How to plan a holiday. Not …..

It’s holiday time. And I have a very clear idea of how things should be organised:


In January, I spend a happy weekend surfing lovely places to stay. I book judiciously, and soon I have little entries on the calendar for April, a weekend in July, and two weeks in August. I spend the rest of the year feeling smug and I pack a perfect capsule wardrobe a precise two days before each thoroughly enjoyable jaunt.



I spend a weekend in January feeling suicidally depressed, and as a result I book a ruinously expensive holiday in Barbados in April. We go, we get stuck because of the volcanic ash and go a bit native and, because of the sheer loveliness of the holiday, and the great kindness and hospitality of the friend who had us to stay, I come back to the grey UK feeling, ho-hum, a bit down.

To cheer myself up again, I immediately start trying to book the summer holiday. Yippee, I am invited to France for the second half of August by a lovely friend. I consult with Mr X. Of course. He has already earmarked the second half of August. I could shift him, I suppose, but it would be just the latest in a long list of crimes of which I am guilty, guilty, guilty. Sigh. Bye bye lovely friend.

Instead, I make enquiries of a delightful relative we sadly only see once a year. They have a booking schedule which makes George Osbourne’s budget calculations (note the topical political reference! Don’t anyone say I can’t tangle with stuff outside my own head now and again) look like a scrawl on the back of an envelope. Reading their emails literally makes my head swim. Does any of this fit with the few days I have tentatively pencilled into the yawning chasm of the summer holidays? I seriously couldn’t tell you.

Meanwhile, another fab friend asks if we’d like to halve a week in a holiday cottage – we’d only coalesce for one crowded day, but it’s in a lovely area and as it’s only half the normal tarriff, it’s cheap. Yay! But wait a minute, I’ve just got to check with the relatives … of those dates could have been a clasher. Or could it?

And a weekend right at the end of August? Hmmm, that encroaches on Mr X’s time. Hang on a minute while I check with him …..

And a dear friend from Belgium would like to pop in, sometime round the middle of August. Er, hang on a second, we’d love to see you but, erm, where’s my diagram ….

OMG. I need a holiday.

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