Here we go again another one of my articles from the Feelgood in the Examiner. Booking holidays…hours in my life I’ll never get back.
As I sit in my living room looking out on a damp day I couldn’t be more content. There’s a part of me which I know is a little odd, well perhaps many parts of me, but the one I speak of, is that unlike a large number of the population I dislike the heat. When I say ‘dislike’ I actually mean ‘hate’.
Luckily here in Cork the majority of the time I’m content with the temperatures, but in a few days I’m due to leave these less than sunny shores and fly to the sunshine.
“Oh lucky you, off on holidays,” friends comment, while my heart sinks a little. “I’m just back from Portugal. It was thirty degrees at night without a puff of air.”
“Yes,” said another friend, “I think people died in the heat.”
Why on Earth am I going? It’s for the children of course! We were advised, a few years ago, it was the beginning of the end for our children holidaying with us. Unfortunately I don’t think they got the memo, as there is no sign of them staying at home, although surprise surprise, last year when we chose to go hiking in the Scottish Highlands they made alternative arrangements.
Earlier this year as we discussed holidays, the collective opinion was we’d go to Croatia. We’d heard it was beautiful and we’d not been there before. I spent many the unhappy hour on the internet putting in dates and flights until it finally dawned on me we would have to fly from Dublin instead of using the airport almost on our doorstep. As the chief holiday booker, I made an executive decision to change our destination to Portugal and joy of joys flights were considerably cheaper. It was a win win.
Thrilled to be within sniffing distance of the end of my days of searching, I celebrated with a cup of tea, before finding passports to finish booking. Entering the kitchen I announced that the holiday was booked, forgetting on purpose our change of destination.
Honestly, I was less than five minutes enjoying my cuppa, but would you believe that during that time the whole country must have decided to book the same flights! How else can you explain my returning to my laptop to discover there were only six seats left and the price had risen by close to a million euro? Okay, I’m exaggerating a little, but the same flight was now hundreds of euro dearer. I downed tools, used some highly descriptive language and decided I’d rather pay any other airline than be held to ransom like that.
Unfortunately, as I resumed the search my family were planning the holiday.
“I’m really looking forward to Croatia. It’s so beautiful,”
“I’m sure it is,” I said.
“What time are we flying out?”
“I forget,” I mumbled.
“What airline? I’m wondering how much hand luggage we can take?”
“Would you believe I can’t remember?.”
Days later the prices dropped on another airline and I immediately booked. However, I couldn’t face looking for accommodation. Weeks passed and daily I hoped for an opportunity to tell the family we were off to Portugal and I’d yet to book accommodation. Finally lady luck smiled on me one sunny afternoon as we enjoyed a barbecue. Talk of holidays began and one of the girls said,
“Really?” I said, “that’s great because we’re not going to Croatia, I booked Portugal.”
There was a moment’s silence.
“Where in Portugal?”
“Faro,” I replied, not yet ready to confess, with weeks to go, I’d no accommodation.
“Faro? Where the airport is?”
“Yes, that’s exactly where we’re going. Anyone for another burger?”