Wednesday, 28 September 2011

The tent, the bucket and me (Kennedy)...and thinking about holidays

I struggled to read much whilst I had mumps, and, having missed my library-book-changing-day, I had very little at home that was new to read. So it was back to the shelves to read things which I had read many times and which were comforting, and to read other things which I'd only read once since buying. Nothing terribly literary, the emphasis was enjoyable.

The tent, the bucket and me, was one that I pulled off the shelves. It's a jolly title and an entertaining book about the writer's family's "disastrous attempts to go camping in the 1970s". The first couple of times they don't even make it to their destination in Wales! A trip to France where they are food poisoned by mussels, falling down camping toilets, dodgy cars and endless endless rain.

I'm writing about this today, because it is approaching the end of September which is the time that we get our leave cards - these show us how many days of holiday we have, as well as which library closed days we get and which bank holidays we have to work. Our holiday year runs October - September and as soon as the cards come out we can start to book for 2012. Because our department relies heavily on frontline staff it's always important to get in early if you don't want to end up with a random assortment of time off! Mr W finds this difficult to understand as he doesn't like to plan ahead for holidays (he reminds me of the time when he arranged to go skiing with The other Mr W, his brother and each thought that the other was booking it; they only discovered 24 hours beforehand but still managed to get away), and also because he works in a different sort of environment where you can ask for time off the week before and generally get it!

But for me it is the planning and the looking forward that is part of the fun. We booked our wedding trip nearly a year in advance and very few days would go by without me looking at the website of the resort or of the hotel and thinking about it. We have already booked 6 days in my beloved Cornwall for my birthday in April, returning to the place we stayed at last year, since staying 20 metres from the beach is probably the only reason that I made it into the sea so early in the year (sans wetsuit). Mr W would like to go on a boys ski trip with the other Mr W, and has also got to attend a week's Open University school. As he gets only 4 weeks hols to my 6, and as I spent quite a lot of my remaining days off this year at home doing the washing, I am wondering if I might be brave enough to go away on my own. Specifically, I am wondering about a swim camp in Tenerife. It would involve 4 hours on a plane (terrifying!), but would mean sunshine in February, lots of coaching from a coach with great credentials, nice food, and swimming in outdoor pools and the sea....ho hum...I shall continue to secretly think about it. That would leave 1 more week for Mr W and I to go away somewhere at the end of the summer - probably self-catering...but where? Cornwall again? Back to the lake district? Where else is good for walks/swimming/national trust properties?


  1. I love planning holidays too. :) In New York I got 10 days holiday for the entire year - the US standard. Shocking! I found it so frustrating to suddenly see my 30 days reduced by two thirds, allowing precious little time for spontaneous weekends away, which are the sorts of holidays I love! Now I'm back to six weeks' holiday, I can plan lovely breaks again! Two of my NY friends and I are already planning a trip back to our beloved America next Easter, but my latest holiday plan is a long winter weekend by the sea in Holkham, Norfolk, with my mummy, when we can have lots of long bracing walks and cosy evenings in by the fire to chat. I think you'd love Norfolk - beautiful beaches, lots of amazing National Trust properties and gorgeous countryside! Holkham beach is apparently the most beautiful in the UK- and the limited research I've done so far shows that it's surrounded by lots of beautiful tea shop and book shop filled villages and plenty of places to visit. I recommend it!

  2. I am of the impromptu nature, mainly because I was like your husband, could within reason and board meetings, have time off to suit.

    My husband works for himself and literally can't afford to take time off. When I was working I used to go off to Germany with a rucksac, getting off the plane and virtually deciding which direction I was going, unless I had an invitation or on one occasion went to where I used to work to see how it had changed. I love the spontaneity and excitement of it. That's when I used to switch off and not speak any English until I got back to England.

    I hope you're feeling much better from your mumps.

    I was going to offer to lend you The Little Madeleine but think I no longer have it. I have Madeleine Grown up but I really think you need to read some earlier ones. They go right from her childhood to her marriage and I hope you manage to find some.

  3. 160654961192 - The Little Madeleine on Ebay!

  4. My holiday for next August was booked in August! I like to have something to look forward too. We do a lot of camping which I love. Normally in the Spring and early Summer. I have this book and still haven't read it.

  5. Hi Rachel, Norfolk sounds like a good idea. I can't imagine only having 10 days holiday - i need mine, not just for going away but for having a good rest at home!

    Campfire - I am going to take a chance on that book and see if I like it!

    Vivienne - we are going to sit down and do a budget and work out what we can afford to do!

  6. It's Erika:
    I suggest St. David's, South Wales. Wonderful lonely beaches, incredible cliff walks, mythic Celtic and early Christian sites and of course the Cathedral. in the Middle Ages it was so difficult to reach that 2 pilgrimages to St. David's shrine = 1 to Campostela. We have been here twice from the USA staying at the Landmark Trust cottage and joining the bell ringers' practice, a skip across the path from us in the medieval tower.

    The top place my husband--a glutton for the new, has wished to revisit. (Beat out Edinburgh and Oxford!)


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