I have been trying to book a holiday. Other people seem to manage organising this without sleepless nights, threats of divorce, tears and angst - so I clearly have a lot to learn.
Now obviously it's not the first time that we have attempted to pack up and leave the old homestead behind for a week or two. We've been to France and stayed in a cottage on a big hill in the middle of nowhere (in fact, we've done this on several occasions). We have also been on holiday to Scotland and stayed in a flat on a slightly smaller hill in the middle of nowhere (several times). We've stayed closer to home - but still managed to find a holiday-home on a hill… in the middle of nowhere.
It has become apparent that not only are we creatures of habit - but also compulsively antisocial. So perhaps it's time for us to enter into the holiday spirit with a touch more bonhomie.
If you prefer to vacation without seeing or speaking to anyone else, then school holidays - when everyone wants to go away - are really not the time to do so. Therefore, it may be good timing on our part that we have chosen to embrace this new spirit of sociability the first time we've been restricted by term dates.
Conveniently ignoring the fact that both husband and I have a pathological aversion to sand (as well as having to talk to people) we picked out a popular beach-front location for said trip and paid our deposit in full.
I say "picked" - though I wonder if any single word is adequate to describe the fortnight of poring over maps and forums, the pacing and panicking and the all-consuming addiction to Tripadvisor.
And all that before we worked out how we were actually going to get there. Which airport to fly from? Which airport to fly to? Which airline to fly with? If there was a gold medal for going round in circles I'd be proudly singing the national anthem on the podium right this minute.
Then came the discovery that, on these airlines, whichever one we chose, you can book a kosher meal. Or a child's meal. Or a gluten-free meal… but not a meal that allows you to be a non-treif-eating, non-wheat-eating minor all at the same time. Which is, you understand, ever so slightly awkward if your travelling companion is a five-year-old who fits that very description.
Even now that everything is finally booked and paid for, there is no time to relax. I may not yet be up to speed with what one is meant to wear on a boiling hot beach, but I am still fairly sure it's not the kind of thing you'd sport atop a French hill. Or what you'd sport on a Scottish hill. Or even an English hill. Which is a shame really, because cagoules and wellies we have in abundant supply. Sarongs and sunglasses not so much.
Decisions, decisions… I'm so worn out by all the dithering and the to-ing and fro-ing that I could really do with another holiday to get over it all. But how to find someone who's willing to book it all for me?