Another one of my articles from the Irish Examiner’s Feelgood. I suppose it could be called, ‘Holiday Reflections’.
So, in the flash of an eye another family holiday is over. A week can seem to pass so quickly when we are at home, but on holiday, with every minute used to its full, it feels longer and of more value.
Today, I am rested and refreshed with a multitude of memories stored for future days, weeks and years. Unlike many in these days of instagram and facebook, we are not a family who readily record their lives on camera. However, now I am home there are photos I wish we’d taken, but honestly if you saw what the camera says it sees when it takes a photo of me you’d rely on memories too. No one wants to be ‘that’ person in the photo, the one who blinked, looked away or was caught off guard. Except, no matter how many photos are taken it would appear I am always ‘that’ person.
‘Mum, your eyes are closed.’
‘Nope I’ll delete that one, you look like you are having a stroke.’
‘Oh Mum, maybe you shouldn’t smile?’
After years of advances in technology, I have yet to discover a camera which likes me!
I find holidays to be pockets of time to sit and think, reflect on life and discover a thing or two about myself. One of this years discoveries was to finally admit that I have too much rain drenched blood roaring through my body to cope with a sun holiday. Even considering one is madness, but I’d hoped this year, with all the good weather we’d had before leaving, I might be more able.
Day one I rose determined to give this holiday everything. I would lose my bad attitude, embrace the heat and jump in the pool whenever I needed to cool down, instead of lying in a heap asking the time every five minutes.
So, I pulled on my bikini- an item of clothing which is no friend to a woman who has had four children and whose exercise routine involves avoiding anything active. Staring in horror at the apparition in the mirror, I realised I’d made a serious error packing a bikini without first trying it on, thinking, ‘It fitted me perfectly two years ago.’ Scraping it off I squeezed into slightly less indecent bikini number two. Maybe if I stopped speaking and sucked in I didn’t look too bad?
Arriving to the pool I discovered I’d booked our holiday in Beautiful People Land. Everyone was tanned to perfection and even those with less than perfect figures looked amazing. Where were my fellow Irish? Not a single, white skinned, Penney’s wearing body to be seen. I lay myself down and wondered how long before I turned golden while plastered in factor fifty?
I can’t tell you how long before a body turns golden brown, but I can tell you that three hours is all it took to be scalded. It would appear that despite being a relatively easily tanned individual, factor fifty is of little use if you dip into the pool every five minutes. And, in case you are wondering, it takes three days wearing a top at all times before the skin recovers enough to be allowed appear in public once more. The good news was by that time I couldn’t care less how well my bikini fitted and by the end of the week I even stopped giving the beautiful ones the evil eye.
Now I’m home it’s time to remember the lessons I’ve learned…factor fifty is not the friend I thought it was, but also that this body of mine has housed four children and shows all the signs of belonging to someone who enjoys life. It is time to make changes… next year I’ll be sure to buy a bigger bikini!