Notes from the Algarve ( or, a family holiday when you’re the grown up).

On the eve of our fortnight in the sun; notes from the Algarve.

  1. First and foremost, four year olds have no chill. This makes them difficult companions for a relaxing sun holiday.
  2. Having read briefly on twitter a couple of days ago about a boy who suffered catastrophic injuries diving into the shallow end of a pool, you will become frantic about ensuring your own boy always enters the pool feet first. How is it possible to live with tragedy always teetering so close by ?
  3. Every dinner will be a tensely endured battle between glasses of orange juice and the flailing , careless limbs of small people.
  4. Every moment will be shadowed by two other moments, past and future. You , as a child, and the holidays of your youth, and you in the future , thinking back to these days, wondering did you cherish them enough.
  5. As you clamber over rocks with sharp falls to the sea below, you will think back to the panic you must have caused your own parents as you leapt, fearlessly , from cliffs and wonder where you will find the courage to let your own children do the same.
  6. After the 97th application of suncream to wriggling bodies , you contemplate the wisdom of a fourteen day holiday.
  7. You look wistfully at the glaring white villas, the ubiquitous bougainvillea, the blues of pools, sea and sky. You daydream about a different life, one where there are no constant reminders to brush teeth or pack school bags, all the while knowing it doesn’t exist. Even in the eternal Algarve, teeth will not brush themselves.
  8. You begin to long to wear socks again. A desire for coziness seeps in.
  9. You are overwhelmed with nostalgia. For people, for places, for feelings. For now. The pressure of knowing these are the good old days. Any moments of tension, irritability, grumpiness are viewed by you as potential blights on precious childhood memories.
  10. You long for home.
  11. You long to stay.

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