Author’s note: As is my normal practice with holiday series’ I write them by hand while I’m away then type them up and publish them when I get home. This prevents any burglars amongst my readership from knowing that the house is empty – sorry about that, I realise it’s extremely unsporting of me!
It also means that sometimes my past and present tenses get a bit muddled so apologies for that too. If it helps at all this holiday actually happened between 23rd and 30th September 2016.
Now that Faith and I have retired we have a problem with holidays – specifically, what are we having a holiday FROM?
Once upon a time we worked for most of the year and, to avoid both the stress and the children reaching overwhelming levels, would take a summer break to somewhere hot and as far as we could afford to get from cool, soggy England. And usually it did the trick – at least it did for me once I got into the kind of job where the work didn’t just pile up while I was away and targets were the same whether you had time off or not!
Now, however, neither of us has any work-related stress to contend with so now we have to find another reason for going away. And the best excuse we have been able to come up with is………..
“Because we CAN!”
So, after many happy hours perusing brochures and searching the internet we decided to return to the Mediterranean island of Menorca that we last visited in 2004.
Actually this choice of location and date did initially cause me some concern as on our previous trip we came home on about the same date that we are now going out and on that occasion the aeroplane came out empty to fetch us home because “the season has ended”, or so we were told.
I have since been assured that while some hotels do indeed shut down once schools and universities across Europe return to do some work for a change, this does not apply to either our hotel or the Menorcan tourist industry as a whole – which stay open until the end of October and THEN shut down.
Which is nice for us!
We do, however, have a tiny problem with our flight out – while take-off time is a quite reasonable 7.20 a.m. the convoluted check-in and security check processes mean we have to be at Stansted Airport at least 2 hours before that! Given that our route includes the notorious traffic blackspot that is the A14 between Huntingdon and Cambridge and that allowances for delays here have to be factored in whatever time of day you are travelling, I calculated that we would need to be up and ready to roll at 3.30 a.m. – a disgusting hour that I have experienced only very rarely since my night shifts for the IT Department of Solway Foods in Corby ended in 2002.
All of which explains why Faith and I, having spent most of Thursday 22nd September packing our cases in an unaccustomedly leisurely fashion, were trying desperately to get to sleep before 9 p.m. on that day.