It has come to my attention that there are curmudgeons out there (you know who you are) who do not Appreciate Holidays. I cannot understand this: holidays are as necessary to me as breathing and if I don’t get one (which basically I haven’t since 2011; the last three years having allowed me a total of five days away, two in a freezing tent in Derbyshire and three in Barrow-on-Soar) I start to go seriously weird. So here to explain, if not to convince, are some of my reasons for going on holiday.
Holidays have many joys. To have a change of scene; to let go of everyday thoughts and actions; to abandon all routine and to establish a new routine which is based on the old one but like a light-hearted version of it. Holiday routines are playful and can be changed at any time: if I want to sleep in, or get up early, or stay up late, why not? You play at having a life; at shopping, at living in your cottage, at taking your morning walk. Even the time spent establishing yourself in the cottage is part of the pleasure of being on holiday.
To have different thoughts; different conversations; different food. We made full use of the local shops to buy wine, local cheeses, fresh vegetables from the small (and horribly expensive) greengrocer as well as ripe peaches and strawberries. We also had fresh local bread nearly every day and cooked every evening apart from fish-and-chip night.
To sit in the porch (all made of glass) on one of the window-seats and look at the sea; or to hop barefoot across the hot tarmac road with a cuppa in one hand and a book in the other and pass a pleasant hour before dinner. The cottage had a whole shelf full of novels and I wish I’d written down the ones I read; but the only one I remember was called ‘Purple Hibiscus’, about a child growing up with an abusive father in Africa. The father was a Catholic convert and obsessively religious.
To go down to the beach in the morning with my yoga mat, to find a flat(-ish) spot to do my asanas facing the waves and feeling the sun on my face. To wake at five and see the sun half a yard above the waves, casting a wide orange light like a still lighthouse (I wished I’d had a camera then) and to wake another night at midnight and see forked lightning attack the sea and wake up the whole sky – this is why we go on holiday.
I can’t help feeling sorry for those stuck in Britain and confined to school holidays, as the weather has been pretty dismal this year. We had the best of the summer as we had hot, sunny weather just about every day – and we were there for the hottest day EVER! (remember that?) although what with the sea breeze it was just about perfect. Holly is about to go to Spain for a week, for a well-earned break, so I wish her and Tom a lovely holiday and as for the rest of us, if you haven’t been anywhere and you don’t like holidays you should probably go to Dismaland.
I think this is great! I’d love to go but it’s a bit far – and I’m happy to see they are now taking action against ticket touts. You wouldn’t find a ticket tout in Southwold – the very air would make them ill.