HELLO! We took a bit of a holiday, of sorts. From writing n’that. So that’s what we thought we’d talk to you about. Missed you – wish you were here! x
I love holidays. The anticipation. The tiny toiletries that make you feel like a giant. The getting there. The Airport. The service station. Luggage convener belts. New smells. Airplane food. Holiday food. Food. Foreign people. Foreign animals. FUNNY MONEY. Food. Hotels. Bright stars. Donkeys. 99’s. Caravans. Fish and Chips. Paddling. Sand Castles. Food.
I’ve got such fond memories of my holidays as a kid, it always seemed so hot and hazy even when we were holidaying here in the UK. I remember going to Ibiza before it got all clubby I was only 5 or 6 and I remember having sword fish and loving it and some of the best chips I’ve ever had. We went to Spain and my Dad made me eggy bread for the first time, straight after I was chased by a dog as big as a small horse down an alley way. He turned out to be ok though and would often dine on Dads left over eggy creations. I remember going to Austria and eating pate and french bread in the town square and the South of France where I had crepes with cream and chocolate sauce and Dad spilled his whole stack down his cream chinos and Mum got cross.
The caravan holidays in England with my big brother and Sister and our family friends. Crying when I was 5 cos I was too small to get in the under 18’s disco. Crazy golf. Cheap wax work museums. Amazing Cornish Ice creams. Going to a miniature village at night and thinking it was the most magical place ever. Hiring bikes. Picnics. Swimming in the sea. Gift shops, Oh god gift shops were so exciting, I’d have my five pounds in one of them plastic money holders round my neck and get to go in and choose ANYTHING I wanted, that was heady.
Now I’m all grown up and have kids, holidays are slightly different, two bored kids in a caravan on a wet grey day isn’t really that relaxing. You have to watch them ALL the time to make sure they don’t get killed or maimed and they’re ALWAYS hungry. I had this great idea to take them on Holiday by myself. It will be AMAZING. We’ll have so much fun. Just me and the two boys. So I hired this converted Double Decker Bus for two nights and off we went. I was comforted by the fact it had WiFi. I have internet therefore I have adult company, I’ll be fine.
The WiFi didn’t work though and when we got there the kids fucked off with a load of other kids and I was left sitting in a bus like Billy no mates. There was a perfect family in the pitch next door, they had bikes, fishing rods, goal post, the Dad was a twat though (sandles and socks) they looked at me sitting outside my bus alone and the look they gave me was pity. It was at this point I thought what the fuck have I done?? Things did improve though, we played with the toy cars racing up and down the hill, we took bubbles out into the woods and found an old swing, had a picnic and in the evening we dined on pizza and chocolate mousse.
That was about four months ago now, the other day my littlest chimp who is 3 came up to me and said ‘Mummy you remember our holiday on a bus, it was the best holiday EVER’. It occurred to me that they’d always remember that and although I found the whole thing (all two days of it) a bit meh, they loved it and will remember it forever and that’s what it’s all about really isn’t it. So next year I’m taking them away for a whole week to a working farm, I’ll get them money holders and give them some cash for the gift shop and I’ll buy them cheesy moments at the welcome break “What do you mean you don’t like them, they taste like feet?? Just bloody eat them you ungrateful child” Only this time I’m taking someone, two adults, two kids. Odds are even. We’re gonna create some amazing holiday memories even if it kills or maims us.
I like being a nester – being happy at home, knowing where all my stuff is and that I have everything/everyone I might ever need around me or readily available, but holidays are too brilliant. I love exploring new places. I love getting lost in foreign towns. I like wandering off of the beaten track and discovering and views and buildings and birds and OH GOD I WANT A HOLIDAY RIGHT NOW. Fortunately, I’m due one in the next few weeks. More of that in a bit.
Holidays make you feel generally different. A break. That’s the point. Not always necessarily in a good way – anxiety, nerves, apprehension – I’m not the happiest flier – but there’s always the promise of something magical. Adventure. The unknown. The idea that anything could happen and you could see anything or do anything or wear a bikini and not care too much because the people who have to witness the wobble will most likely never see you again…
I’ve had all kinds of holidays. I’m grateful for that. We couldn’t really afford mega-awesome holidays to Disney world and the like when I was younger, so we drove to France, every year, to a cute flat my Aunt & Uncle own. When I think of summer, that’s what I think of. The smell of that flat, the little village square, the year my brother ran along the side of the pool and screamed as his leg fell down an uncovered spike-filled drain, the year we got caught in a tornado whilst eating outside – aaaah. Family time.
It’s been ace going back there as an adult, too. Taking friends there now is a real treat. But this year, for a reason I have yet to fully figure out, I decided to go on my own. When I booked my flights, it was on a bit of a whim. I wanted a break, and didn’t really feel like I had anyone else to go with. I’d never really had a proper holiday by myself. Going somewhere I know so well made it completely non-terrifying, relaxing, comfortable, but still a bit of an adventure. I didn’t even go the tiniest bit mental or sad or lonely until right near the end, but that was mainly because I’d seen a moth, and had to take the rubbish to The Basement Of Terror. It was nice being somewhere else, doing nothing, with no one. I’m definitely happier with some sort of accomplice though.
Drunken girly holidays – long over that. Had a few of them. Proper Essex Girl teenage affairs where we slept all day, drank all night, and kicked an assortment of male strangers out in the afternoon. Catching myself snogging a boy behind a van whilst his hand disappeared up my dress on an episode of Tenerife Uncovered on Sky1 in 1999 was probably enough, I think. Although to be fair, we’d all watch it. We had to. It was like an Essex sixth form version of how you watch the Glasto coverage looking for people you know in the crowd – gathering around the telly on a Sunday night trying to spot school chums in increasingly compromising positions after having downed a yard of Aftershock as a prize for coming 3rd in a wet t-shirt competition.
Holidays with boys, though. Hmm. An ex and I decided to go traveling around Thailand after having only spent 10 days together as a couple. It was brilliant, of course, but is no way to judge anything else about a relationship, really. Holiday life is not real life. No family, no council tax, no work. Hightened emotions made extra-lovely by the presence of sunshine and the lack of socks. People say having a holiday together is a good or big scary test for a couple. Thing is, the sort of stuff I like to do on holiday, I generally like to do anyway with someone. The exploring bit, the long walks, the cosy times, the eating out – the being together non-stop bit is the challenge, I suppose. But if that’s daunting then you wouldn’t consider going, eh?
Now. I’m about to go on the greatest type of holiday ever. An unexpected, no-expectations, awesome trip to a place I’d not really plan on visiting if it weren’t for having someone to see there. I’m going to stay with dear sweet Laurie, who booked me a flight to L.A by donating her airmiles to me for no reason other than that she is bloody lovely. We’ve planned the entire trip via twitter/emails/skype, arranged to stay in increasingly awesome places as the week goes on, including her own apartment which I know so well from seeing glimpses of it every day – so yeah. She’s my internet pal, and has done the loveliest thing ever, and probably won’t even try to murder me or anything because this is what holidays are like now. We make friends on the computer, we hang out, take all the photos, eat all the sushi, then probably make some sort of YouTube video diary about the whole thing. And it will be at least 12 times better than Tenerife Uncovered.
I like holidays. I want more of them. The world is bloody MASSIVE, yknow?