What makes a good holiday for you, and how do you choose it? Or even a really good day out?
It’s only reasonable for me to go first, of course, and think about what I like – and there’s not one ideal. Probably the type I’d enjoy least would be the one that Dave says he looks for – “magnificent ruggest mountains or rolling moorland.” I might have enjoyed a rustic tramp in my younger days (no, stop sniggering) but I’m afraid that the novelty would quickly wear off nowadays. When I’m on holiday, lovely scenery is a bonus, but it’s something to look at, that’s all. If I were going on a rural holiday, I’d not choose mountains or moorland. I’d want trees and water, partly for their own sake and partly for the wildlife they attract. And I’d sit for ages watching them.
Beach and sun holidays have never really appealed either. Again, I’ll enjoy it for a day or two, but I’m not very good in the sun anyway, lying on sand isn’t that comfortable and it gets boring after a short time.
I’ve just been realising what a short attention span I have. Hm. And also that this isn’t supposed to be about imperfect holidays – although now I think of it, there’s another sort of holiday that hasn’t appealed to me, and that is a cruise. Most of the ladies with whom I lunch every month are the fairly well-heeled sort, retired professionals (I got in because they like me) and a number of them enjoy cruises and have asked me if I’m interested in becoming one of a party. I’ve always used as an excuse that the Sage is the worst sailor ever and can become queasy crossing a deep puddle in a strong wind, but the truth is that I don’t want to go. I have a feeling that it’s too sociable. I like the freedom to poddle off on my own, not meet up with chums several times a day. And there isn’t enough time anywhere to get to know it – I like to explore cities at my own pace and make contact with local people. I remember reading an account of a cruise that involved docking at Venice (there was a massive cruise ship blocking the view when I went there and I resented it vastly) and the writer said that the guide advised them on where was ‘safe’ to go shopping and eating. Since on of the charming things about Venice is that you feel totally safe at all times, day and night, this looked like over-caution.
I’m going to have to come back to this, I’ve got stuff to do tonight. But for a start on what I do like, I enjoy getting lost on foot in a city.