Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Holiday Basics

It was one of those " is this really worth it moments". You know, the sort of moment. One that lasts about three hours.

The moment when, whilst packing the grips, having had to empty out whatever was being stored in there first, as the ones that you used to use for going on holiday have seemed to have done a Houdini act to other foreign places this year on children's school trips, and those that have come back look as if they have done three rounds in the garden with the dog, and the moment that you realise that whilst it makes for minimalist packing, not liking any of your clothes on your body does mean that what you are about to wear for the next week is not what you would ever choose, in a sane moment, to wear. And then you realise that that is what you always wear, and that 90% of the other stuff sits in your wardrobe, or maybe in the clean washing pile in the spare room. Untouched for most of the year. Which of course is why it's untouched in the spare room. Because you don't ever wear it.

Then there is the moment when you pack up all the food from the cupboards, so as to not have to spend money on all the basics on arrival. The only trouble is that it means that you have to sit amongst said "basics" in the car. And you sort of wish that maybe, just maybe, you were just a little bit better off. Not lottery win better off necessarily. Although, at that moment that would be nice. But, just enough, so that maybe, just maybe, you could eat out on holiday, and not have to sit amongst half used cabbages and lettuces for two and a half hours in the car. You see, basics for us doesn't just mean salt and peper, tea and coffee and a pot of herbs. It means everything and anything that we can transport. Which is quite a lot really.

Amidst all this was the car problem.

It had finally been recovered from the great car graveyard in the sky at 3 p.m. on Saturday. By hubby and me. Earlier that day he had rescued ED's mini from the garage, but needless to say, that was a just a "tad" too small to take six of us on holiday. That is six, not seven, as the seventh member was not present. She is on holiday in Portugal, with friend's family. Eating out and ignoring the supermarket bogofs for two weeks.

I happened to mention to hubby as we got back to the house with second mended car that day, that I really wondered if it was worth the effort. Given that it was quite a lot of effort. Really.

Hubby, being in stiff upper lip military mode, told me not to be so miserable, and that if "you go with that attitude, then you won't have a nice time."

Ok, I felt like saying. We've tried the, "not got enough money for anything remotely luxurious". The "I know, let's eat cous cous again tonight, because we have it in the cupboard from when they were selling it as a "buy one get six free offer." The "let's have our anniversary at home for the first 21 years of wedding anniversaries", and the "let's save a bit of money by using the tea bags off the clothes line." (Oh, ok, slight exaggeration... We do drink loose leaf tea, I know. And they have some very good offers on the cheapest brands most of the time).

And yes Hubby. Sadly, you are right. With this approach to living, I do frequently lose all notion of "sense of humour mode".

Quite a lot of the time.

So in terms of marks out of ten for observation on "how drudge wears you down", it's a straight 10 out of 10.

But..... on the other hand, you haven't tried the:

"Drape her in jewels, take her out for nice meals at the finest restaurants, take her on expensive holidays, and let her go to the supermarket without having to buy the bogof's and the "nearly at the sell by dates", and lingerie that isn't the "buy two pairs , get one free set of granny knickers from Tesco" approach, and seen how that might affect the sense of humour part of the brain now have you?

No.

See?

I didn't say that of course. I just looked moody for a little while and carried on packing and stuff. And besides, to be fair, had it not been for a benevolent brother who has lent us a house by the seaside this summer, for the second summer running, we wouldn't have had a holiday at all this year, even with bogofs.

So thank you BB.....

So, we stufffed all foodstuffs, seven grips, an extra grip for towels and bedding, duvets, sleeping bags, dog bowls, food bags and children into the car.

Then we went to find the dog. Said dog has pathalogical fear of cars and so was hiding, very well indeed, in an upstairs bedroom.

As we finally pulled away from the drive at 6.40, I did feel like going on holiday after all.

And as we turned back to the house at 6.50 to pick up all bits that we had forgotten, buy a lottery ticket (so as to give fate a chance of changing) and some sweets for the journey, it felt even more like a holiday.

Well.... the sort of holidays that the Lomaxes always have.

They always start with a bit of a "trip back to the house" followed by fifteen incidents of sibling friction an hour, and thirty "are we nearly there yets."

Yes.....

By 8 p.m. I could definitely see a good Lomax family holiday coming up.

27 comments:

little gymnast said...

good blog Mum!!!!!!!!!!!

Asha said...

OH! Tell me about packing the basics.I hate it too.
When we book a suite with kitchenette,kids expect to cook Mac and cheese, noodles etc and I wish I rather be home cooking.Past 2 holidays,I have put my foot down and have said NO MORE cooking when I am on "holiday"!:D
Have a great time.We will sneak in a beach holiday too for 3 days before school starts on 27th.Enjoy Sally!:))

pierre l said...

It does sound like a lot of work, Sally. It's not clear how long you were going for (a few days, I think) so if you are still away then have a good time.
The weather is mostly good in Berkshire (so hopefully is also good where you are). Thank you for continuing to write so beautifully about your experiences.

Karmyn R said...

Even though holidays tend to be a lot of work - they are worth it! Enjoy the trip!!!

Mary Alice said...

Have a wonderful time. Holidays were so much fun when I was young - you know - before I was a mother!

Keith said...

I might manage a daytrip to Wigan this year. When you're old and decrepid (is that spelt right?)like me you don't feel much like a World Cruise nowadays.

There's a possibility I might not survive the trip, what with all that super foreign food, rich widows asking for favours, and having to dine at the Captains table every night. Boring! I'll just go round the pub for a pint and a game on dominoes with the "lads"....

Ignorminious said...

So are you still on holiday, in which case why are you blogging, or have you just returned?

Either way, good post and I can totally relate to all that packing fun.

ChrisB said...

I feel a touch of deja vu coming on-been there done that got the tee shirt. Enjoy!:)

Sally Lomax said...

Hello Everyone! Thank you for all your good holiday wishes.

'Spect cruises are overrated anyway Keith!

Yes - am still on holiday. We are leaving Portsmouth today, then we are sepnding a few days with my parents in Sussex, a day nearer London with a friend and finally a few days in Devon with Hubby's Mum.

Hubby brought his work laptop with him, which is how i am able to blog. However, I can't make all the featuresw work that I have at home, so don't seem to be able to add anything to my template. No pix til we get home either...

Flowerpot said...

havwe a good holiday, Sally! The sun's shining here in Cornwall so with a bit of luck it will be in Devon, too.

Akelamalu said...

Been there done that (only two kids though) and we always had a good time. Hope you have a great holiday - I'm sure you will!

meredic said...

I always tell She Of The Town House that all we need is a credit card and a toothbrush. Then she packs all the stuff you said and some bread in case we see ducks.
Hey look there is always a free farmhouse for you all in North Wales as well you know. Its a bit primitive but its home....

Beccy said...

Sally you've taken me back to holidays of my childhood and recent family trips to Cornwall. My dad would get exasperated on recent holidays as mum squeezes everything she could possibly need and twice as much again into the car. And since I've my own car she could fit zillions of stuff into their eight seater. Joules would ask 'why'? As there was a perfectly good Tesco that we always visited by day 2!

Flowerpot said...

you have an award Sally - drop by and pick it up!

headless chicken said...

Another great post Sally, hope your holiday was a success, see you soon!x

Alice Band said...

Tell your Hubby he's off his head! You are quite within your rigt to be miserable. WE've just had three days camping in Polzeath and believe me it was effing hell. Why the eff would you swap a lovely house to sleep in a field with another 1500 frigging people with only a thin bit of dew soaked nylon between you and their farts, throat clearing and snoring. We actually came home last night instead of this morning and I have never been so glad to see my goose down duvet - ever. Of course this morning there was so much stuff to put away that we might have been away for three weeks not days. As you are on the same holiday bugdet as us i.e couscous and ratatouille around a camp fire, every night - please next year come and stay here and we'll stay with soemeone else. P.S Before we left last night Hubby and I went for a drink whilst the kids were on the bouncy castle (yes we're like that), anyway a beer a glass of wine and a small bowl of olives cost £10.80!!!!! For fuck's sake!!!

la bellina mammina said...

Too funny! Our holiday preparation is pretty similar too!

And I can't imagine how we'll begin to pack for our winter hols this year in a cabin in Idaho - all the way from Singapore!!

Lisa said...

Of course, the preperations are worse for the mom, they do it all!
I'm just back and it will take me days just to do laundry.
(Have a wonderful time, I'm sure it will be worth it!)

ED said...

Hehehe sounds stressful!
I am flabbergasted by Gymnast's blog! What a *STAR*!
It's so CUTE! I loved "met the BF on the way out, so he came home for tea!
Hope you're all ejoying yourselves! Miss you tonnesss!
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Pamela said...

I haven't heard the word "grip" since my father passed on.

It was used to describe his carrying case
and... a bad case of stomach flu.

We could trade houses for vacation next year.... but my cupboards are kinda skimpy too.
I hate to grocery shop

enidd said...

whew, sally, poor you. enidd bets you do the lion's share of the packing, unpacking, washing and ironing too. next year, why don't you and alice leave the husbands and kids to their camping, and visit enidd in sf?

Alice Band said...

Sally! Did you see what enidd said?? C'mon let's do it, let's go!

Sally Lomax said...

Hi Everyone. Just back!

Will blog asap.

In the meantime.......

Thank you for all your comments, and for the invites Enidd, Meredic and Alice!

AB, can fully sympathise re drinks and stuff.

Enidd/ Alice Will think about it!

Sally Lomax said...

Flowerpot: Thank you!!!

Sally's ED said...

does anyone else think that a new blog is waaaaaaaaay overdue?
no pressure or anything, mum...=)
xxx

Sally Lomax said...

Thank you Pamela too!
ED - new post awaiting!

elena jane said...

lol, exactly right...i'm at the howtofitallinthevan stage of the week....how many pairs of socks do you really need and can we get away with only 3 changes of clothes (times 7, plus more for the girlchild....)....
hope YOUR holiday was/is lovely!!