Redeeming the time — 4 Comments

  1. This reminds me of a debate I once had at a dinner party about ‘when does ones vacation begin, when you arrive or when you set off?’. I don’t mind the travelling TO my destination, but am never to keen on the return journey.
    But I am lucky to be married to a man who sees everyday as an adventure, so even when delayed at Dublin airport for 9 hours (complete with 3 kids in tow) and then diverted to Lisbon instead of Faro, followed by 4 hour bus journey, I was still able to smile because of his attitude. It’s actually quite good to be around someone who always sees his glass as half full and never half empty!
    This piece reminded me that the people you meet, however fleetingly shape your outlook on life. It reminded me of a couple that Rob and I met in a roadhouse bar in upstate NY who were from N.Ire and were over with an organisation (whose name escapes me) that brought under-priviledged children from Belfast on holiday to America, they were such nice people and even though we only met them once we still remember them.

  2. Of course, the vacation really begins sitting in a neighboour’s garden the night before!

    I have a load of bizarre rituals surrounding holidays to emphasise the specialness of the days – including waltzing around the car park at the Little Chef at Saint Cleer’s in South Wales and ordering bangers and mash at a pub in Portsmouth. There was word at one time of Little Chef closures and I was afraid that the one we stop at might close – holidays would not be the same without it!

  3. Yes we have those rituals too. I hate the packing but once the bags are by the door and I know that I can’t possibly stuff in another pair of shoes I can relax. I love airport bars, you meet the most interesting people in airports (and sometimes you end up marrying them!)
    There’s something about Little Chef, it’s a British institution. I recently saw on TV that Hester Blumenthal was doing a “makeover” show of a Little Chef, he put up a great fight for changing the menu to his signature elaborate food (exploding ice cream and seafood complete with ipod playing beach sounds!) but the regulars just wanted steak and chips and he had to buckle under the pressure to keep the ring of pineapple in the burger!

    Looking forward to sitting in the garden the night before your next vacation, we can start a new ritual.

  4. Airport bars can bring nasty shocks as well as nice surprises! Back in 2001, I was travelling with a colleague to the Philippines to see development projects. We were in the bar at Frankfurt airport, waiting for a night flight, when we started talking to an Irish businessman. “You’re safe”, he said, “if you stay away from Mindanao”.

    “We’re not going there”, my friend said.

    “Yes, we are”, I said. He hadn’t checked to see where some of the places actually were and it was far too late by then.

    Little Chef makeover? Sounds like something that would have endangered the Olympic Breakfast – which I always have.

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