Valerie-Anne Baglietto joins the Summer Fun today
"Having just got back from two weeks in the sun with my family, I ought to be an expert on how to survive a holiday with children (ages twelve, ten & eight). Problem is, I’m not sure I did survive. I still feel a bit dazed and disoriented about the whole thing. The huge pile of laundry isn’t helping, either. So, sorry to say I haven’t got a long list of valuable tips I can share, but as a coping mechanism I seemed to take a freakish number of photos of exotic trees, plants and flowers. One day I may print them all off and plaster them around my study, for inspiration, even though I tend to write about the lush green hills of North Wales, where I live, and we don’t get many palm trees around here. (Lots of sheep, though.)
Oddly, the hard part about the holiday was living in a hotel for a fortnight barely having to lift a finger to do anything. Or rather, anything that might count as work. Frankly, I’m not used to it. I like pottering about doing ‘stuff’, in between sitting at my PC writing ‘stuff’. My typical working day – till 3.30 when the kids return home – will find me alone, not caring too much about my appearance. But I’m happy like this. I don’t ever feel lonely. I used to work in an open plan office years ago. I still shudder at the memory. I don’t like being watched.
So, apart from an hour here and there in the hotel room on my own, for the rest of the holiday I felt as if I was drifting aimlessly around the large dining hall or the poolside or the cavernous hotel lobby with a lot of other brightly dressed people, never shaking off the sensation of being under surveillance. The kids thrived in this environment though. They made firm friends and spent hours in the pool leaping from one inflatable to another like feverish frogs hopping around rainbow-coloured lily pads.
Personally, I like sightseeing holidays, especially city breaks. I always have; my brain craves new experiences when I’m away. I’m not a beachy, bake-me-in-the-sun sort of person. Even with a Kindle in my hand, I get twitchy spending day after day sprawled under a parasol. But children and sightseeing in hot, sticky conditions don’t mix. We tried it a couple of times and gave up. They went back to their inflatables and I went back to my reading.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m immensely grateful for the chance to get away to a sun-scorched climate and escape Life for a while. And the kids really did have a fabulous holiday, which was the whole point of saving up for the exercise. It wasn’t about me this time round, it was about them.
Who knows, one day, we might even go back there with the grandchildren. Because thirteen years ago, we honeymooned at that very same hotel, and my husband – temporarily – lost his wedding ring in that very same pool. We maybe even discussed returning one day with our offspring; I can’t quite remember if I dreamed that conversation or not. But however dazed and disoriented I still feel now I’m back on Welsh soil, however much laundry I still have to get through, I’m really glad we did."
Link to latest book: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00DNJCBSE
I also have a short story in the Belinda Jones' SUNLOUNGER anthology.
Valerie-Anne Baglietto is kindly offering an ecopy of
THE TROUBLE WITH KNIGHTS IN SHINING ARMOUR
to one lucky UK reader
Please complete the form below to be entered into the giveaway.