For the past 16 years I’ve managed to cope with winter with the thought and anticipation of a holiday abroad each August with my two sisters and our mum. Except for this year. We had no holiday planned for a variety of reasons and with nothing to look forward to, I found I was becoming more and more withdrawn and melancholic, had little get up and go and increasingly restless for some fun in the sun. It was, I realised, my Season Affective Disorder (SAD) continuing throughout winter and on into June. Bad vibes indeed. I hate being indoors and needed some warmth on my arthritic bones – all in all, a good dose of vitamin D that doesn’t come in a pill or bottle. The weather in the UK showed all the signs of being another washout. What was a girl to do?
Then, hallelujah, summer hit us. Three glorious weeks of hot, and I mean hot, weather, so I decided to make the most of it even if I couldn’t go away. Instead, I had a virtual holiday – all the thrills except without the swimming pool to dip in or the sounds and smells of the oceans. I decided to live a few weeks just as I would if I was on holiday. On holiday, we are always up early, often just before sunrise, take a coffee outside and sit and relax and watch the world come awake. I couldn’t hear the sea so pretended the sound of the motorway was waves, and slowly let the warmth of the sun warm my body. (I think I must have been a lizard in a previous life!)
After, whilst it was still relatively cool, I would do all the little chores around the house so the rest of the day could be spent relaxing outside. With good weather it was a joy to hang out the washing on my collapsible rotary line. As I pegged out each item with a warm breeze blowing across the patio, I felt as if I were on holiday. Jobs done, I’d make another coffee, pour a small glass of brandy, and sit outside and enjoy. A small glass of brandy is how in Spain, my brother and I like to start the day, so again, I was on holiday.
My husband had bought me a new patio table and sunshade so that I could work outdoors instead of being cooped up in the office upstairs. Such bliss to type whilst at the same time enjoying the sights and sounds and smells of the garden.
On holiday, another favourite time of day is late afternoon, when we sit around in companionable silence and read as we enjoy a glass of sangria or a G&T. I couldn’t run to sangria but I could do the G&T bit, so indulged myself before I went inside to prepare our evening meal. Sadly, on this virtual holiday, I had to cook, whereas on holiday I would have been getting ready to go out for a meal in a restaurant, but this was a small price to pay and I didn’t mind.
Our holidays always start and finish back home with a girlie weekend so that is what I did this weekend. The four of us chilled out in the garden on Saturday with a couple of bottles of champagne, a bbq, a late night and a few more bottles of wine listening to Andrea Bocelli, and lunched out yesterday. When we have our weekends, we each bring a contribution to the Saturday meal and I’m always under instruction to bring the dessert. This time I took a box of assorted cakes. We were too full after our bbq to eat them so we were really naughty and had them for Sunday morning breakfast. A pleasant change from croissants or toast – I can highly recommend!
Ah well, weekend over, and it’s almost like the holiday is over as today it is raining. At least it is not cold and, unlike my real holidays, this year as soon as the sun comes out again, I can go back outside and enjoy more days on my virtual holiday.