It’s the lead up to Christmas. Religiously speaking, we don’t celebrate Christmas, although I believe that there are some who do. However, I fully admit that we have somewhat hijacked the holiday period in order to have… well… a holiday and to celebrate the end of another busy year. I’m not ashamed to behave this way: it’s a great excuse to see family and friends, and at least try to escape the slings and arrows of the frankly outrageous fortunes of the previous twelve months.
I don’t think we’re alone in this ‘borrowing’ of late December. Experience suggests that this is a practice shared with many other heathens.
I like to spread my festive period as widely as possible. Things are a little different this year, due to circumstances that I may go into sometime, but I like to have things done by yesterday – the 21st. And by ‘things’, I mean the shopping, a good spring clean of the house, the wrapping of gifts and the roasting of chestnuts*. Then I can fully relax.
So, did I manage to get all th… no. No, no I haven’t. I’m some distance from being ready, and we’re about to head off to an all-day braai in Fishhoek. And that leaves tomorrow, because the 24th is fully booked up and the reindeer traditionally bring the fat bloke in later that evening.
I want to be done. I’m not. There’s a strange sense of disorganisation around me this year and I’m actually rather uncomfortable about the whole thing.
*it’s currently 33ºC outside. Any hot, festive foodstuffs can actually like to voetsek.
This is just the first batch, documenting only the first few days of the holiday as well. I do seem to have taken a lot of photos. Looking back through them now, I couldn’t even remember taking some of them.
The one above though: well, I decided that I couldn’t sleep, jumped off the boat (fortunately on the dry side) went wandering around a deserted village in my nightwear looking for shots.
There’s still another week of France to come before we head over to the UK and the Isle of Man.
And there are still all the images from my phone and my Mavic.
This morning – right now, in fact – I find myself sitting in front of a computer in an office adjoining a laboratory.
This isn’t right, is it? Is it?
Surely there should be boats and fields and seaside and beer and family and sunshine?
Sure there should be… freedom?
But no. We’re back, after yesterday’s marathon twenty-something hour trip. It’s been a truly amazing few weeks away and I’m not quite ready for this sudden return to work. There’s sleep to make up, thoughts to process, photos to edit, stories to share (oh, so many stories – this one was eventful), reviews to post.
And on top of all that, there’s real life to catch up on.
I’m in that weird place between the exhilaration of travel and the crushing realisation that it’s all over. Limbo. A twilight zone.
Last time we were on the Isle of Man, it rained. It rained a lot. It very rarely stopped raining. And then we went to Sheffield in it rained some more.
Now I know that the UK (of which the Isle of Man isn’t part), has a bit of a reputation for this kind of thing, but the summer of 2012 was unprecedented in its raininess. There were literally a couple of nice days during our entire three week stay. The Flickr collection I made is testament to this.
We deserve better this time.
Of course, I not forgetting that we did get better back in 2009. The holiday where I regularly ended up taking our toddler son out (not in an assassination kind of way) at 6am before he woke up the whole household because he’d forgotten how to sleep:
OK, so what follows is… well, for the next few weeks at least… is a combination of pre-written posts and juicy fresh content.
Pre-written posts because I want to have a break without having to be concerned about needing to blog every day, and there’s no way I can guarantee a decent (or indeed any) internet connection wherever we may be. But I recognise that there’s a demand for blog posts on here and I want to keep that record of a post every day going. Because I’m a bit obsessive like that.
Deal with it.
Also, I’m trying an experiment whereby I publish a post at the same time each day: 0800 CAT in this particular case (like this one, see?). Apparently, this is the best way to blog [citation required], although I tend to just post stuff once it’s written. And usually it’s not written by 0800 CAT. However, when you’re writing stuff in advance, it’s always written by 0800 CAT. So I’m giving it a go.
Oh, and juicy fresh content because I enjoy blogging, because my most important reader is me and because there will inevitably be things I will want to share while we’re away. If interest, internet and inclination ever meet (and I’m sure that they will), I’ll be popping thoughts, photos, opinions and whatever else on here.
Weirdly (for us at least), we’re only flying out later this evening, so we’ve got a spare day to get all those last minute jobs to get done. Hair will be cut, the beagle will be bathed, the housesitters will get their final instructions, decisions on which bottles of brandy will be packed will be made (spoiler: it’s most of them).