Sunday, 6 May 2012

Holidays - and not just from work.




I may have made an error of judgement.

Not often you hear that sort of admission from me, but even so...

Sirenis Seaview Country Club
The Sirenis Seaview: Wish I was there? Let you know in a couple of weeks.


I return once again to the subject of holidays. You'll remember, this is that topic that despite all my best laid plans never quite goes according to those plans.

This time last year we were freshly arrived at the Sirenis Seaview hotel in Ibiza for two weeks, on an all inclusive deal which I thought was pretty decent value at the price Bet365 generously paid for it, about £1650.

The hotel was lovely the weather was beautiful and the place had a most amazing entertainment team who could not do enough for the kids. Sadly, this was not enough, the food poisoning we all suffered due to being at the mercy of the "canteen" as we called it, put a real dampener on the trip.

Then there was the continued horror of getting there, the aggro of getting through the airports with all the restrictions these days on liquids etc, with two small children - well unless you've experienced it, it's hard to describe.

You then have the added issue that children under 2 do not get their own seat but sit on their parents lap. Not so bad when they are 10 months as Jamie was last year, but can you imagine trying to do that now at 22 months? No way! Once they reach 24 months they get their own seat - so come July we could have gone, but the cost of such a trip at that time of the year is stupidly high and I am just not prepared to pay £4000 for a holiday that can be had for half in May. Plus there is paying for the extra seat as well.

Add to that the fact that in recent years we have had gloriously hot weather in May every year followed by a fairly mediocre summer. A trend that started in 2007 and has continued uninterrupted ever since.

So what to do? Thought about France - Eurocamp, and maybe we will next year. But this year, I thought, we'll holiday in England, avoid all the above mentioned aggro.

So away we go for 2 weeks soon to Butlins followed by a caravan on the North Devon coast.

So the weather turns awful early in April, that's OK I think, but then it goes on being awful. As usual the Daily Express continues to print their bullshit weather headlines throughout the month, as they do indeed throughout the year, with not an ounce of proper evidence to back up what is lazy speculation in order to grab attention - and 90% of the time turns out to be shite.

However, even they can get lucky occasionally, and the horrible weather shows no sign of abating. Here's today's headline. Will this turn out to be bullshit, who knows.

Will probably turn out to be true this time, just to spite me.

So, off we go on holiday, not as it seems into the glorious May heatwaves of previous years, but into continued cold, wet and gloom.

Never mind, most of the fun stuff at Butlins is inside. Still not quite worked out what we are going to do with the evenings yet, we don't tend to attend the evening entertainment after the kids stuff finishes about 7 as you have to queue for hours to get in there (impossible with little ones) and then you can never get a table. One thing I do enjoy about holidays, is that by removing oneself from the usual home things, in my case primarily the internet, the opportunity comes up to do other things at night, such as reading books, playing games, having quizzes, that sort of thing. Would prefer to be sitting on a balcony with a jug of sangria doing it than looking through rain smeared caravan windows, but I suppose I can't have everything.

A holiday is a holiday from everything, so while I am away, there is no internet, no email, I don't even have my phone on. I'm a bloody slave to this thing to be honest, and spend far too much time on facebook - to the extent that if I decide to have a day away from it all, people quickly notice. So unless it's a life or death emergency, I won't respond - obviously I will turn my phone on every couple of days just in case anyone's tried to contact me about a job but other than that, that's it.

It's a very sad state of affairs, those people who have to phone into the office while they are away just to check that they are not there, because they are so "indispensable". Well as someone famous once said, the graveyards are full of people who thought they were indispensable and the world is still turning.

Holidays should be exactly that - not just from work, but from everything at home.


Even if mine will be in the freezing cold.

We all need to step back from our lives, and not become so involved. I really am trying to do this. To this end, I have stopped facebook alerts buzzing my phone every time someone puts up a status, and I have also put everyone back to being a standard friend - this is not an insult to anyone, but I had given more and more people the yellow star, such to the extent that when I was away from facebook for 12 hours the Friday before last I had 29 notifications! The thing is - I don't need to see all those check-ins and updates individually, I can look at the person's profile and see them all together and then comment or like selectively. So no more yellow stars. Apart from the missus so I can see what she's up to.

If I miss stuff fine, I'll just enjoy what's there, when I am there.

To be honest I spent less and less time looking at what's actually on people's pages, the vast majority of my communication with people on facebook these days is through private messaging, not because I have anything to hide but I would rather talk to people on a 1-2-1 basis without every Tom Dick and Harry listening in. Those of you I do correspond with privately, well I enjoy our chats and I hope you do too. Writing has always been my strongest way of communicating, and I can speak to you with words privately, more eloquently, and more openly than I ever can in real life, when there's always distractions.

I enjoy a little bit of banter on a status though, when it's good, as you know.

But I strongly recommend - have a facebook holiday. Don't become a slave to it.

Ordinarily I close my facebook account down while on holiday, but I am not going to do that anymore, as an increasing amount of the bookings I take come through facebook now, so closing it down would be foolish.

Well, this may well be my last entry for a couple of weeks, so I leave you with one final thought, if you need cheering up in a week or so's time when the rain's pouring down, think of me in my little caravan looking out the window mournfully, and have a chuckle at my expense. Go on - I don't mind. After all I have taken the piss out of you probably at some point, so you kind of owe me one.

This is rather late in the day to be blogging but I was working tonight, sharing the bill with a band for a 50th birthday party, which was enjoyable as instead of one long disco I did 3 mini ones.

If you have enjoyed reading this blog, please take a look at my books on Amazon (Paperback & Kindle), where you can read lots more of the same! Click here.

Jason xx

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