Monday 28 July 2014

Holiday Observations
HOLIDAYS are funny things, aren’t they?  Events that are saved up for all year round and then over and done with in a speedy week.  As for the vomit inducing anticipation followed by lack of sleep with massive excitement in the immediate run up to it.  Then it’s hard to settle into holiday mode as the office takes up too much head space.  Before you know it, the clothes that were so carefully laid out and packed 7 days ago, are being balled up and stuffed back into the suitcases.

You might also experience some, if not all of, the following:   

Are we nearly there?  The final destination is a whole hour and forty minutes away not including the obligatory stop to get something to eat.  A recent study has revealed the average child will ask that question approximately 27 times before you arrive.

There is way too much eating and drinking.   But you are, after all, on holidays and everyone knows weight that is gained over a short period of time will also be lost quickly.  At least, it better!

Sun burn can happen even on a cloudy day. Particularly if you are on a beach.  Wear that sun block!  You can only blame yourself if you neglect to apply it to your own skin but if one of the kids gets overlooked, then you do not deserve for the lovely lady in the pharmacy to be so nice and say, “these things happen.”  Yes, I am talking about my child.

There will be tears.  Small kids have no concept of time and how long a week really is.  They might get upset and ask to go home.  Home to their dog.  This usually happens at about 2am. 

Sand is bat shit crazy.  The stuff gets everywhere.  In your hair.  In your clothes.  God, in your clothes.  In your bed.  In your food. If you wait long enough or have drink taken and watch some, it will actually move in your direction.  Try it.

Before you know it, there will be a clothes shortage.  Despite packing 11 sports bags containing shorts and t-shirts, by mid-week the kids have worn all of the clothes into the water.  You will be stopping complete strangers for directions to the nearest Penneys to buy some more.  You are on holidays FFS and refuse to turn on a washing machine.  The laundrette costs a fortune.  Then, when you do source the nearest Penneys, all the autumn/winter stuff is in which means there isn’t a shorts or t-shirt available for love nor money.

The respectable beach villa takes on the look of a hippy commune.  All of the clothes and beach towels are strung up and over banisters, the dividing wall in the garden, the tiny clothes line and every available chair in the house.  Stiff with sand. 

Wine tastes nicer by the sea.   Or in the sea. 

The local Centra is a Mecca.  It stocks everything from mouse traps to kids flip flops, postage stamps, tin openers and absolutely everything else in between.  All at a horrendously marked up price.

There will be plenty of early wake-ups.  Resulting in yours being the only family on the beach at 7am.  Guaranteed.   And then the initial all-consuming surge of adrenalin called holiday excitement wears off.  They crash and burn.  Hard.

You will meet someone you know.  It might be 15 years since you last saw them, it could be your granny’s next door neighbour's cousin, or even the consultant who inserted your kid’s grommets.  Doesn’t matter.  It will be someone you know from somewhere.

You will forget to bring something.  Enough clothes perhaps.  Maybe even baby wipes.  And you will find something.  Possibly an entire outfit since last years holiday left in the holiday bag.  You will also lose something.  A child for a heart stopping two minutes on the beach or your sanity.

After the first three days it feels like you have been there forever.  The kids have made friends with the youngsters next door and you know exactly where to go for the best coffee and cheapest bottle of wine. 

You tell strangers the oddest things.  They only have to be tying their shoe laces and you’re informing them a beach holiday is all you can hope for really whenyouhavekids.  But you’d give anything to be able to escape for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine in the evenings.

You buy 7 postcards in the Mecca of Centras.  Chosen with considerable care, witty holiday observations are penned as you dine in the bistro bar.  Then they are stuck inside your holiday read and you end up bringing them home with you.  Stamps and all on them.

There will be at least one injury.  A thorn imbedded in a small foot, a stubbed toe resulting in some toenail being ripped off.   A sibling receiving a thump from another, someone tripping on the stairs.         

You will come home with more crap stuff than you went with.  Buckets and shovels, if left unattended, will get it on and reproduce.  Fact!

And then on your return home:

You have The Fear.   For the 3 year guarantee on your washing machine.  There is no way it will be able to cope with all the sand that got packed into the 11 sports bags.  This time you don’t have a problem visiting the laundrette.

You never want to see a fresh cod and chips again.  Imagine, the thoughts of switching on that oven and peeling a few spuds for a roast something dinner is positively appealing. 

The dog is ecstatic at seeing everyone again.  She wee’s all over everything at the sight of her humans.  You may even shed a small tear yourself. 

It’s great to be home.  Within an hour it’s as if you were never away.  And there’s nothing quite like a cup of tea from your own kettle in your own kitchen.

Who cares that there are 11 sports bags to be unpacked, that the buckets and shovels appear to have spawned overnight and there is a random kite in the mix.  How did that get there?  The dish cloth is fit for the bin because it wasn’t left in a detergent and there’s no milk.  Some seventy million fruit flies are having a party with the bananas in the fruit bowl and someone forgot to flush the downstairs loo before you left.  A week ago. 

Everyone is home.  The sun burn is now a peeling special effect, tan lines are evident and the kids begin to fight.  Because they’re bored.

But everyone agrees it was the best holiday ever!


  1. Sounds like a typical family holiday with kids! It gets easier with teens, in some ways. And I too hate sand....ugh! xx

    1. Sand and glitter. Am going to get a petition organised to ban both of them!