mother before going out the front door.
BARBARA (CONT’D)
Running away?
Door slams.
BARBARA (CONT’D)
It’s in your blood.
EXT-DAY-RESIDENTIAL GARAGES
Eleanor is sat on the floor snivelling into her knees. Mary
rounds the corner after all her running. Mary’s uniform is
clearly more smart and tidy than Eleanor’s.
MARY
Mother says you are to come home
now.
ELEANOR
Not until she apologises.
Mary walks over to Eleanor to sit beside her. She puts her
arm around her. They sit for a bit. Eleanor lifts her head
to look Mary in the eye. They share a camaraderie. Mary
gets up to leave.
MARY
Your supper will be cold.
INT-NIGHT-BARBARA’S HOUSE
Mary is washing up while keeping an eye out the window for
Eleanor. Barbara is watching T.V. in the other room.
EXT-NIGHT-RESIDENTIAL GARAGES
Eleanor is still sat by the garages waiting. She has
stopped crying. It starts to rain. She indignantly walks
home in the dark.
EXT-NIGHT-BARBARA’S HOUSE
Eleanor looks up at the looming dark house. She tries the
front door and is surprised when it opens. She creeps
inside.
INT-NIGHT-BARBARA’S HOUSE
Eleanor quietly closes the front door, puts the chain on
and creeps through the house upstairs to the sisters’
bedroom in the attic.
INT-NIGHT-SISTERS’ BEDROOM
Eleanor sits on the edge of her bed to remove her shoes and
gets under the covers still in her damp uniform.
MARY
(whispering)
Did you put the chain across?
ELEANOR
Yes.
EXT-DAY-LONDON STREET
Mary and Eleanor are walking home from school together.
2.
ELEANOR
He was so angry! And then he said
‘Miss Kempson, have you heard any part
of what I have just said?’ And
sweet as a kitten I said ‘No sir,
sorry sir.’
Mary and Eleanor giggle together. They stop outside their
grandparents terraced house on the street.
ELEANOR (CONT’D)
Hi bald head went bright purple I
swear. Come to Nan and Granddad’s
with me.
Mary gestures to her pile of books.
MARY
I’ll stay out of her way.
The sisters hug.
EXT-DAY-NAN AND GRANDDAD’S HOUSE
Nan opens the front door seeing the girls standing outside
and waves to Mary as Eleanor walks up the path toward her.
Eleanor and Nan go inside the house.
INT-DAY-NAN’S KITCHEN
Eleanor seats herself at the kitchen table and sets out her
homework while Nan prepares vegetables at the kitchen
counter.
NAN
Corned beef hash.
ELEANOR
Yum.
Granddad walks in and kisses Eleanor’s forehead as he sits
down.
GRANDDAD
No Mary?
ELEANOR
She’s mithering about her essay.
GRANDDAD
Ah. Well you pay attention to your
sister. It’s you next. Eleven plus
in a few months.
3.
ELEANOR
Mum said I won’t pass.
Nan and Granddad exchange a glance.
GRANDDAD
Any tea on love?
NAN
Just there.
Granddad pours the tea from a teapot on the table.
GRANDDAD
Have you showed her yet?
Nan turns from the counter and places an airmail letter on
the table in front of Eleanor.
ELEANOR
Dad?
EXT-DAY-BUSY INDIAN STREET
Robert (Dad) is rushing along the street to a business
meeting.
ROBERT (V.O.)
Mam, Tad. Hope this letter finds
you well. Business in Delhi is
good. I have been been highly
commended while I’ve been here.
CUT TO:
INT-DAY-DELHI OFFICE
Robert is conducting a small business meeting in the
offices.
ROBERT (V.O. CONT.)
The food is not as bad as you
imagine and I’m quite used to
dining in fine hotels with my
associates.
CUT TO:
INT-DAY-HOTEL ROOM
Robert is seeing a pair of clients in his modest hotel
room. He has cases of hearing aids out on the bed. A woman
4.
(Dorothy) steps out from behind a curtain partition and he
looks flustered as he introduces her. The clients make
excuses and leave. Robert and Dorothy kiss.
ROBERT (V.O.)
Not sure how long I will be out
here. The deal I’ve been
spearheading will be coming off
soon and I’ll need to be around
for that. I know these letters are
taking 3 weeks to reach you but I
hope you are all well. Send my
love to the girls.
INT-NIGHT-GIRL’S ATTIC BEDROOM
Mary is on her bed with her books strewn around her doing
her homework. Eleanor is listening to the radio. They each
have a lamp. The noise of a party drifts up from beneath
them. Eleanor turns the radio up.
MARY
Turn it down she will hear!
ELEANOR
She doesn’t care.
Mary gives up trying to study and puts her books away. She
gets into bed and turns off the lamp. She turns her back to
Eleanor. Eleanor turns the radio off.
ELEANOR (CONT’D)
Mary?
MARY
Hmm?
ELEANOR
What do you think will happen?
MARY
Usual. They’ll drink, there’ll be
a row, mother will take to bed and
I’ll have to clear the kitchen to
make breakfast in the morning.
ELEANOR
When we’re old enough to leave.
Mary turns to face Eleanor.
MARY
Leave where?
5.
ELEANOR
I don’t plan to stay here any
longer than I have to, do you? Why
can’t we live with Nan and
Granddad?
MARY
You have to get into grammar
school like me. If I can just pass
my exams then I shall be off to
university to become a lawyer. Can
you imagine Eleanor?
ELEANOR
You’re so clever Mary if anyone
can…
MARY
You’ll be there soon enough,
following me round like a little
lost lamb.
ELEANOR
I will not. (beat) I think the wig
will suit you by the way. Hide the
funny shape of your head.
Mary pulls a face at Eleanor as she reaches over to turn
out her lamp.

Categories
Explore

Bridges

Bridges
by
(Kate Davies)
Kateliliblog@gmail.com
(+44)7716 656 239
21st May 2020
INT. OPTICIANS, DOMINIQUE’S OFFICE – DAY
DOMINIQUE (50’s, slight of frame, glasses, curly hair) is
examining a patient’s eyes in her office. Door knock.
SHOP ASSISTANT
Dominique, sorry, could you check a
fit when you get a minute?
DOMINIQUE
Yes sure let me just finish up in
here.
INT. OPTICIANS, SHOP FLOOR – DAY
Dominique checks the fit of a CHILD’S (about age 8) glasses.
She feels all around the glasses frame while the child is
wearing them. At the nose, behind the ears.
DOMINIQUE
Close your eyes.
Child closes their eyes.
DOMINIQUE (CONT’D)
Open them.
Child does as told.
DOMINIQUE (CONT’D)
Lift your chin. Poke out your
tongue.
Child does as told. Dominique winks conspirationally at the
child’s MUM (30’s).
DOMINIQUE (CONT’D)
There now, don’t you look silly?
But the glasses fit great. Do you
love them?
The child nods emphatically. Dominique signs a form, nods at
mum and walks away.
INT. OPTICIANS, STAFF TOILET – DAY
Dominique stares at herself in the bathroom mirror. Nose
touching the glass staring eye to eye. Steps back, turns
sideways on as if looking for something different. Thrusts
her chest forward/back again.
INT. DOMINIQUE’S HOUSE – DAY
2.
Dominique gets home after work. Her dog excitedly jumps all
over her.
DOMINIQUE
(to the dog)
Yes, yes, O.K. O.K. C’mon then
let’s go.
EXT. BEACH – DAY
The dog runs ahead on the beach, Dominique walks. She sees a
group of outdoor swimmers in the sea. Their brightly coloured
swim caps bobbing a little way out.
INT. HOSPITAL, CHEMO WARD – DAY
Dominique is having her first chemo treatment through a pic
line. She looks small in the chair. Blanket over her lap,
lazily flicking through a travel magazine.
INT. DOMINIQUE’S HOUSE – DAY
Dominique’s home is cottage like, small. She works on a
hanging artwork. She ties pieces of glass to a driftwood
frame.
INT. GP’S OFFICE, WAITING ROOM – DAY
Dominique sits in a busy waiting room. Most people are on
their phones but her and one CHILD. The child (about age 5)
looks bored. Dominique crosses her eyes at the child. The
child laughs but is nudged to be quiet from her adult.
G.P RECEPTIONIST
Mrs Waters?
DOMINIQUE
Ms.
G.P RECEPTIONIST
Room 2 please.
INT. G.P’S OFFICE – DAY
Dominique sits awkwardly in the large office. There are
pictures of the GP with her wife and children on a shelf.
G.P
…and with your family history, we
can be hopeful that we’ve caught it
early but we won’t know until
further tests.
2.
3.
INT. HOSPITAL, CHEMO WARD – DAY
Dominique pauses to look out of the window. A NURSE comes
past and begins the process of finishing up Dominique’s
treatment.
NURSE
There how does that feel?
DOMINIQUE
Fine, actually yeah. I’m a little
cold.
NURSE
The first one is the worst. That’s
you all done lovely. Have you got
someone coming to pick you up?
DOMINIQUE
I’ve got a taxi booked. I’ll be
fine. Thanks.
INT. DOMINIQUE’S HOUSE – DAY
Dominique rushes into the kitchen and throws up in the sink.
EXT. DOWNTOWN FORT WORTH, TX – DAY
BEA (50’s, voluptuous, bold dresser) leads an antigun protest march in downtown. She holds a placard of a
picture of her son ELIJAH (16).
EXT. BEA’S BACKYARD – DAY
Bea hosts a BBQ at her home for everyone from the march. Her
and her husband’s home is expansive. Bea is chatting and
laughing with people.
INT. BEA’S BEDROOM – NIGHT
Bea is propped up on pillows in bed reading an art magazine.
The bedroom is colourful and stylish. Her HUSBAND (50’s,
bald, tall, big framed) comes in from the en suite bathroom
and gets into bed with his back to Bea.
BEA’S HUSBAND
Venice again?
BEA
Yes honey, again. You should come
with me one time.
3.
(MORE)
4.
EXT. VENICE, DOMINIQUE’S APARTMENT – DAY
Dominique stands drinking coffee, nightshirt, bare feet,
glasses, on the little balcony of her rented apartment
admiring the view over the rooftops. She takes in the sounds
of Venice, she looks happy and relaxed.
EXT. VENICE, WATERBUS – DAY
Dominique gets on the vaporetto. She stands on the deck to
take pictures. The winds whips her hair. Most people are sat
inside. Bea is already on the waterbus, sitting on the deck.
She nods towards the people inside.
BEA
(to Dominique)
They’re all missing the view.
Dominique smiles and nods in agreement.
EXT. VENICE, WATERBUS STOP – DAY
The vaporetto stops with a bump at the Arsenale stop. Bea
gives Dominique a small wave as she exits the waterbus.
EXT. LA BIENNALE ART EXHIBITION – DAY
Dominique admires a giant sculpture of hands when she spots
Bea nearby. She nearly walks away but at the last moment
decides to go over and say hello.
DOMINIQUE
Impressive scale don’t you think?
BEA
Oh hi! Yes, yes it is.
DOMINIQUE
He did a similar work at the last
Biennale. Quinn.
BEA
I would love to take this home with
me.
DOMINIQUE
It wouldn’t fit in your hand
luggage.
Bea laughs loudly at this.
BEA
Yes I suppose you have a point.
(beat)
(MORE)
4.
BEA (CONT’D)
5.
Hey have you got dinner plans this
evening?
INT. RESTAURANT, BAR – NIGHT
Bea is waiting at the bar as Dominique enters. She’s on her
phone.
DOMINIQUE
Hello.
BEA
Hi!
Bea gets up and envelops Dominique in a hug. Dominique is
stiff with awkwardness.
DOMINIQUE
Sorry I’m late.
BEA
No I’m early. I’m just replying to
messages – the time difference.
DOMINIQUE
Oh my God I’ve just realised I
didn’t get your name earlier. How
embarrassing.
BEA
Don’t be embarrassed, I’m so glad
you came. It’s Bea, you know, like
Queen Bee – well that’s what my
husband says anyway. Drinks?
Dominique takes off her scarf and her over-shoulder bag and
gets tangled up a bit.
DOMINIQUE
Um yeah, yeah a drink would be
great.
Immediately the BARMAN presents two very flamboyant cocktails
that he has been preparing as they spoke.
DOMINIQUE (CONT’D)
Oh wow.
INT. RESTAURANT – NIGHT
Bea and Dominique are seated at a table. They chat easily
over drinks and empty plates.
BEA (CONT’D)
5.
6.
DOMINIQUE
I don’t know if maybe I’m just a
bit of a picky person really.
Bea guffaws at this.
DOMINIQUE (CONT’D)
I mean he burped. Full on burped.
Right there at the table.
BEA
(laughing)
That’s really not you being too
picky.
They both come down from their laughing, there is an easy
lull in the conversation.
DOMINIQUE
Ah, dating at 50. You really need
to have a good sense of humour I
can tell you.
Bea has gone suddenly quiet. She looks down in her lap. The
atmosphere has changed.
DOMINIQUE (CONT’D)
Bea?
(Beat)
BEA
I lost my son.
Dominique sits stunned, not knowing what to say.
BEA (CONT’D)
It seems so awful to meet someone
new and not talk about him.
DOMINIQUE
I’m so sorry.
BEA
Elijah. He was 16. He was killed at
school. You’ve probably seen his
face on the news.
DOMINIQUE
That’s, that’s just. Oh Bea. I’m so
sorry.
6.
7.
BEA
So I’ve said it, I’ve said his
name.
There is long silence between them. It’s not awkward.
DOMINIQUE
I’ve got breast cancer.
BEA
Oh…
DOMINIQUE
(intercepting)
I lost my mum to it. But that’s
good. Not my mum dying…it means I
might have caught it early at
least.
BEA
I’m sorry.
Dominique raises her glass to Bea as if to say ‘C’est la vie’
and takes a sip.
BEA (CONT’D)
You know what? I think we need to
be bolder now. For them. Step out,
do some crazy shit that makes you
feel alive.
DOMINIQUE
I don’t know if I would.
BEA
Live spontaneously…like take all
our clothes off and jump in the
canal.
DOMINIQUE
I’m not sure if I would really.
BEA
What’s to lose? That’s the reason I
had the courage to ask you to
dinner. And you know what, I’m
really glad I did.
They both raise their glasses in a ‘cheers’ gesture and both
take a drink.
7.
8.
INT. DOMINIQUE’S HOUSE – DAY
Dominique fiddles with an artwork, her laptop beside her. An
email from Bea pings up and she opens it. There is a long
previous email thread. Dominique sends a selfie of the two of
them at the restaurant.
EXT. DOMINIQUE’S HOUSE, FRONT DOORSTEP – DAY
Dominique answers the door. Bea is there with her case. The
taxi drives off behind her.
BEA
Surprise!
Dominique does look surprised. They hug, a big hug, the dog
jumping around them excitedly.
INT. DOMINIQUE’S HOUSE, CONSERVATORY – DAY
Bea is admiring Dominique’s art while Dominique makes them
tea in the kitchen.
BEA
Oh Dominique you really have been
hiding your light under a bushel.
These are just gorgeous.
INT. DOMINIQUE’S HOUSE, KICHEN – DAY
Dominique makes a face in a ‘whatever you say’ sort of way.
DOMINIQUE
So you’re going from Heathrow
tomorrow is it?
BEA (O.S.)
Really Dominique, how are you not
selling these? Yeah just a one
night quick stop…
Bea makes her way through to join Dominique in the kitchen
and sits at the kitchen table.
BEA (CONT’D)
Couldn’t come all the way to London
without popping in – is that what
you say?
DOMINIQUE
That’s right, and now you can try
some proper English tea. Ta-da!
8.
9.
Dominique presents a fully loaded tea time tray with a
teapot, tea cosy, etc. Bea claps her hands together in glee.
BEA
Ooh this looks amazing!
DOMINIQUE
It’s the tea cosy that does it.
BEA
Go get your laptop over here
Dominique I am getting your work
online. Right now.
DOMINIQUE
You can’t just put them online.
BEA
Yeah we can. I’ll show you.
Dominique looks at Bea, unsure.
Bea gets up, gets the laptop off the kitchen side and brings
it over to the table. She opens it and swivels it toward
Dominique.
EXT. DOMINIQUE’S HOUSE, DOORSTEP – DAY
Bea and Dominique bid a fond farewell with a big hug. Bea
holds Dominique’s hands in hers and clenches them tightly
before leaving.
INT. DOMINIQUE’S HOUSE – NIGHT
Dominique is happily cooking a meal, following a recipe on
her laptop, music is on. She checks the time and then emails
Bea to tell her she has had the all clear at the Drs.
Continues cooking the meal/dancing while she does.
A response email from Bea pops up. It’s from her daughter
telling her Bea has died suddenly from colon cancer.
Dominique grabs the laptop to look at it again, more closely.
She slouches to the floor in shock. The music still plays.
INT. CHURCH – DAY
Bea’s funeral. The church is packed. Everyone is wearing
black but with a fleck of bright colour. People grieve
openly. Dominique is hiding a bit at the back. Uncomfortable.
A picture of Bea with her son Elijah is front and centre of
the church.
9.
10.
EXT. CHURCH – DAY
Guests are filing out of the church. Bea’s husband touches
Dominique’s arm as she passes.
BEA’S HUSBAND
Dominique?
DOMINIQUE
Sorry for your loss.
BEA’S HUSBAND
She loved you.
INT. OPTICIANS, DOMINIQUE’S OFFICE – DAY
Dominique idly checks her sales site online while she eats
lunch.
She has made a huge commission.
She jumps up in shock, screeches, mouth full of sandwich,
then clasps a hand over her mouth and embarrassed, although
there is nobody else around, sits back down.
EXT. BEACH – DAY
Early morning, dawn. Dominique throws a ball for the dog. She
picks up a piece of glass and puts it in her pocket. The wind
whips her hair, it’s drizzling rain, the beach is deserted.
Dominique looks out to sea. She donates a big sum ($1000.) to
an anti-gun violence charity on her phone. She takes a deep
breath as she closes her eyes and begins to undress.
She walks down the beach naked. Picks up pace. Runs into the
sea. The dog jumps about on the sand barking and yapping.
Dominique is laughing and throwing the water around,
exuberantly jumping about in the waves.
END
10.
11.

Categories
Planning Travel

When can we Travel from the U.K.?

Our Greece holiday was officially cancelled this week. We had only paid part of the deposit and thankfully it was fully refunded with a quick phone call to Tui. Even though it was inevitable, I still felt a little bit sad.

I couldn’t help but think back to when we were all sitting in the holiday shop together booking it. The kids chose the hotel because it had an awesome looking water park and we even upgraded the room and treated ourselves to a swim up one. My daughter who is 10 was especially really looking forward to jumping in the pool first thing in the morning right outside our room. I’ve never stayed in a swim up room before and I was looking forward to a bit of luxury for a week too. Even more than that, almost 3 months into lockdown and the thought of someone cooking tea for a full week seems like some kind of unobtainable fantasy! 

Lockdown Lifted?

As some of the restrictions that have been enforcing lockdown life in the U.K. are being relaxed a little, people are understandably looking to get their summer holiday plans back on track. While the rules slightly differ between England and Wales about what we are and are not allowed to do, international rules apply to all. Whereas some countries like Italy are open and welcoming U.K. tourists, others are being more cautious due to the high Covid-19 infection and mortality rates we have experienced here in the U.K. Some countries are not allowing travellers from the U.K. or the U.S. while travellers from other countries are welcome. Other places like Madeira for instance, are open to tourism again, however, travellers will be tested at the airport before they can gain entry. 

Socially Distanced Holidays

After you’ve thought about how to drill the kids about not playing too closely with their new friends in the pool and other guests pushing in the queue at the buffet table while you try to keep 2m between you and everyone else, you have to also consider the quarantine rules in place upon your return home. Currently the line is 2 weeks of self imposed isolation at home for anyone entering the U.K. from travel abroad. That may well be imaginable now while the majority of people have become used to working from home but we don’t know how things will look by mid-August, and whether or not people will be expected to go back to work. In which case, how will that play out? Would people have to cancel their holidays because they can’t just take 2 weeks of work to isolate, and then where would they stand with regard to a refund if all international travel is officially back on? As with everything so far it seems as though we’re all just feeling our way forward as best we can for the time being.  

Can I Travel from the U.K. Yet?

More information on the rules around self quarantine upon return to the U.K. on the ITV website here. We can expect these rules to be in place until at least the 29th of June 2020. 

A detailed synopsis of different countries current policies regarding tourism is on the CNN website here.

I hope you manage to sort out your travel plans. For us we have so far missed out on 4 trips/holidays this year (2 family breaks and 2 individual trips). Although I’m absolutely gagging for a trip away somewhere (anywhere!)  I’m grateful that things have worked out the way they have for us and that we have been able to be at home together and safe amongst the turmoil. 

Stay safe all. 

Kate. 

Check out my About page.

Categories
Family Life

Life in Lockdown

Ah friends! What is going on in the world right now eh? It’s all gone a bit Pete Tong hasn’t it. I’ve been hiding and hibernating in my house along with the rest of the nation and so I haven’t been thinking much about travel. 

I’m sure by this point there are things we’ve all missed out on, lots of things no doubt. For me, I’ve missed a couple of trips and holidays. A weekend break to Paris over the May bank holiday although that was already cancelled from when Flybe went bust. We had a family week away to Chester booked over the Easter half term which had to be cancelled. I was looking forward to that one, I’ve never been to Chester and we were talking about driving up to Liverpool for a day out as part of it. Sophia and I missed out on our Disney on Ice girls day trip we had planned to Cardiff and Rich is meant to be away to Spain right now on a boys golf weekend. All of which we’ve thankfully had refunds for.

Of course, it is what it is and it’s a small thing in comparison to what is going on at the moment. Looking forward, it seems our family holiday to Rhodes will be cancelled at the end of June also. So instead I’ve just been watching some old travel vlogs and a lot of T.V.! If you fancy a dose of travel inspiration you can see which travel vloggers I watch on the RESOURCES page.

Rich has been working so it doesn’t feel like my life has been all that different as lame as that sounds, except no school runs (yay!). We’ve done the equivalent of a whole summer with no day trips at all which to be fair, is very unusual for us. Normally we go somewhere most weekends, a national trust place or a visit to Bristol to the zoo or the ship. Throughout the week during the summer holidays while Rich is in work I would usually take the kids out somewhere at least twice a week, Penarth pier or again, a national trust place (God bless the national trust). That could be the most middle class thing I’ve ever said but I stand by it. But if we imagine every week of the last 8 has been an average working week then it doesn’t feel much different to normal for me. 

Things I have been doing since the lockdown:

  • Avoiding the news in the main
  • Reading 
  • Writing – prompts from a book about writing and entering monolgue comps on Twitter
  • Running 

Things I have been doing differently since the lockdown:

  • Wearing clothes from the back of my wardrobe that I like but would never wear in public
  • Taking care of our new guinea pigs
  • Watching vlogs about how to care for guinea pigs (ask me anything guinea pig related) 
  • Video calling my friends once a week. This has kept me going some weeks to be honest and it’s nice to catch up with them weekly, usually I’d see them about once a month. 
  • Drinking a lot of gin. First time we’ve actually made a dent (well me, solely) into our alcohol cupboard. 
  • Homeschooling. It’s very different to the homeschooling I did before. This is more like completing the tick boxes so I feel like my kids aren’t behind their peers. Homeschooling is more relaxed and enjoyable for both parties. 
  • Exploring my local area more through running and walking. 

There have been times when I have felt that I should be using this time more wisely, I should be planning future trips and researching places to visit but I have found it difficult to think past the current moment. I gave myself a therapy session and came to the realisation that it’s my mind’s way of taking care of myself. Sort of like a protective barrier, just to think about now or the very next thing, like lunch. So that’s what I’ve done. 

I hope you’re going easy on yourself too, and are safe and well. 

Categories
Dream

Dream Plan Explore: A Family Travel Blog

Dream Plan Explore is a family travel blog. I’m Kate, wife to Rich and mum of our two children aged 10 & 4. Would my friends describe me as an avid traveller? No. But would I say I’m quite well travelled? Well no. But I am really good at day-dreaming about travel, in fact it’s my favourite hobby along with blogging. Trawling the skyscanner and air bnb websites is my idea of relaxation and I’m really good at planning. The exploration is the best part. Children are natural born explorers so travelling with a young family is more fun than people think (once you get over what people think). 

Yurt Free Zone

You won’t find us staying in a yurt village BBQ-ing goat meat over an open fire but still, I do gain a great deal of self value in sharing new experiences with my kids. Taking them on holiday makes me feel like I’m being a good mum, basically.

I love showing them new countries and the different ways people live while learning alongside them. Whether that’s ordering a warm croissant in a boulangerie in Paris by prodding enthusiastically at the sneeze guard glass or something as uncultured as meeting Daisy and Goofy for breakfast at Chef Mickey’s. Not all my posts will be about food I promise. I’m just hungry while I’m writing this. 

Day Dreamin’

I’ve always been a bit of a day-dreamer and 99% of those day-dreams are about travel. Places I’ve never seen and places I long to visit. So Dream Plan Explore is a place for me to write them down, store ideas for later planning, and share our family travel memories too. 

Under the Dream tab you will find fantasy posts about all the places I haven’t been to but have heard about and been thinking about since. Like Rio de Janeiro (thanks Pixar). 

Itinery…Itinerary…Itin…plans

The Plan tab will be full of city break itineraries for city breaks with kids plus mini break ideas and tips for travelling with kids. We’ve been to Walt Disney World Florida as a family twice and have another trip booked for 2021 so you will find Disney planning posts under the plan tab too. I’ll include a post about flying long haul with young children because I know a lot of parents feel the doom about it. 

Explore is the best part, here you can find posts about all the fun things we’ve done and the places we’ve been. You can look at the pics to see what it’s really like because my photos are very much ‘mum on holiday’ and not so much ‘I carried a big lens around with me all day that I know how to work properly’.

Yes I will be letting you know if they have a kids menu and if it has chicken nuggets on it. I wish my kids didn’t eat chicken nuggets but they do so let’s just be kind. I’ll give an idea of how easy it is to be there with children in general (Bristol airport I’m side-eyeing you as one of the few U.K. airports without a children’s play area). Also under the Explore tab will be posts about our days out in South Wales and Bristol to give you some ideas of places to visit with your family. 

Been There, Done That.

Last year was a good year for visiting new places. I did 2 mum’s only weekends away with friends without any of our children. Which was a Christmas miracle in itself, friends. One to Venice which was jaw-droppingly stunning and one to Dublin. Although I got blind drunk in Dublin so didn’t see much of it. All the more reason to go back. I did a couple of nights easy-jetting to Newcastle with my daughter to visit my friend. We went to center parcs for a long weekend in summer. Our big family holiday was to Walt Disney World Florida in October which I planned for 18 months prior. And loved every second of it.

Some of the more memorable day trips we did were to Bath Christmas market and the S.S. Great Britain ship in Bristol, and scouted out a banksy round the corner from it too :). 

Don’t mention the C word

This year let’s be honest travel is not looking healthy. I have unfortunately already had to cancel a city break to Paris with my daughter and our friends due to Flybe going bust. We are currently right in the thick of things with the corona virus (at the time of writing March 2020) so booking any travel is off the table for the time being. That just means more time for day dreaming about new destinations. Especially if we’re all stuck in self quarantine.

Later in the year we have a family holiday booked to Rhodes so you can expect some lovely beachy pics, hopefully. Rich is going on a golf mini break to Spain (although it might be U.K. based with the way things are at the moment). I might ask him to do a dad guest post about that. Though I imagine it will be quite boring.

Never say never.

Your travel dreams don’t have to collapse along with your pelvic floor! Squeeze! There are ways of getting out there and exploring new and exciting places.  Let’s do this! And to those travel families out there staying in yurt villages; thank you. I devour your vlogs. Keep em coming. 😉 Never say never!

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Categories
Disney Planning

Plan Your Walt Disney World Holiday

I had no idea where to start with writing about the most magical place on earth – Walt Disney World.

Should I do a post about planning? Best rides for kids? Perks of staying on Disney property? Best shows to see? Best snacks? Disney dining plan? I had no idea where to begin. So here’s an overview of our holiday just for starters. We went to Walt Disney World Florida for 11 nights in October 2019. We are a family of four and our children were aged 9 and 3.

Magic Kingdom Disney
Main Street U.S.A.

Flights to Orlando

We booked with Tui and flew premium with them from Gatwick to Walt Disney World. We stayed overnight at Marriott Courtyard which is Marriott’s like budget sibling and I wouldn’t recommend it. While the main communal areas are very lovely the rooms are really dated, the beds well used (and ours was dusty which sounds really snotty but it is a bit off putting).

Tui fly to Sanford Orlando and not to Orlando International like other airlines (Virgin, Norwegian are some you can use for International). Tui now fly from Bristol to Sanford Orlando so if we went again we would definitely go from Bristol.

Sanford Orlando is about a 50 minute transfer to the Walt Disney World area whereas International is only about 30 minutes. Sanford is a much smaller airport so there’s less queuing. However, Sanford was looking really outdated on this trip and I think they are in the process of upgrading some of the areas.

The kids were awesome on the plane. We spent a bit extra to go premium and it was so worth it. I thought it would be like economy extra with a bit more legroom but it was much better. The seats were really spacious and comfortable, the food was lush and we got a little night pack each with a mini toiletries kit. Very posh service with prosecco and orange juice served before take off and alcohol included (though I’m T-total now after my last trip to Dublin but that’s another story). It was lovely and nice to not feel so cramped for the 9.5hrs. Another added perk of Premium is you can use the No1 lounge in Gatwick which has free papers and buffet breakfast included.

Choosing a Disney Resort

We stayed at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort which is a moderate resort. They have value resorts (pop century, art of animation etc.) moderate resorts (Caribbean Beach, Port Orleans etc.) and deluxe resorts (Grand Floridian, Animal Kingdom Lodge etc.). Disney are really good at taking care of their guests so you won’t be disappointed if you choose to spend the extra to go deluxe. We visited the Grand Floridian and the Polynesian and they are jaw dropping resorts. Equally, as the Disney customer experience is at the centre of everything Disney do the moderate resorts are lush too.

Caribbean Beach Resort Photo Credit: Disney Photopass
Caribbean Beach main pool photo credit: Disney Photopass

Staying at a Walt Disney World hotel means you get perks such as free Disney transport between resorts and parks, and you can book your dining reservations and fast passes for the rides a bit further in advance.

Disney Skyliner flying over Caribbean Beach Resort
Disney’s Skyliner

We’ve stayed at the Caribbean Beach before so we knew we would love it. It was lush to see it again but this time with an upgraded lobby and brand new restaurant Sebastian’s which we enjoyed so much we ate at twice.

Disney Parks

Our first day was straight to Animal Kingdom which was our favourite park on our last visit but also to meet up with Rich’s cousin and her family who had gone out a few days before us from Manchester.

Photo Pass spot at Animal Kingdom
Cousins

All of us love Animal Kingdom. It’s African themed and it’s very leafy which means shade (which is something you’re in constant pursuit of in the Florida heat) and gorgeous to walk through. My little boy is 3 and animal obsessed so it was his favourite place and he kept asking throughout the rest of our holiday if we could go back to ‘the zoo’. Pandora world of Avatar is also at Animal Kingdom. The floating mountains are eye-popping and the theming there is something else.

Pools

Florida is 5 hours behind the U.K. (it was when we travelled but Florida does change the clocks in October too so check your dates) for the first few days we found we were all awake super early. We’d visit the parks in the morning and be back to the hotel (and A/C) by about 3pm. So we mixed busy park days with hanging out at the hotel pool. Caribbean beach is a big resort divided up into villages. Each village has it’s own pool along with the big main pool which has slides and a toddler splash pool. Everyone is allowed to use any pool but we find the village pools are usually really quiet and easy to get to from your room.

Our holiday was 11 nights so we got to go to most parks twice. So you can kind of split the big rides between 2 days rather than trying to get everything done at once.

Personal Disney Highlights

Some highlights for me were Soarin’ which I’d never been on before. I loved that, that’s at Epcot. I really enjoyed the food at breakfast at O’Hana but my favourite character meal was Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary which was just far and away the best one we did. Ooh there’s so much I loved! The Frozen Ever After ride at Epcot was amazing and we also all loved the Na’vii river journey ride at Animal Kingdom but I had seen that on so many vlogs before I went I felt like I’d been on it already!

Entrance to Chef Mickey's at Disney Contemporary Resort
Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary Resort
Goofy at Chef Mickey's
Chef Mickey’s
Disney magic
Disney Pirates of the Caribbean ride
Frozen Ever After Ride
Disney Epcot ball lit up at night

Rides for little ones

My daughter really enjoyed going on some of the faster rides this time and she loved 7 Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom. My son also loved the rollercoaster he went on called the Barnstormer at Magic Kingdom and he’s still talking about it. I didn’t rate The Haunted Mansion (sorry to all the die hard fans of that ride) which was a shame as it was one I was looking forward to. It did break while we were waiting though and we were crammed into this hallway which wasn’t much fun. I just thought it needed a bit of an upgrade into 2019.

The Haunted Mansion ride
Not scared honest
Disney 7 dwarfs mine train ride
space ranger spin ride

Disney Magic is Real

There is so much to say about a Disney holiday. It’s like no other holiday I’ve ever been on. It’s jam-packed busy but jam-packed with magic. You bound from one experience to the next like an excited puppy with the help of the lovely cast members in anticipation of what’s next. What amazing thing can top the look on my child’s face on that last ride? And there’s always something that does. Then just when you’re beginning to believe that Disney magic is actually real suddenly BLAM you’re on the plane home and it’s all over. No sooner have you touched down than you’re on airport wifi looking up deals for your next visit. Then your 3 year old looks up at you with hazy eyes and says “Are we back in the real world now?”

Main Disney Takeaways:

  1. Don’t fret about the ages of your children there’s really so much to see and do for all ages.
  2. The Disneylife app is essential, showing maps, wait times, plans, reservations and your photo passes.
  3. The Skyliner is awesome! Make sure you try it.
  4. Cast members make Disney. They all know their stuff and have degrees in how to speak to children.
  5. Don’t worry about queues. We didn’t queue for longer than 15mins for anything. Use your fast passes and away to go!
  6. If you can get a Disney dining plan definitely do it. The food is very pricey and it’s great to have it all pre-paid. It just takes away the stress of trying to get the best value for your money at each place.

Memories Made

All of these photos were taken by the very talented photo pass photographers working across the parks and experiences. If you are not sure about buying memory maker I would say to do it 100% . It’s so easy, just tap your magic band and lovely family pics (with you all in) go straight to your app. Keep an eye out because you might catch a deal where you can get memory maker for free with your park tickets like we did.

I will be doing other posts all about Disney soon. I know I read blog posts and watched vlogs like it was my job before we went. Partly for planning but mostly just for the excitement of the build up.

More Disney…

If you would like to see more of our trip you can watch our vlogs here.

If there is anything specific about going to Walt Disney World you would like to know about tell me in the comments below and I’ll include it in a post.

Comment on one of my Disney pics on Instagram to let me know when you are going to Disney.

Watch our vlogs of our Disney trip here: YouTube

AJ over at Disney Food Blog is such a great resource for all things Disney.

Enjoy your Disney planning! It’s half the fun!