One of the hardest things about a holiday coming to an end is the having to say goodbye to all the new friends made. I have had many holidays and met all sorts of people on them - and in some cases when I was younger those who became more than friends.
At the end of two weeks, it's quite a wrench having to bid goodbye to people we feel as if we've known forever. Yes, a cynic may say, it's an unrealistic way of making friends - throw some people together for 2 weeks with no work, lots of fun things going on, sun, booze, and everything that makes holidays great and yes they are bound to seem like the happiest most amazing people ever.
I sort of worked all this out some years ago so try to make the most of these friendships while I have them. I don't tend to exchange contact details any more with people except for one or two notable exceptions and it's probably the same reason why many holiday romances don't work out. What may have seemed like the love affair of a lifetime under palm trees and blue skies sipping a tequila sunrise tends to lose it's edge back in the grim reality of old blighty when one of you is laying bricks in the pouring rain in Sunderland and the other one's scanning barcodes in Tesco's in Merthyr Tydfill.
Unfortunately Ollie doesn't know all this yet and has become very upset in the last day or so. He has had another crush - this time on one of the entertainers here at the hotel, Adi, who is some 20 years his senior. Ollie can get very attached to people, it is part of his autism and Adi has been so good with him, he's become besotted with her.
Adi and Zolo are the two main entertainers here and they are brilliant at their jobs. I initially had reservations when I got here to discover Thomas Cook had been kicked out in favour of a cheaper option but the Sunny Animation team soon disspelled my misgivings. Zolo is amazing fun - I guess he is around late 20s, speaks every language under the sun and has a very distinctive look - with his long hair he could have stepped straight out of a 70s formula one team. I have gotten on really well with him and Adi too - she is a very fit and friendly young lady you can't help but like and so good with the kids.
Ollie's grown very attached to Adi but as the time for us to leave approaches he's become heartbroken at the thought he'll never see her again. She is very fond of him too and it all very sad but such is the nature of holidays as I said at the top of this entry. These entertainers have a constant train of people coming in and out, friendships are quickly formed and short-lived and it must be sad for them at times too,
What can I say to Ollie? I've done my best but I know only too well the gut-wrenching pain of being torn away from someone special when young - my own first love when I was 16 in France whom I've never really talked about before but even now thinking about her I can feel that pain still buried inside. Despite how I may come across in my writing I was (and still am to a great extent) an incredibly sensitive soul back then and losing that girl for no other reason than we lived in different countries felt like the end of the world at the time.
Ollie is only 6 yet I can see in him all the teenage angst and pain I had, come 10 years earlier and seemingly every bit as intense as mine. There's nothing I can do to help him through this situation other than be there for him and give him all the love that I can because truly I do understand. Already he has spent a lot of time crying in my arms and there will be more to come before we bid Adi farewell, but at least he does have me and he always will. I think there will be many more such occasions in the years to come.
I too shall be sad to go, but I always try to take the view that we have been fortunate to have been here at all.