Wednesday, 12 February 2014

The Holiday Jinx

Well tomorrow is the day we leave for our hols, I'd like to say annual hols but it's definitely not a yearly occurrence, I wish!

This morning I had to drop number 1 son plus friend at his college at 1.30am, there were tears I have to admit. I feel bad going away without him, going somewhere warm when he's off to the ice box that is currently New York and then leaving him home alone for 5 days before we return. I know he'll be just about 1 week shy of his 18th birthday but all the same, emotions were particularly high after having a good friend suffer a personal tragedy on Monday night which seems to have floored me.

Anyway after a brief and slightly troubled sleep, I went to work (I doubt anything I did was correct - just a normal day then). Right now I'm keeping my eyes open with a little help from two matchsticks and some sellotape!

I've been thinking, as you may expect, about our holiday happenings, some would say down right disasters but I prefer happenings. I did write a few posts about our holiday experiences here and here, then we went to Cuba and met Sandy.

It has suddenly dawned on me that the one common denominator in all these holiday experiences is ME! The builder and I have had holiday disasters with and without children and we've been away without each other but the only person who consistently has a "problem" be it big or small, is me.

It started with my very first trip abroad, in 1975, when I was 10. I've had to look that up as I thought I was younger than that but no matter. My Mum had booked herself on a "girls holiday" to Spain, with a few mates, I guess she would have been 32 at the time. The only other person we knew who'd been abroad was my Great Auntie Dorothy and her husband who owned a local business and had no children, they did have a poodle called Simon instead though!. Simon always had 3 course meals and a fried egg for breakfast.
Auntie Dorothy was my idol, with immaculately coiffured silver grey hair and a cleaning lady, she regularly flew to Italy where she bought her leather shoes. I've spent my whole life wanting to be Auntie Dorothy!

Anyway I digress, just before Mum was due to leave one of her friends dropped out and as she was Mum's room buddy she asked if I'd like to go in her place. As they were mainly single ladies I'm sure I seriously cramped their style! Security was very different then, I guess it was no problem for her to pass the ticket on to me. I was so excited no one else at my school had ever been abroad so I puffed up my chest and bragged like mad!

We arrived in a very Spanish Spain, and stayed at what seemed to be the only high rise hotel for miles around. I don't really remember much about the holiday apart from the big straw donkeys every one was buying. But a couple of days into the holiday General Franco died and the whole of Spain closed down! It was disastrous and we could do nothing but stay in the hotel, mournful music was played everywhere, I remember that bit very clearly.
 However I still considered it a treat  - I was having time off school.

My second time abroad was with my Gran, she was a bit of a jet setter and over the years she's travelled far and wide. After she lost my Grandad tragically early she ran their two businesses for a while before retiring, then over the course of a few years she took all her grandchildren abroad for a week, separately and in order of age. I was third to go and she booked a week on a Spanish Island, Majorca I think - not sure of the year but I was around 13 I think.
Gran and I in Spain, a very long time ago!
Gran was travelling up from Devon and we were travelling from Norfolk to meet at the airport - I can't remember which one. The roads in and out of Norfolk were diabolical back then (not much better now!) but we set off in the middle of the night with me asleep in the back. I became aware in the early hours that we'd stopped, the rain had been torrential and the road was flooded. (yes I have been thinking that sounds a bit like the weather right now!)
Mum and her boyfriend made an attempt to drive through the flood but the car conked out in the middle and we were rescued by the police!

We were eventually taken to the airport by taxi, after spending quite a long time at the police station. As this was in the days before mobile phones we hadn't been able to get a message to Gran, she was at the airport beside herself with worry.

When we finally met up amongst the crowds of delayed travellers, Gran was crying buckets and we'd missed the plane! We ended up getting a flight to Spain and then sleeping in the airport overnight before getting a little commuter flight to Majorca the next day - we enjoyed it in the end!

So it has become apparent that the holiday jinx may in fact be me!

Speaking of Gran she is a little under the weather right now, the very fit and sprightly 92 year old has turned into a rather frail nearly-94 year old so I'll be a little worried while we're away but I'm glad I got to spend some time with her in October.

Well we'll be off in the morning, and I'll update  you on our travels at the end of February.
.....wish us luck!
Once more unto the breach, dear friends....... see you on the other side, hopefully!


  1. I hope you have the most fabulous time.
    Take care and have a safe journey.
    Lisa x

  2. The weather is awful here today so hope you don't meet any adverse conditions! Have a wonderful time hopefully without any mishaps! Sarah x

  3. So you're to blame for General Franco's demise! I do hope everything goes swimmingly this time and that you have a wonderful break. I can imagine how hard it was to say goodbye to your eldest. I hope all will be well with your friend and with your grandmother. Have a great holiday Jay, see you on the other side. CJ xx

  4. Okay - sending all good luck your way (and for your family too!!!!!)

    Love the picture of you with Gran!

  5. Have a wonderful trip! It will be fabulous, with or without any mishaps although I personally find smallish mishaps make for better memories :-) Happy travels! Mel x

  6. Ha!
    You will have a wonderful time, Jay....
    Looking forward to hilarious out takes.... travels...
    Linda :o)

  7. What great stories! I have faith that this will be a great holiday for you.

  8. Usually we have good luck when traveling, but Delta Airlines mucked up our trip to Spain last year and our return from San Francisco in October.
    Can't wait to hear about your trip, hope your son doesn't freeze in New York and DC, the weather is just awful in the States this year, except for the west coast.

  9. Enjoy your holiday and have a great time. See you on your safe return :)

  10. What very dramatic holiday experiences! Reading this made me recall my one very bad holiday experience that was in Paris when I was 15 - bomb scare at the restaurant we were dining in, pinched on the bum by a very cheeky boy on the Eiffel Tower and French boys trying to break into our hostel room!

    Hope no dramas for you this time and that you'll have a wonderful time. Do report back, won't you?