So, this is The Holiday-Part Two featuring me, Daddy Pig, Beaver and Godivy. Not the one starring Jude Law and Cameron Diaz. Although it’s almost as glamorous. Click here if you missed Part One.
Now, where were we? Ah yes. End of the first week, we’d completely unwound. And then we began to unravel.
It happened overnight. One minute we were the perfect holiday family (I use the word ‘perfect’ loosely). Relaxed. Happy. Having fun. Then, we went to bed and woke up. Irritable. Tense. Whingey.
I tried to keep everyone’s spirits up but the squabbles between Beaver and Daddy Pig were enough to drive me straight to the spirits. So, I marooned myself on a floating deck in the middle of the Aegean sea just to get away from all the whining. No one could reach me there. And just for a moment I fantasised about cutting the anchor and floating away. Bye bye!
For this one day, we were like the home versions of ourselves on a very bad Monday. It was weird because everyone knows you don’t get Mondays on holiday. Just lots of lovely Fridays.
And that was the problem.
We had overdosed on Fridays. And now we all had massive hangovers. Rose wine and G&T hangovers. Ice cream and juice hangovers. Showtime and popcorn hangovers. And that’s the thing we hadn’t quite figured out about a two week holiday. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. But we’d all got a bit overexcited and burnt out in the first week. And hit the holiday wall.
It only took a good talking to and an early night to get us back on track. Or in our case back on water. On a boat. Because we do love a boat trip.
We ditched the expensive hotel boat charter in favour of a more modestly priced, commercial offering. A boat’s a boat, right?
As we waited at the marina, I saw the hotel boat. Small. Plush. With glossy, mahogany fittings and cream upholstery. As it cruised effortlessly out of the marina it passed a much bigger, tattier boat. Making its way towards us. With loud music pumping out and people hanging out of every porthole. Our boat. This is what a modestly priced, commercial offering looks like. You’ve been warned.
‘Excuse me, excuse me,’ we said as we navigated our buggy through the sunbathing bodies occupying every bit of deck space like the morning after the night before.
Yes, we fitted in well. Amongst the singletons and the very young couples. It was the perfect environment for an 18 month old and three year old. At least there was no chance of Godivy slipping through one of the lifebuoys. Not after all the pastries she’d eaten.
Dance tracks vibrated out of the speakers. We drank beer at 10.30 AM. We figured, ‘when in Rome…’ And you know what, we actually had a pretty brilliant day. Probably because of the beer.
The rest of the holiday was chilled. We kept seeing friends off but never seemed to be going ourselves. Daddy Pig joked that perhaps we’d given up our own lives in favour of this new one. If only. I have to admit there were times when I wondered if we were in our own version of The Truman Show.
We needed two weeks though. For me to remember what a great ‘holiday dad’ Daddy Pig is. I read two books because he played with the girls so much (if he asks, it was only one). And for the girls to see me relaxed rather than hollering, ‘COME ON! We’re going to be late!’ a million times a day.
Indeed, I’m not sure the Turkish lady who called me a ‘brilliant mother’ would have done so had she seen me in full swing at home. But for once, I didn’t do that British, modest thing and contradict her. I didn’t want to burst her bubble. Or mine.
And that’s my absolute favourite bit about holidays. Being the best versions of yourselves. Because there are no other pressures. Because you have time.
And because the sun just makes you feel so darn happy.
Eat your hearts out Jude and Cameron.