There is a moment that comes when you know, you need a holiday. My life is a succession of these moments lately...
- I loaded all of my groceries on to the checkout at the supermarket...and then added the entire contents of my handbag.
- My mother came over with some food for me and I muttered "just add it to my in-tray".
- I put out a dish of food for Xander's stuffed toy monkey, then put Xander on a shelf so he wouldn't distract the monkey whilst it was eating.
- I boarded the bus and said to the driver "I'll have two sliced wholemeal loves please."
You see. It's bad. It is that time of year; winter is coming to an end, airlines and hotels are cutting prices, and everyone - everyone - is going on holiday except me. Even my grandmother, who turns 80 this year, travels - we're talking here about a woman who visited Egypt in the months after the Luxor massacre.
Not me. I haven't had what one would call a "real holiday" in nearly three years. I'd love to go somewhere interesting, meet new people, have new and fun experiences, watch TV in a different time zone! The problem though isn't money; for once I've actually got that. It's finding someone who'd actually be willing to go on holiday with me. I don't need looking after, but someone to keep an eye on things is a good idea, and besides, it might be nice to have someone to talk to instead of wandering around, talking to myself and scribbling in my note book.
Some friends are starting to take pity on me, and we've discussing possibly looking at taking into consideration myself going along as a "fifth wheel" (I'm usually a useless tool when I travel).
Looking at holidays has been fun. Cruises are very affordable at the moment - P&O cruises have acquired a reputation for being nothing more than drunken, out-of-control debauchery fests. I'm a bit worried about that actually - what if it's false advertising and it all turns out very tame? It wouldn't make much difference anyway; whenever I picture myself on a cruise, the only thing I see is myself standing at the buffet with a shovel, warning others to back off.
Though getting people to agree on arrangements means that the closest I'll get to a cruise is by buying a magazine with "First shots of baby Suri!" Domestic tourism really seems like the best option. We can feel a warm self-righteous glow for "helping to create Australian jobs" (or that might just be the glow from nine daquiris) and anyway, it's such an uncertain world out there (figuring out those strange TV schedules).
There is one major issue I always have with going on a holiday, and that's leaving Xander behind. But this time he's wishing I go with godspeed. Apparently, he's getting pretty hungry lately.