Hubby and I were discussing today how relaxing this holiday is. Sort of. We’re actually in week 2 of our 7 week jaunt and to be honest, this feels like the first week as the 6 days in UK was so full of meetings with family members it became more of a ‘to-do list’ rather than anything restful. I mentioned this to a friend who really went off on one with me about my ‘quasi Irish-American family coming over to UK on their whirlwind tour and finding fault with everyone and everything they had to do.’ I thought that a bit harsh. But there again, unless you ‘live away’ and you come back for a visit every year or so, you cannot understand the expectation that family has on your time – regardless of whether you are on your hols or not… I hadn’t as much ‘found fault’ with everything but had shared with him some of the crapness of going to my Gran’s house – as he knows her and I thought he would understand where I was coming from….
Anyway. We are off in the South of France and bar one massive storm when we were in the car, a few clouds have not gotten in the way of glorious weather. Put it like this, I bought a biiiig tube of aftersun today even though we are using loads and loads of suncream.
But it is the pace here that is so leisurely. Hubby gets up early and he’ll go for a run (sickening) whilst I hang with the kids and do breakfast and get them in the pool… then I go up loads of steps (counts as exercise) and visit Patricia in the Boulangerie and get my baguettes and other bits and bobs. I chat a bit to her now…. she asked me about the beach…..I asked her about the football starting tonight….. it’s quite sweet I have these French conversations sounding like a little test conversation from the Tricolore tapes many years ago :)
We have a subdued lunch at the house, I might do some laundry and in the afternoon we sometimes drive to a beach or a little town…. dinner is usually something I cook here (we did a ‘big shop’ knowing we were staying put for 2 weeks here) – which is not the most relaxing thing to do but it is novel to cook with far different ingredients and someone else’s kitchen……
Even the kids going to bed is laid back… there are still showers and stories etc but there is not the feel of having to get them in bed for an early morning. Then the pool is warm for an adult swim at night, followed by reading or watching a DVD etc.
Of course, with 4 kids nothing is ever 100% relaxing but we’re having an easier time than normal. We were talking about why this is…
Well at home there is normally an agenda or something pressing that needs doing. There is way more laundry with bedding etc… .and I clean up way more than I am doing with this smaller house. Plus the calendar at home is never empty. I mean it is right now as nothing is scheduled whilst we’re away… no school (obviously), no sports, no dental appointments etc. So even if we’d stayed back in Denver, there would have had to have been a conscious effort not to ‘arrange’ anything. But even then it would have been the usual running folk about for playdates etc….. where as ‘en vacances’ this is ruled out and we’re together ‘just so.’
It takes a bit of tweaking. All together for too long and the kids squabble of course. Bee and Paddy have a ‘guest house’ for a bit of independence here so they have ‘teen hours’ even though they are only 14 and 11 respectively. I think they have enjoyed this little bit of ‘power.’ There are lots of imaginary dividers in the pool when they are bugging each other….. sometimes DSs are banned, other times iPad time is lost. Quite often a kid loses out on ice-cream that day…… but it is time altogether…
I hope, looking back they remember some of the fun in all this. And not just some of the negative bits that happen (like Hubby nearly driving the wrong way around a roundabout today and me making us walk almost a mile for a non-existant lemon tree shop in Menton).