Why I Go On Holiday On My Own

It’s been that time of year again when I go off to wherever on my own, for the  past 3 years it’s been Ibiza but I’ll be looking to go somewhere different next year and it will definitely only be a week as 11 nights was a bit too long for me, but of course the same old inevitable question was asked, “Why do you go on holiday on your own?” Older people my age seem to have a bit of a problem with this, someone at some point will sidle up to me while their partner or group of friends look on to try and see what the poor sad single woman is going to say, and usually I’ll make some flippant remark about it should have been my honeymoon and I got stood up. or my partner ran off with the Jehova’s witness who apparently knocked on our door 6 months ago, just to see the embarrassment on their faces as these people are never the ones to say “On your own? Come and join us!” No, usually theses are the people who feel sorry for me, as I clearly have no friends if I have to holiday alone right?

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

At my age some of my friends have their own apartment elsewhere that they like to holiday in with their partner, family and grandkids, or a caravan that they like to take to different places, not everyone likes my idea of a holiday which consists of lying in the sun all day, couple of glasses of wine, reading, people watching then more wine. I’ve never been one to get involved in groups of women who all get together to go off for a weekend to Barcelona, my mouth always seems to get me in trouble if I take a dislike to someone (and vice versa) so it’s easier not to get involved, it doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a get together with a group but holidays are a bit different.

But I must admit that sometimes I wish someone was with me to see the likes of Carol kicking off in the hotel restaurant when they didn’t have any vanilla ice cream one day and demanding to see the holiday rep to complain. Carol with her clip in curls that she wore around the pool with a sun visor on with the curls peeking out the top and her sunglasses perched on top of the visor, think she might have been channeling her retired tennis player look but I was more concerned with the fact that her husband wore more jewelry than she did. Or Sharon and Gillian who were on the next table to me one evening telling me all about the operations they’ve had which quickly became a competition between them both as to who has had the worst time. It turned out to be Sharon who had had a swab left in her throat after an operation but they were kind enough to give me the name of a really good consultant should I ever need a hip replacement. Or the woman who fell off a 2 foot high stage in the karaoke bar one evening and broke her ankle. I wasn’t the only single woman in the hotel though,there was another single lady I’d say 50 ish who provided some entertainment for all of us as she got off with the guy who did the quiz in the hotel one evening, did the walk of shame more than once straight into breakfast (you can imagine everyone absolutely LOVED that) and decided to go for a swim in the hotel pool when everyone was going into the restaurant for dinner, a sure way of getting everyone’s attention, look at meeeee.

There are many reasons why people choose to go on holiday alone, there’s pros and cons of course but for me it really boils down to this. I have a week off work booked and I can either,

1. Sit at home on my own in Manchester and look out of the window and watch the rain.

2. Sit on a beach on my own wherever I choose feeling the sun on my face.

Decisions decisions.

Now please could someone pass those clip in curls to this sad pathetic older woman.

tumblr_inline_mrgwu02FSA1qz4rgp

Tagged : / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

One Last Adventure.

It was binge watching A New Life In The Sun that did it. I didn’t even know that the programme even existed until I found it on catch up and started to get all involved with watching other people trying to run a bar/restaurant/pop up nightclub in France/Spain or anywhere else that was in Europe where they have better weather than us. Hoping that they’d all make it and not have to come back to England feeling that they’d failed, to listen to all the people say ” I wouldn’t have come back if it had been me.”  Usually from the people who’ve lived on the same street all their lives and are frightened that they might get a nosebleed if they step out of their own postcode.

It got me thinking.

I’d like to think there is one last adventure, one more time of taking a risk and trying something new. Nothing quite as drastic as buying a barn in France or a restaurant in Spain but it doesn’t stop me thinking that maybe I wouldn’t mind working and living for a while somewhere hot. I’ve put the dream of moving to Gibraltar to bed, but I can’t stop thinking that there has to be something else to try before I have to call it a day. Years ago before I was a wife, mother and mortgaged to the hilt I used to sod off for the summer, working in various hotels or bars and I loved it.

Tresco.

The first year I did it I went to Tresco, one of the islands of the Isles of Scilly which is just off Penzance. Working as a chambermaid in a gorgeous 5 star hotel on a private beach, there are no cars allowed on the island and only one pub. As a 20 year old that was devastating for there to be only one pub and the novelty soon wore off going to it as it was quite a trek from the hotel, plus the locals didn’t really appreciate a group of noisy “outsiders” invading it.  The lovely Tresco where I burnt half my face off after I fell asleep in the sun one afternoon and had to wait nearly a week before seeing a doctor as he only visited every Tuesday when he came over by boat.

Woolacombe.

Another hotel working as a chambermaid in Woolacombe in North Devon and what a beautiful place it is. A blue flag beach which attracts a lot of surfers in the summer so it has that holiday feel and definitely more than one pub to go to on a night off. I liked the fact it’s not a particularly large place and has a lot of charm and as I was living in Bath at the time instead of Manchester, it didn’t feel as though it was too far away from home  Lovely Woolacombe where I caught the guy I was seeing in the pub with another girl.

Gibraltar.

I went to Gib looking for work as I already knew a friend who’d gone out there and she loved it, she met me at the airport and took me to where I was staying. I’d booked into the cheapest place for a week and in that time I was hoping to find work and luckily for me I found a job through an agency a couple of days later which was working in a hotel bar, the added bonus being it provided accommodation. As some of my shifts was working in the evening that gave me all day to be at the beach, and when I changed jobs to work in the bar at a restaurant on the marina, it was even better. At that time the border to Spain was closed so it became a bit claustrophobic as Gibraltar is quite small with a village mentality, and we all know how people like to gossip, you get told about the things you’ve done before you’ve even thought about doing them.  But I loved it there, it’s right at the bottom of the  Costa del Sol with English money, national curriculum in schools, and I happened to be there when Charles and Diana started their honeymoon, waving my little flag as I watched them drive through Gibraltar. It’s a weird little place and you either love it or hate it, I stayed a year and had a ball. Fabulous Gibraltar where I had my heart broken.

Life goes on and after getting married and having our family my ex and I decided to do our own “A New Place In The Sun” and emigrated to Australia. We sold up and went looking for a new life in Melbourne and thought we knew what to expect but there were a few surprises. We stayed two years and I was more than ready to come back by then and inevitabley had to listen to people asking why we’d come back, if it was them they wouldn’t blah blah blah but like I said, I like to think there is one last adventure.  Saga holidays are always looking for reps in the summer though am I right?

raw

 

 

 

Tagged : / / / / / / / / / / /

What I Did On My Holidays

Not a lot, but that was supposed to be the whole point, so it did mean that I could indulge in one of my favourite things to do, which is people watching. In a large, busy hotel I had plenty to watch and sad to say, a few of the usual stereotypes were in evidence as they are in any all inclusive hotel.

You’re always going to get the mums and dads who, having been high-fived by one of the animation team, now think that they’re best mates and won’t leave Jose/Giuseppe/Lucy alone, even pushing their own kids out of the way to get a photo taken with their new bestie. Alternatively you always get that one kid who goes and follows the team everywhere, signing up for everything and not making friends with any of the other kids as they’re too busy stalking.

I watched parents with questionable parenting skills in the restaurant, allowing a child to watch a dvd on a portable player, or playing computer games, while everyone on the table is having dinner, and watched as mum or dad even fed the child instead of making the 4/5/6 year old feed themselves. God forbid there’s any interaction and learning  table manners.

I watched as a large group of Germans dragged a number of sunbeds and every available parasol to make their own version of Ocean Beach, playing loud music on their own sound system which was competing with the thousand decibels being played out by the hotel sound system, while parading around with a bottle of vodka bought in the local supermarket. In an all inclusive hotel.

I watched as a young dad gave his two year old son a glass full of orange juice, and as he left him for a moment to get his own drink, the little boy dropped the glass spilling the drink everywhere. I watched as a quick thinking cleaner working nearby, reached out and grabbed the boy by the hood of his beach towel stopping him from slipping and falling on the glass. And I watched as the dad turned around just at that moment and glared at the cleaner, instead of thanking her for saving his son from having a nasty accident.

I watched too many young girls and guys thinking they were super hot, probably thinking they should be on Love Island, parading around, but with the personality of a cobweb.

I watched as impatient people waited for the chains to be unlocked on the sunbeds in the morning. which would only happen when the cleaners had finished sweeping and cleaning around the pool so it was a nicer environment to sunbathe in. One morning, someone figured out how to get the sunbeds off with the chains still on and I’m ashamed to say it was a British person who then proceeded to take the sunbeds off while the cleaners begged him to wait for five minutes while they finished their job.

I’ve watched while a man has wanted me and my daughter to leave a table outside as he insisted he have it as he had a baby in a pram even though he was with a party of six or seven of them and our table could only seat four (at a push).

But I didn’t see everything.

On the last morning of the holiday, I went and reserved our sunbeds by the pool as we weren’t getting picked up until about 6 o’clock. We probably spent more time than we should having breakfast and packing our stuff ready to go home, so when we finally made it to the sunbeds our towels were gone and two people were using the beds. On a mission to find the towels I saw a manager walking around and asked her where they were likely to be. She sent me to the bar by the pool, who subsequently sent me to reception, and they sent me to the lifeguard who didn’t understand a word I said. So I didn’t see who swiped the towels, and I never got them back, so needless to say they’re probably getting rented out by the hotel to people who’ve had the same thing happen to them.

What can I say, I might  have been distracted by one of the fitties parading around in his trunks at the time it happened.

Maybe.

images (12)

 

Tagged : / / / / / / / / / /