Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Zen (2)



Am I completely relaxed? Not worried about anything? Laughing at the challenges ahead of me? Not really. What I am though is back 'home', tanned and in possession of a nice little paunch.

But what a holiday it was! A sunbathing triumph!  A 'tart' extravaganza! A very happy reunion with dear friends! A cunning and well executed maneuver to avoid standing in a steaming hot traffic queue!
And of course an exercise in trying to live harmoniously on a few square meters with husband W. and the two children. We slept five nights in a row on our sailboat. The children sausaged into the forecabin, husband W. on the 'big' bench and myself on the other bench, my feet safely tucked away in a cupboard. The benches, each on opposite sides of a small table, are so narrow, that you wake up every time you try turning over.
In order to be able to make oneself a cup of tea, or indeed some breakfast, one needs to pack away four bags of clothes, two duvets, two sleeping bags, four pillows, eight towels, a fishing net, books, magazines, buckets, various ropes and sail bags. Only to find that it is nigh on impossible  to light the swaying camping stove without setting fire to one's hair.
It also took me a few days to work out how to attack the clever little cupboard that holds the mugs. It is fitted with an opening the exact size of a mug. This way the cups don't fall out when your are sailing in high winds. Marvellous.
On to our little French appartment in which I got very intimate with everyone's bowel movements, including those of our neighbours. Luckily we booked an appartment for six to eight adults, so we didn't need to move the dining table onto the balcony in order to be able to fold out the sofa bed. As it turned out our appartment had a lovely shower (a redeeming feature in my books) and a great communal swimming pool. But best of all was the fact that it was only a ten minute drive (or a thirty minute cycle ride) away from the lovely friends we met whilst living in England more than five years ago.
Holidaying together is very reassuring, for A: every year we find we do still really like each other, B: every scrumptious meal during our week together is followed by cheese and 'tart', C: our children though much older now, are still very comfortable in each other's company and last but not least D: large quantities of rose and red wine are drunk by all who can legally do so.
We sat on long wooden tables together with all the inhabitants of 'our' little French village during the annual 'Sardinade' to eat (yes you guessed correctly) sardines (and spicy sausages). We played crazy golf, we kayaked, cycled, body boarded, giggled, ate lots of icecream and had a truly great time!
Soon our lives will start to get busy again. Jobs await most of us and helping children with schoolwork, cooking them nutrious meals, cheering them on playing various sports and applauding their musical performances will fill most of our days to the brim. And although we do try, we seldom speak to each other over the phone more than a couple of times each year. That however, doesn't matter one bit. And next year, like Katie Perry, we will do it all again!