Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Nothing if not patriotic

It was the straw that broke the camel's back. This morning I have been sent both a Facebook message from my friend and neighbour to say that it's lovely and sunny and hot in Majorca (she said she felt she ought to let me know) and a link to another friend's super-swanky holiday resort in Greece. This is on top of Softy Moore coming back from Thailand, Snooky Dougarry and her crew going to Croatia and Gaynor Raine returning from Portugal. We've just booked a week in Dartmouth.

I suppose it's our own fault for wanting to do our best for Britain. How could we possibly leave the country when the Olympics are on? Partly because the commentary on Thai TV might be difficult to follow (not that we were thinking of going there anyway) and partly because The Boy is dead against going abroad during the most expensive two weeks of the year to somewhere that might be too hot for toddler skin. Call me selfish but isn't that what Factor 50 is for? Hence the decision to staycate. I've got nothing against Devon - I love the place and grew up holidaying there - but this incessant rain is so beyond irritating now that I am losing the will to get up in the morning. And Devon is just not far away enough - with a fair wind I could probably walk there in a day from here.

All this frustration has got me thinking about previous holidays and the best and worst therein. My best holidays have always been sunny ones, bizarrely without any children.

Muscat - our first honeymoon (how many honeymoons does a girl need?)  Highlights - the sea was as warm as a bath and the beautiful oblong glass plate from the hotel room managed to magic itself out of The Boy's bag when we got home. Lowlights - I worried for months that the plate would be tracked down and that retribution would follow. Don't you get your hands chopped off for that?

India - this was our second honeymoon. Highlights - pretty much all of it. Getting Kelloggs Cornflakes in a china bowl in the first class carriage of the train from Delhi to the Himalayas. Lowlights - not getting the much-longed-for Delhi Belly despite eating in a restaurant next to a mountain of grey chicken heads and legs.

And the not so best...
Phenomenally unsuccessful for me. I didn't even try ski-ing until I met The Boy but he's rather nifty on a mountain so I felt it was a case of make an effort or lose him. Highlights - none. Lowlights - where shall I start?

1.   Broke and dislocated my fingers and tore a ligament in my right knee on a dry slope the day before going ski-ing for the first time. I was the only person flying TO a resort with a ski-ing injury. Spent all week in the chalet on my own.

2.   Tore my cruciate ligament in my left knee on the first day of my second trip. On the second day The Boy left to go up the mountain and left me with an ice pack and some paracetamol. I called him at lunch time to explain that the ice-pack had attached itself and that trying to remove it was also removing my skin. Apparently I was supposed to wrap it in a towel first but he didn't say that and I normally respond best to literal instructions. Spent all week in the chalet on my own with a knee which, once it had defrosted, looked like a chicken fillet and promptly shed its skin.

3.   Enjoying a leisurely lunch in a mountain restaurant in the Pyrenees on my third trip when the weather seems to turn and the restaurant starts to empty." I'm sure the announcement in French is saying that they're evacuating the mountain "I said to The Boy. He reassured me it was fine and that we should enjoy our long lunch and second bottle of wine. Left the restaurant to find that they had indeed evacuated the mountain due the now-raging blizzard. I managed to scramble into the last cable car down only to get trapped as the wind buffeted us from side to side hundreds of feet above the mountain-side. Almost fell out as the wind blew the doors open. I didn't find the cable car engineer shouting "Merde" into his walkie talkie or the Spanish father-of -three making the sign of the cross very reassuring. In the meantime The Boy skied down - he was, quite rightly as it turned out, more frightened of the cable car than the blizzard

4.    Trip number 4 and 6 months pregnant- arrive at departures at Heathrow to find a Matterhorn of luggage in the check-in hall. Instantly we knew this trip was doomed and sure as eggs is eggs and as sure as disaster follows me around on ski-ing holidays like a bad smell, our luggage didn't make it. It didn't make it in fact until a week after we returned. BA, in their wisdom, despite us flying to France, sent our luggage to Italy by road for sorting before sending it back again. By Road. It wouldn't have been so bad if we didn't have our first evening's meal in the suitcase. Knowing that the shops would be shut when we arrived and feeling smug for planning ahead, we had packed the ingredients for Chicken Fajitas for eight. When we were finally reunited with our luggage more than two weeks later, the chicken fillets looked like my kneecaps from trip 2.  Spent all week in chalet in the same pair of maternity jeans and wearing the same pair of disposable contact lenses.

I could go on but this is turning out to be quite a long one. Suffice to say, as I write this, I realise that actually, going to Devon is probably a good thing for me. How much trouble can I get into and what injuries can I possibly sustain? My bag should, all being well, arrive at the same time as me. The children have no chance of being sunburnt. We can watch the Olympics when (and I say when, not if) it rains and it's close enough to drive / walk home if it gets really bad.

Olympic Gold for Patriotism please.....

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