Mr B and I, in common with a fair majority of the population, are thinking about holidays. I mean, it's what you do, isn't it, when Christmas is over and January stretches out, bleak and cheerless in front of you?
(Not that this week is bleak and cheerless, I have to admit, with Mr B's birthday on Thursday and our Jolly Girls Outing to the ballet on Saturday. More of both in later blogs, that you can count on.)
Anyway, we sauntered into the travel agents and helped ourselves to as many brochures as we could comfortably carry, given that we were on our way to the cinema and needed to have spare hands for our M&Ms
(Mr B) and Werther Originals (me). Plus my cup of coffee, of course. We chose brochures with the most evocative titles: "Lakes and Mountains", "Couples", "Romantic Breaks" - you get the idea. We threw in a few world-wide destinations, just for the fun of it
and in a bid to excite the interest of the bored-looking assistant behind the booking desk.
Oh, there's nothing quite like reading through the holiday brochures! I reckon you need a degree in Guides
to Happy Holidays to decipher all the small print. Some brochures have those bar charts, giving the percentages of last year's holiday makers who said their holiday was good or very good in terms of accommodation, food, location and holiday overall. Just
remember that, when you casually fill in that questionnaire in the plane on the way home - your opinion will be in next year's brochure. Tell it like it is, why don't you?
Mr B is a World Expert
at reading holiday brochures. He has a knack for reading between the lines - for knowing, for example, that "Beautiful Sea Views From Some Rooms" means that the 267 remaining rooms overlook the car park and a busy road. And that if a hotel is in
a stunning location on a hill-side overlooking a lake, just twenty minutes from the resort centre, we may need to consider whether we will be prepared / able / fit enough to toil up said hill-side at the end of each fun-filled day.
I say that, since I am now retired, we don't necessarily need to opt for total relaxation. I will no longer need to re-charge my batteries because my batteries are no longer constantly running down as a result of long hours
and the stresses of business life. I am like the Duracell bunny who can go on for ever. Mr B looks worried and says he hopes I'm not thinking of anything too, well, strenuous.
I also say
that we ought to go somewhere we have never been before. Somewhere where we will be amazed by the scenery or overwhelmed by the history or mesmerised by the culture. Mr B says how about Sri Lanka, where we could visit an elephant orphanage. I tell him
I don't think this is a good idea, I'd never be able to leave the poor baby elephants there and our garden simply isn't big enough. Though my animal-loving grandson, Sam, would love me forever if I had an elephant in the garden....Mr B says he is joking.
The other difficulty is the question of when. We can't go on holiday until after our next grandson is born, until after I've got to know him properly. That takes February and March out of the equation. Obviously
there's no point in going away during the school holidays when the cost is highest. And we have to be here for all the other birthdays. I map them out in a long and complicated timeline.
Mr B looks
askance. Don't I want to go on holiday, he asks me? Well, yes, of course I do - but we don't have to stress over it like we did in the past.
Life's one long, lovely holiday these days...