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Competition: win over £450 of brilliant summer reads

(191 Posts)
KatGransnet (GNHQ) Mon 04-Jul-16 10:56:05

Whether they're for enjoying in the garden, the park, on the beach, on a plane (or hiding from the rain on the sofa - oh the joys of a British summer) we reckon you can't beat a cracking summer read...we've rounded up some of the best - fiction and non-fiction - picked out by the people who publish them over on our Summer reads 2016 page.

If you'd like the chance to win all these amazing books (worth over £450!), simply tell us about your holiday disasters.

All eligible posts (i.e ones that answer the question!) will be put in the (straw) hat and a winner chosen at random at midday on Monday 1 August.

Usual terms and conditions apply.

Grannyknot Mon 04-Jul-16 14:16:07

Er, what is the question please, or am I missing something? I do see an instruction grin

CariGransnet (GNHQ) Mon 04-Jul-16 15:11:30

Lol - see above simply tell us about your holiday disasters.

louiesgran Mon 04-Jul-16 16:37:15

Has to be the time we went to France. Driving back to ferry were hit by a deer. Car radiator smashed. Recovery truck driver spoke no English. Ended up at a garage near our starting point. French holiday- no hire car for miles. Taxi to hire car. Left hand drive automatic. Missed ferry. Booked on later one. Drove at silly speed to Calais. Entered through cargo doors as passenger doors shut. Taxi at Dover at the wrong time due to time difference. Go to Heathrow for hire car. Error with hire car- none available. Give us anything!! Heathrow to York in Fiesta. Glad to be home.

Auntieflo Mon 04-Jul-16 17:51:10

My holiday disaster is that I wrote a post, but it has disappeared confused

joannapiano Mon 04-Jul-16 19:29:13

When DH and I were 19, and engaged, we hired car and went to Cornwall for 5 days. We stayed at a B&B and it rained for 3 days. On the fourth day I went down with Chicken Pox and we had to drive home to London. I felt awful,spots were developing by the minute and I had a high temperature. We nearly reached London, when the car broke down on the South Circular. Eventually my dad came in his car to rescue us. We have never been back to Cornwall.

grannylyn65 Mon 04-Jul-16 20:26:12

Well, was in New Zealand and at the airport a 'sniffer' dog went crazy at my bag, instantly was surrounded by heavily armed police and taken to a side room. A nectarine ( I thought I had eaten them) had rolled into the corner. They believed me and was 'let off ' with a $200 fine.
At Los Angeles I got singled out of the queue and taken to where they had a machine thingy, they then produced a piece of sticky tape which they rubbed my clothes and bag, then put it in the thingy. 'What are you doing' ?said I , testing for explosives said they! 'Why Me? ' said I
'Oh its random ' said they!!

Nandalot Mon 04-Jul-16 21:25:13

When I was eighteen, three of us went to Spain in a bubble car! (This was the sixties). Everything was fine on the way there but we found the coast road on the Costa Brava extremely hairy. Hairpin bends clinging to steep cliffs. Fortunately we decided to cross the Pyrenees using the main route as one of the three wheels of the bubble car fell off and we lost control.

mbody Tue 05-Jul-16 07:17:12

Going for some "guaranteed" winter sun in Lanzarote and ending up jamming towels under the door to stop the rain flooding in. Sheltering in bars watching the water stream down the road. A very wet week!!

goose1964 Tue 05-Jul-16 08:36:35

coming home from Barbados our taxi broke down, then our plane was delayed & we were told we would be put up in an hotel in New York and have a guided tour the next day before flying home 24 hrs late but when we got to JFK we were rushed onto a waiting plane & arrived at Heathrow & after waiting at the carousel found out our luggage was still in JFK ( complete with coats) and we had to travel home by train ( think freezing cold stations) in light summer clothes. Only plus side was that they couriered our cases home

catsbig2oo Tue 05-Jul-16 10:33:52

Getting on the wrong plane and going to the wrong destination they realised I was on the wrong plane So I quickly got on the correct plane and then the flight was disrupted because of technical reasons so I couldn't go out to Portugal until the next day so I lost a day when I did go to Portugal I had rising damp in my hotel room and I got stuck in the hotels lift for an hour and I'm claustrophobic as well and at the end of the holiday I got food poisoning

annodomini Tue 05-Jul-16 11:15:05

48 years ago, camping trip in Kenya. We drove from Nairobi north to the Samburu reserve, where we had to drive through a river - after all, I had a watertight VW Beetle. After we pitched the tent and lit a fire to deter nosy wildlife, fiancé began to feel unwell. He was clearly feverish and sweating profusely but shivering. I asked if he had been taking his anti-malarial tablets. I might have known he hadn't. After a very fraught night, during which there was a thunderstorm and the river rose, I took the tent down and found a massive scorpion under where I'd been sleeping! He summoned up the strength to drop a rock on it. Then I had to drive my precious Beetle through the river which was much deeper than the previous day. We reached the opposite bank and waved goodbye to the elephants which were bathing downstream. Five hours later we reached a doctor in Nairobi who confirmed my diagnosis.

philatel Tue 05-Jul-16 11:41:36

My holiday disaster - although it turned out not to be such a disaster in the end - was on holiday to Kenya. Our 1st night was spent at the famous Treetops - and after unpacking, we all rushed out with our cameras to film the elephants coming to drink. Woe woe woe - my camera shutter completely stuck! I am talking pre digital cameras here. I put a new battery in but it still didn't work. I was heartbroken - to think of 3 weeks on safari in Kenya without being able to take any photos. And, because it was a safari holiday, there were no shops where I could buy another camera - none on sale even in the hotel shops! But my saviour was my friend's husband - who is a keen photographer and had more than one camera with him. He lent me one of his very expensive/precious cameras for the whole holiday. I was paranoid that I would damage it but this had a wonderful outcome. I had the most beautiful photos I have ever taken on a holiday - thanks to him. Since then, I have always tried to have 2 cameras with me - even if one is a very cheap one.

marpau Tue 05-Jul-16 12:47:42

As we were flying at 6pm I went to work in the morning finished at 1 in time for my waxing apt only to find the lady was ill with chicken pox! Had to make hasty alternative arrangements. Ever the trooper got home decided not to have anything to eat as would be having a meal on the plane got to the airport to be told flight time had changed to 7.30 ok checked in went for coffee glanced at info board flight was delayed to 9.30 this increase by 30 mins at regular intervals. By 10pm decided we needed to eat as restaurant closed at 10.30. Eventually at 11 pm someone from the airline appeared with vouchers alas there was only 1 coffee bar open! We eventually boarded at 3am arrived at hotel at 6.30 am and went straight to sleep. When we awoke and explored we found hotel was on a triangular plot so pool area was always in the shade we started each day with a lengthy trek to the beach! Worst holiday ever incidentally have never used this tour company again

Molly10 Tue 05-Jul-16 12:50:19

Loving all your stories.

Fortunately we have had no real shockers like the above but there are a couple of things:-

When in Spain we did a coach day trip to Gibraltar. As we were driving out of the coach park on to the carriageway, which was taking a long time due to traffic jams, there was a loud bang and the bus shook as if we had crashed into something. Needless to say we caused even more traffic jams. After much yabbering on the phone by our driver and various others they managed to get the coach back off the road and we were marched together to semi shade under a few little trees and two seats between about 40 of us. It was a blistering hot day. We were told very little initially but eventually were told it would be several hours to get any other transport here to pick us up...not great.

Another time while waiting for a connecting flight home in Paris there was a delay so we decided to browse round the duty free to kill time. We must have enjoyed this shop a little too much as loaded with goods and just about to be served I glanced at my watch and realised that the time had passed the renewed boarding time. Now the prospect of missing this flight after a long journey and wait did not thrill. We must have looked like bank robbers, after expletives, as all shopping baskets were dropped where they were and we ran, fortunately not chased, to the boarding area. Fortunately we were met by smiling airport staff apologising for the further delay and we were not the last there...phew!

Liz46 Tue 05-Jul-16 15:15:05

On honeymoon in Turkey 23 years ago, we both got food poisoning. Unfortunately the en-suite had a glass door into the bedroom!

Maggiemaybe Tue 05-Jul-16 15:59:37

We were in the middle of a lovely holiday in Florida. Walking into the hotel room I saw my three DC opposite me shaking sand out of their sandals over our balcony. Knowing we were directly over the hotel entrance door I rushed forward to stop them. Straight into the closed glass balcony door I'd forgotten about in my panic. I smashed into it at such speed I was propelled backwards across the room and onto the bed, where I lay blubbering with my hands over the nose I was sure I'd broken. The rest of the family stared at the Turin-shroud-like imprint of my sunscreen-greasy face on the glass and held back their tears of laughter for at least 30 seconds.

jeapurs54 Tue 05-Jul-16 20:56:19

I remember when as a family getting ready to go on holiday we had family mum, dad, myself and my boyfriend (dad towing caravan) and my brother behind towing a small speed boat. Everything was fine and we were all excited - after driving for a few hours my brother flashed his lights and we slowed down and pulled into the layby only to find that the wheel on the trailer that the boat was on had come off. We were all shattered thinking holiday disaster, luckily my dad who at the time was a bit handy where cars were concerned - he managed to fix it (temporary measure) until we arrived at holiday destination and got a proper repair done. We all had a good time after that but hearts in mouths at the time that no-one was hurt. Happy Days Many moons ago.

littleowl Wed 06-Jul-16 06:10:20

Our main holiday involves touring on the motorbike. There is always a chance of a disaster which is what makes it exciting. It usually involves being caught in torrential rain/storms/lightening etc. More than once we have had to abandon a holiday because of the weather.
However, a couple of years ago whilst in Croatia (yes we rode there from UK), My husband decided to wash the bike. He put it on the side stand on some soft ground and it crashed over, damaging one whole side of the bike along with the handlebars/contriols.. We had to ride back to Britain with only half a bike so to speak. Needless to say, we made it into a joke and still take our bike on holiday every year.

Grannyknot Wed 06-Jul-16 07:28:27

Not-long-married husband and I were going away for a week. I packed my bag, he packed his and I put mine next to his on the floor. Arrived at the holiday let, no sign of my bag - he assumed that the independent, strong woman that he'd married would load her own bag into the car ... grin

hummingbird Wed 06-Jul-16 10:18:39

Picture the scene... We arrived into a beautiful, cool Majorcan hotel room, looking forward to a welcoming cocktail. It was a hot, cloudless day, and I could see the sea glinting from the balcony window. I couldn't wait to get out of my travelling clothes and into a cotton dress, or my shorts. I opened the case with a happy sigh, to find not my holiday clothes, but case full of stored winter jumpers that Mr H had taken down from the loft and then loaded into the taxi, leaving our beautifully packed holiday case on the landing. No toiletries, no sun cream, NO BOOKS, just thick, warm, woolly jumper after thick, warm, woolly jumper. Good job he had his credit card with him.
Lucky Mr H......

lindarumsey Wed 06-Jul-16 10:40:34

I went on holiday to Crete with a friend and she got a bad case of sunburn on the first day.She smothered herself in natural yogurt to ease the pain, but we both fell asleep and the yogurt curdled. No amount of showering and airing the room removed the awful, sickly smell that we had to put up with all week!

gillybob Wed 06-Jul-16 10:44:55

Money was very tight when DH and I married. I had 2 small children (from previous marriage) and out of the blue my mum offered to look after the children for a week so we could have a honeymoon. Now my mum offering to babysit at all was a minor miracle in itself so DH and I decided that we would have a week away somewhere sunny.

Excited at the prospect of a whole week alone together we put ourselves in the hands of our local travel agent. We explained that this week was to be our honeymoon and would probably be the only holiday we would have for a very long time. The agent said she had the ideal place in mind.

Disaster One
Unbeknown to us my mum and dad had arranged a half bottle of champagne for us on the plane, but our surname is weird a combination of 2 names and another passenger (with one half) claimed it (although we had no idea until we got home).

Disaster Two
We arrived in Las Americas (Tenerfife) to find it raining and very cold. It was March and having never been abroad before I had been led to believe it would be lovely and warm and hadn't packed any jumpers or rain coat.

Disaster Three
Arrived at "hotel" in the early hours to find it locked up for the night. We later found out that a holiday rep had put a note on the door telling us where to go but it had gone all soggy in the heavy rain and had washed away. We spent 4 hours lugging a suitcase around waiting to get into the hotel.

Disaster Four
We finally got into the dump hotel and were given keys to a cave room with 2 moulded plaster beds (one at either side of the room). I had never seen a bed made from white plaster before (and haven't again) but we managed to laugh wondering how we would manage to "you know" in a moulded plaster of paris bed. We were in love after all.

Disaster Five

We spent the first night in the hotel from hell lying miles away from each other in a plaster of paris bed with no suitable clothes. My new husband announced that tomorrow we would trawl around looking for somewhere else to stay. In the middle of the night we heard some strange noises and DH announced that he had felt powder sprinkling down on his face. I told him that he was dreaming so he turned over and fell back asleep. About an hour later we heard a huge crack and the ceiling fell in right over his head. Apparently the heavy rain had been collecting on the roof above our cave room and the weight had caused it to give way.

Some honeymoon that turned out to be! grin

kathw12 Wed 06-Jul-16 10:48:42

We were booked on a Carribean cruise really looking forward to it we'd been on a few cruises before and loved them. Flew from Manchester to Chicago no problems. Had to collect luggage for transfer to Fort Lauderdale again went smoothly or so we thought! Arrived at Fort Lauderdale my luggage arrived but DH didn't no sign at all. Poor hubby had no undies toiletries summer clothes nothing! Case didn't arrive at overnight stay in hotel so we bought some stuff at the hotel shop but all touristy stuff which he hated. I'm trying to stay positive but not easy with a hubby who wanted to get on the next plane home. Anyway got to cruise ship and they loaned him shoes shirts shorts and toiletries-luckily our first stop there was a men's shop open (everything else was closed) so the credit card got hammered! Can't begin to list the stuff that went 'missing'! So now there's no way DH will ever travel again to the States.
I was just thankful it wasn't mine that disappeared! 😉

patton Wed 06-Jul-16 10:57:31

Husband and I went to Florida 'The Sunshine State' a few years ago. It rained every day, and on one day we had such strong winds, the locals said it was close to a Tornado going through. We went to Sea World Florida and all the rides were closed down while a storm passed through. The bonus was that it was warm and it didn't take long to dry off each time.