herald

Sunday 24 September 2017

Holiday has me feeling at home

THERE'S nothing quite like a winter break! During the dark, dank, dreary days many of us dream of escaping to sunnier climes.

Drizzly Dublin or sunny Spain? Well, I didn't have to think twice when I saw a last-minute online bargain to the Canary Islands.

I snapped it up, asked my parents to mind my son, shoved a few bikinis into a case and headed for the airport.

I was excited about my impromptu trip. The resort looked nice from the website and, although the accommodation wasn't too fancy, it had a pool and a bar, so it would do.

Complex

When I arrived, I realised that everybody on the bus was getting off, too. The entire complex was full of Irish, mostly from Dublin and Cork. The chirpy guide gave her usual spiel about the welcome meeting. Naturally, I was going to give that a miss. This was at least my 10th visit to the islands, and I had no interest in being tempted into watching Flamenco dancing or taking a glass-bottomed boat ride across to one of the other islands.

I do not like organised outings and the best thing about going on holidays is that you don't have to do anything or go anywhere.

The first afternoon I lay my towel out on a deckchair by the pool. As my fellow holiday-makers were Irish, there had thankfully been no scrambling around madly at 6am to try and bag the best chairs. Everything was nice and civilised.

As I write mostly on my holidays, I only ever spend about two hours sunbathing. That's enough for a pale, freckled one like me anyway.

Friends

After a couple of days I noticed that the other holiday-makers who had been on the same bus as me from the airport were making friends. They would hail each other around the pool and chat over pints at the bar.

They left me alone mostly which I was glad about. But then, one day, a lovely lady called Marion, approached me and introduced herself.

"We were wondering," she said, "why we never see you at the Shaking Shamrock."

"Oh, I don't go," I said and explained that I wrote during the evenings.

She seemed to think that this was an utter tragedy and she asked was I on holiday alone. I nodded, aware that she probably thought I'd been stood up by my lover at the airport.

She said it was a pity to come all this way and not have any fun in the Shaking Shamrock. I smiled back and said that when I got home I would go to the same bar every night for a week to make up for it.

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