There is no better description of the family holiday than that given by David Nicholls in his wonderful book ‘One Day’ ...”a sort of harsh experiment in the limits of human proximity.”
As far as holidaying with teenagers goes, never a truer word was spoken or written. It is for this reason that I only booked the holiday for one week this year. I knew full well that, by the end of 7 days, we would all be heartily sick of one another. The trouble starts when someone – well let’s not lie – it’s me - tries to book a holiday. I go around the family and ask them to tell me where they would like to go and what sort of place they would like to stay in. The reply is big fat silence. After several weeks of this, I get bored and book the kind of holiday I like – ie one that is basically pretty antisocial – a villa with a pool. This year’s offering was on the Algarve – close to various lovely beaches (I believe – we are not keen beach people and didn’t visit one of them). I chose it on the basis that a) it had the biggest pool of any of the ones that were available in our price bracket and b) it was suitably remote from any vestiges of night life (ha ha!) as I don’t need to spend my holiday worrying about the whereabouts and safety of drunken teenagers. I can do that at home, thanks very much. Consequently, the teens spent a little time whingeing bitterly about the lack of wi-fi and then actually settled down to playing with the resident cat population and (whisper it) reading books in between mucking about in the pool, playing cricket and generally trying to drown or otherwise kill each other in poolside games.
The Shah and the boy played golf, TD and I spent hours just lazing around and I read four and a half books in the space of that one week. In other words, it was great and I feel recharged and ready to go back to work sometime in the next couple of weeks (I'm not thinking about it just yet.) The beauty of working in a school is that I managed to negotiate a contract that gave me about 9 weeks holiday a year. It’s a beaut. I have to be there during term time but I do get large chunks (not all) of the holidays off. The payoff, of course, is that we can only ever take holidays at the most expensive time of year.
The cats have returned home with colds and are sneezing continually in a highly disgusting manner. I’m intending to tough it out, well they’re going to tough it out because we’re getting to the point where I may as well just have my salary paid directly into the bulging coffers of the sodding Vet.
However, the bin men managed to take away the maggotfest I referred to last time. Life is good!