It feels like I’m the only one who hasn’t their ‘out-of-office’ message turned on yet and I’m feeling a little left out, although with another visit from Covid it’s probably just as well
• FORGET about seeing the feared two Covid lines popping up these days (more of that later), I’m more in dread of getting the triple ‘OOO’ right now. That’s the seasonal ‘out-of-office’ reply which I’ve gotten to just about every email I’ve sent over the past few days. It feels like half of West Cork has headed off to foreign climes and I’m flat out watering their plants, checking their pets and liking their Instagram posts (but definitely not snooping around their kitchen presses, swear to god). You’d be half wrecked from it. A while back we decided not to book a foreign break this summer – for the life of us we can no longer remember why – and to be honest, despite our great weather and airport horror stories, I’m feeling a small bit sorry for myself. So to ease the FOMO, I’ve compiled a list of the benefits of holidaying at home. It took a while, but here goes ….
• For starters I won’t have to take on that epic task of packing. I loathe packing. It turns me into this half-crazed lunatic with multiple personality disorder. I start stuffing things into the case that still have the tags on, stuff that I’ve never worn, and that I know deep down I’ll never wear, but that I somehow feel I cannot holiday without. Then I’ll shove in a few polo necks (and maybe an Aran jumper) just in case; also maybe my debs dress (or some other formal gown – sure you never know); followed by various dodgy maxi skirts dating back to the noughties and of course, a denim mini skirt for some serious 80s popstar vibes. Next I’ll torture myself by pulling out my honeymoon wardrobe and try to squeeze into it, before admitting defeat. Then I’ll look at my ‘chic holiday looks’ Pinterest board that I made some random April evening (mainly featuring Olivia Palermo), and I’ll have a little cry for myself, before going online to get some ‘wearable’ stuff with the old reliable tummy ruching.
• So I won’t have to do any of that. That’s an ease to me. Next, I’ll be spared making the usual holy show of myself at the airport. Without fail, despite doing the ‘passport, keys, wallet, boarding pass’ check a million times, I always misplace something at the last minute and end up in a blind panic at the departure gate. Happens every time. I end up tipping everything out of the bag on to the ground in consternation, which is exactly when some mainland European woman chooses to glide by, dressed in white, with the slimmest of attache cases, and an expensive glow. As I struggle with the zips on my back pack (Cúl Camp of course), that’s when I’ll notice my fake tan is already looking a bit patchy, and I’ll regret spritzing myself in 10 random perfumes in the duty free.
• I’ll be spared all of that, thank the lord. I’ll also be spared that sinking feeling you get when you arrive at your destination, to discover it looks nothing like it said on the tin. C’mon, it’s happened to the best of us. No judging here. I remember once a pal and I thought we knew it all and booked a trip ourselves to an ‘off the beaten path’ part of Spain. Let’s just say after spending a night sleeping in our clothes, lying on our towels we went scurrying back to the nearest Budget Travel rep we could find begging forgiveness. Or what about when you’re just settling in at the pool on day one and you spot your neighbour or colleague across the way? Is there anything more awkward? Even if they’re nice people you don’t go half way around the world (or even to the Canaries) to see John from over the road in his trunks.
• Next up, and this is a big one for me, I’ll be spared any chance of getting prickly heat rash. If you’ve never been afflicted with this, I suggest you drop to your knees immediately and give thanks as it’s a rare form of torture. As the name suggests it’s a sort of prickly rash that’s like being prodded by a million pins at once. Only worse. It will push you to the brink of despair. I remember getting a really bad attack one time in Portugal and after chomping my way through a box of antihistamines which brought no relief, I got a packet of cigarettes and chomped my way through them, despite the fact that I didn’t smoke. If you ever get an attack, I wouldn’t recommend that as a course of action to be honest. Unless you want to be throwing up, with the rash. Anyway, at least it never gets hot enough in West Cork for any of that lark, although it was touch and go last weekend.
• I’m also spared the dodgy night time kids’ entertainment that’s trotted out in most resorts. You know where they get them all out dancing, and it’s all fun and games until suddenly it isn’t any more, and they leave and you’re left to deal with the fall-out? On our last foreign holiday pre-Covid, there was a mascot character called Roggii who appeared every evening in the resort dressed like the sun, and all the kids, including my own, would stare wide eyed up at him chanting his name, shoving each other out of the way, trying to hold his hand. It was bizarre. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised to see him in a Netflix documentary some day. And it goes without saying there was a wide range of Roggii paraphernalia to purchase from teddies, to bags, to Tshirts, to magnets (always magnets), all of which we have.
•Ah sure who am I kidding? I’m searching for last-minute breaks every chance I get, even if I have to remortgage the house. Right now though I’m grateful to have nothing booked as we had a week where the puppy went missing for 24 hours and two out our family of three got Covid. More on that next week.