Friday, 19 August 2011

Holidays, Heroin and Horlicks

I am on holiday at the moment. Actually, I’m not, except that I am. What I mean is that I’m off work, but not actually abroad or at Butlins. I’m on annual leave – that’s the phrase I’m searching for.

On that very subject, I calculated the other day that we haven’t actually been on holiday for three years. Three whole years! In fact, the last holiday was our honeymoon in Jersey (glad I didn’t go back there this summer, as much as I love the place). In the meantime, the only other destination was a few days in the Lake District a couple of year ago, but that doesn’t count as we spent eight hours stuck in traffic on the way there only to contract swine flu and have to return home early (If anyone wants to try and convince me that it still counts as a holiday then I’m prepared to fight them in a car park with fist punches and everything).

There are reasons a-plenty for this puritanical self-denial of enjoyment. In this period, we moved house, experienced job changes and, not to forget, a new born baby to attend to. In fact, Emie is the main reason why we haven’t gone away this summer. A holiday to me is designed to relax, something that is difficult to achieve when carrying around an eleven-month-old child around. Much as I would love to be on a beach somewhere hot at this present moment, these things have to be taken step-by-step. As such, we will be booking a week in Wales next Easter. It’s by the beach, so that’s a start…

Part of the trouble is that just about everyone we know book holidays all of the time. It’s ridiculous in fact, as we have increasingly felt like the most unadventurous people in the universe, to the point where any activity of any sort seems like indulgence overkill. For instance, during the last few days, we’ve been to two weddings, several meals out, to the cinema, shopping, and I’ve spent a day at the Test Match as part of a stag event. Such has been the level of our studious diligence that I’ve almost felt as if I’ve suddenly fallen off the rails in my capacity as a Zen Monk and turned into Keith Richards. I even found myself questioning whether to purchase a cup of tea and a slice of cake at our local garden centre. God, I really do need to get out more…