In which I wish I was half way up a Greek mountain drinking Mythos.
Kalispera, I write this not on a sun kissed beach nor by the pool with a glass of byra in hand but at a desk in darkest Coventry. It is not exactly vacationing in the Ionians, in fact I’m not going to sugarcoat it…it’s an awful feeling that I’m not sitting somewhere warm in the sun.
I’m sure there are those of you reading this thinking “well at least you had a holiday” so as not to upset you further I should tell you something about the island where Captain Corelli fell in love.
I suppose I should then make it clear, there will be no discussion about how the island of the book (or film) compares to real life Kephalonia. I haven’t read it, I’ve had a quick go on Wikipedia but its one of those novels I couldn’t quite get in to. I read a book on the history of maps instead.
In which I wish I lived by the sea so it didn’t cost anything to go there.
I just want to go away, not in the sleeping with the fishes sense but just want a nice relaxing holiday. Away from offices, away from OFSTED inspection, away from the British weather, away from the sofa, away from this cold I’ve had all winter. I just want to be away.
All I’m asking for is a week somewhere with a beach, little more than a few restaurants along the sea front and a pool bar that can serve me the occasional beer. Thankfully I’m the kind of person that likes to organise a completely unorganised trip.
It may be my European location, and certainly due to my NY family, but I have been lucky to travel a lot. I’ve gone on about New York and China and the culture of travelling but never talked about all the other places I’ve been. I’ve learnt from experience that if you are lucky enough to be able to travel it is rare that you are lucky enough to find people who want to hear about it.
Maybe it’s more to do with me, or the people I’ve known, or that going somewhere exotic is a cause for jealousy. Here’s the thing, I don’t smoke, I rarely go out, don’t have debts I’m paying off, an affordable mortgage, worked hard to get a good job and save my money. This means I have savings and the means to go away, and away far.
Today is July 4th, or as it is more commonly known across the Atlantic Independence Day. A day when people get to let off fireworks (unless in one of the four states that ban them), get out the BBQ and drink beer. Oh, and also remember throwing off the yoke of oppression from all those Hollywood villain Brits.
It’s the brave sacrifice of Australians like Mel Gibson that helped the colonials rise up against the diabolic taxation of King G and get representation in a constitutional republic (unless you live in Washington D.C.). For Mrs G it’s more important than that, July 4th is a day that she has to go to work while all her family and friends back home get the day off. Did throwing all that tea into the harbour not mean anything.
This is the interesting aspect of our family, she is a proud Yank and I’m a stiff upper lipped Limey. Our daughter is going to be a mix of both of our cultures so how will we celebrate cultural holidays where you celebrate the beating up of one parent so the other could be unoppressed? Will she grow up calling it Independence or Insurrection Day?
I always wanted an easy life but honestly did think I would get bored of it. As much as I like the relaxation and lack of worry I knew I would get bored of it. Calm waters seem to encourage me to go jump in and create waves.
I liked the hustle that being busy brings with it, dealing with difficult and challenging situations bought there own rewards. Now I’ve changed my mind, I’ve been worn down by the last few weeks and no longer have any fight or appetite living an exciting life. All I want to do is tell people to go away and leave me alone unless they are either bringing me solutions or a bottle of beer.
I’m looking forward to the summer when I can have a few weeks off, I’m going to spend three weeks where my only decision will be what do I want to eat and do I need another beer. In fact I think the answers are anything and yes.
In which I spend hours on a coach to the Costa Brava.
I was immensely lucky that as a child I was able to go abroad. My family would save up all year round so that we could all go away for a few weeks to find the sun and this would mean leaving the British Isles for the warmer climes of the Spanish Costas. This is despite the fact that any photons from the sun instantly microwave my skin and I would have to be covered in so much sunscreen I would come back whiter than when I went.
Nowadays my early travels would not be what you would call exotic, nor did we get to our destination in the most glamorous way, but the most important thing was that as a family we could go on holiday. Our parents would save all year round to be able to take us away, and these were some of the best holidays we ever had. Continue reading “Travelogue : Childhood holidays”