Five things I learnt on holiday

We’re back from holiday. I’m not going to bore anyone with a detailed description of the lovely little place we stayed (Begur) because you’ll probably never go there – and if you do, you’ll be far better off reading something from a talented travel blogger (ie not me). However, there are a few observations I’ve made on the whole foreign holiday experience that I would like to share.

Banning the tablets on holiday is a good idea

Best moment of the holiday? Taking a long slug on my beer, looking up and noticing that the entire family was reading a book. We had told the kids they couldn’t take their tablets on holiday with them – and, maybe it was naivety, they seemed to accept this. Not sure we’ll get away with it next time. The tablet ban didn’t apply to their parents, obviously, because they needed to research important things for the holiday.

Time does weird things on holiday.

At first it moves quite slowly. Two or three days in, you’re getting nicely into the swing of being on holiday – and it seems like it’s going to last forever. A few days more – and you’ve still got a lot of holiday left, but you’re shocked that somehow you’re half way through it. A couple of days more and a panic starts to well up inside of you. WTF! It’s almost over. How did that happen? And then wham! It’s all over. Bit like Life really.

Factor 50 suncream is a great way to ruin your best T-shirt

It leaves horrible marks which Khaleesi assures me will never wash out. Suncream is also a  great way to ruin the metallic paint on your car – I learnt this on a previous holiday. For weeks I wondered what could possibly explain those misty patches that refused to come off, no matter how hard I rubbed. Then I noticed the remarkable similarity between the shape of these patches and a child’s handprint.

Taking a day or two off before the holiday is a good idea.

In the past there has been a reassuringly familiar pattern to our pre-holiday regime:

  • About a fortnight before the holiday starts Dad Dancer declares that this year we’ll be really organised and have everything ready at least a week before we leave.
  • Khaleesi replies: “Then I’d better not be left to do all the bloody packing – as usual!”
  • Dad Dancer crosses his fingers behind his back and assures her that this will not happen.
  • As the day of departure approaches, Dad Dancer gets twitchy and drops some subtle hints. He manages to duck the hard object that comes flying towards his head. Apparently, it’s impossible to begin packing because there’s so much laundry to deal with.


  • Dad Dancer busies himself with manly things like getting the suitcases out of the attic and sorting out the roofbox, hoping this will act as an inspiration to Khaleesi. It doesn’t.
  • The day of departure arrives. We are nowhere near ready and set off several hours later than anticipated. We don’t talk to each other for the first six hours of the journey.

Only this year, I took a couple of days off work in the week before the holiday started. What a difference – much less stress.  I even managed to assist Khaleesi by drawing up a list of things the kids needed to pack (though by the next morning I’d lost it).

Swimming pools are better than beaches

We had a long debate about whether it was better to have a villa near the sea that didn’t have a pool – or one a bit further away but with a pool. My Brother the Arms Dealer (M-BAD) would never have faced such a dilemma. M-BAD would have flashed the cash and opted for a seaside villa with a pool (and he would have drawn up a spreadsheet to assist with the packing). Sadly Dad Dancer has a far more meagre salary and we were forced to make a choice.  We opted for a pool – and I definitely think it was the right decision. The kids amused themselves for hours. It was like having a liquid childminder.

OK, that’s the holiday dealt with. Next post will be back on the  theme of parenting, work and everyday life.

Sob 🙁





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