Monday, July 31, 2006

A Long ( sorry) Holiday Saga

With August rapidly approaching, thoughts often turn to holidays, mine included. I haven't got any trips planned, even if I had anyone to travel with, but I'm really not very good at holidays.

We went on a gypsy holiday once. It coulda shoulda been a leisurely, tranquil jaunt around Norfolk in an old-fashioned horse-drawn caravan. On the first night, one of the horses died!

When I was 10, we loaded up our car and headed over to Brittany for a camping holiday with my Mum's bestfriend ( she was related too, Matron of Honour at their wedding). We had a great holiday, lots of beaches, crepes, good family fun. On the last night of the holiday, my Mum discovered my Dad's affair with this woman, who was forever to become known as WonderPig and we all travelled back seperately, in silence, broken only by the occasional sob.

My first ( and only) "grown-up" holiday, with a boyfriend was to Ambleside in the Lakes when I was 17. It rained all week, Nigel refused to get out of the car, save for one occasion at the top of a hill where he was immediately chased by a ram, and refused point blank to walk anywhere other than to the chip shop and back for the rest of the miserable week. He wouldn't go out at night either. The bed was one of those strange types that fold down from the wall and I refused to allow any movement on it in case it sprung back and squashed us flat against the wall. We split up after that.

I had my first Mediterranean trip with 2 girls from school in the early 90s. One of them, Psycho Sarah, had earache as soon as we arrived and we all suffered it for the first night. On the second night, fully recovered, she proceeded to live up to her well-deserved nickname ( which I had foolishly overlooked when booking) and succeeded in breaking my nose, giving me two black eyes and smashing one of my front teeth. I flew straight back from Nerja the next morning and sued her.

In 2000,Jack, Mrs. Roger and I headed to Kefalonia for a friend's wedding. Within minutes of reaching our destination ( Lixouri, I thoroughly recommend it), she had trodden on a sea-urchin and I spent the rest of the fortnight trying to prize evil black spines from her throbbing foot.

Undeterred, the three of us headed to Crete the following year. We hired a car as soon as we arrived, with me as the designated driver, my only stipulation being that I would not drive at night - not through fear or apprehension, but rather to avoid Mrs Roger seeking out evermore remote restaurants that she had read about, getting drunk and then demanding the wine bill be split 3 ways.

Our first destination was a beach about half an hour down the road. We sensibly set off back at 7ish, sun still blazing, clad only in a bikini and a sarong, sporting my prescription sunglasses. I chose the scenic route, along the mountainous coast road. As we climbed higher, the sun started to set. Before long we were negotiating hair pin bends picked out in the faint glow from our cheap Fiat Panda. My passengers were remarkably calm as I reassured them that " It's ok. I can make out shapes". We all relaxed as we finally hit the main road, the petrol gauge hovering over the fumes level, only to be detoured back into the mountains at the next junction due to an accident further ahead. It took the rest of the holiday to extract my fingernails from the steering wheel.

On the last night, with hands finally unclenching, we arrived back at the apartment from a day trip to Santorini, where we'd marvelled at the spectacular caldera and the fact that a Greek ferry should be playing the entire Pink Floyd's 'The Wall', to be met with our bags thrown out in reception and a very angry manager demanding compensation. We should have been out that morning. We'd miscalculated. I played the good cop with my limited " Signomi. Den ksero" while Mrs Roger, slightly squiffy from the cheap wine and highly inappropriate flirtation with the cabin stewards, demanded to know what had happened to the cheap bottle of wine we'd left in the fridge. We can laugh about it now. Even the bit where Mrs Roger flew back into a drizzly and cold October Manchester still wearing her bikini and sarong.

Just when you'd think it couldn't get any worse, I found myself in another villa overlooking the Andalucian coast the following year, again with Jack & Mrs Roger, accompanied for part of the time by a relative stranger who I had met on a bike ride some weeks earlier ( I'm a friendly and trusting girl), who promptly managed to lose the car keys in the sea on his first dip, miss dinner whilst watching Sky Sport, walk past wonderful beachside restaurants to get to MacDonalds across the road and generally strain relations to the point where upon his departure an unholy row erupted between Mrs Roger & I, which could easily have signalled the end of our friendship.

Mrs. Roger resorted to meeting and marrying the wonderful Roger and now enjoys accompanying on his gigs to the Far East and much of Europe, Jack elected to travelling to other continents with his mates, and I became a blogger.


Blogger andrea said...

Thanks for the lift, Ms. Pie -- which has nothing whatsoever to do with your passengers getting a lift from you in that Fiat. Must admit that I admire your ability to just jump in and drive a car from the passenger seat on the wrong side of the road. My experiences of driving in England were horrendous -- it was that &*!@#@ stickshift on the wrong side.

12:32 am  
Blogger CeCe said...

Well, really, I think that trips are only as good as the stories you can tell about them, so you're doing fine!

1:26 am  
Blogger The Tart said...

Sheesh! Stay home for the holidays & bar the doors.
Just kidding ... maybe?

The Tart
; )

2:16 am  
Blogger Vicus Scurra said...

And you say you don't have anyone to go on holiday with? Can't get my head round that one.

7:42 am  
Blogger Pete said...

well that made me smile so much appreciated.

I love holidays. I usually go on my own - no one else would put up with for very long :D - got it in first!!

8:23 am  
Blogger Pie said...

Sounds like you need a holiday to get over all that, but on second thoughts...

That drive back with WonderPig must have been awful! Can't think of a worse situation to be in.

10:15 am  
Blogger Kate said...

Blogging sounds a lot safer LOL

I agree with Pie about the Wonderpig - that must have been terrible. I like the nickname though!

12:10 pm  
Blogger Mark Gamon said...

What Vicus said. Why don't we all come on holiday with you?

3:33 pm  
Blogger Carmenzta said...


And I'm going to backpack through Europe with you???? Scary thought. Hilarious stories, really enjoyed them! That part about driving at night and being able to "make out shapes' sounds like one of my nightmares.

4:22 pm  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

Carmentza - they've not all been disastrous. Just the ones I have actually taken!

Mark - sounds fun. I shall put my thinking cap on and come up with some suitable suggestions.

7:24 pm  
Blogger cream said...

Cherrybabe, Kefalonia! Ah, Argostoli a few summers ago!
And then, Captain Corelli's Mandolin!

This post of yours is a holiday in itself!

10:17 pm  
Blogger tom909 said...

Cherry Babe, I'd love to take you on holiday, but I'm not sure my marriage would survive it, in fact it bloody well certainly wouldn't, and I can't risk upsetting Pammy like that.

11:42 pm  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

Tom - I fully understand your position. It is enough to know that the thought has gone through your head.

If Mark can get the engine running on that old ambulance of his, there's be room for all of us.

( Mark, this is a thinly veiled hint that we're reday for the next instalment of Bertha)

1:31 pm  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

ready even

1:31 pm  
Blogger homo escapeons said...

My Dear Cherry it is definetly time to ring up the 'ol CARRY ON gang and head out on the road for some madcap zany antics.

2:10 pm  
Blogger Mark Gamon said...

Thank you, CP, for the prompt. I'm full of excuses, none of them good.

I'm thinking Traben-Trarbach for our jolly group holiday. In time, preferably, for a wine fest. Don't worry, I'll protect you from Tom and Vicus.

2:42 pm  
Blogger tom909 said...

I'd better not come on this trip. I'm only going to get horny, I know I am.

11:27 pm  
Anonymous Mikedahat said...

Live dangerously. A holiday isn't a holiday without some sort of disaster. I've been held at shot gun and had my life threatened a few times. But that was just jealous husbands. So fair dos.

1:08 am  
Blogger kj said...

hi cherry pie, i've come to your blog by way of andrea's.

today i posted some thoughts from my just completed vacation. please feel free to visit my blog if you'd like.

i like your healthy irreverance. !

4:31 am  
Blogger Keshi said...

well next time just go to Blogville for ur holz :):)


6:42 am  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

HE - there was a time when I'd have been more than happy to take the Barbara Windsor role ( with Mark as Sid James, only not quite so creepy, and you as the handsome Jim Dale) but I fear I'd be Hattie Jacques nowadays!

Tom would be the tall bashful chap, Bernard Somebody-Or-Other, Pamela as Joan Sims ( attractive irritating wench) and Vicus? Kenneth Williams! Who else?

Mike - would you mind staying at home. I'd feel much safer that way.

KJ and Keshi - hello. Thanks for droppping by. I'll make a return visit this evening x

1:01 pm  
Blogger Mark Gamon said...

I've been practising my dirty laugh all morning.

1:27 pm  
Blogger Mark Gamon said...

Sadly, I'm beginning to look a bit like him too. Apart from the konk, that is.

1:27 pm  
Blogger Keshi said...

I hope ur smiling today Cherry...cheer up it's the weekend babez :)


12:37 am  
Blogger Within Without said...

Incredible, Cherry, how you have managed to survive and then actually keep going back for more!

All sounds hilarious and fascinating, full of adventure and high intrigue.

Chevy Chase and his Vacation movies have nothin' on you, baby!

12:56 am  
Blogger Melora said...

You do have a dreadful track record, that is for sure! Sorry about the dead horse and the Wonderpig. I've had some good vacations, but it really is the strange stuff that sticks in your memory (like the time my dad ran over my ex's foot with the car while ex was trying to photograph some sort of a groundhog in Alaska -- that is actually a very fond memory!). I can see where Jack and Mrs. Rogers might have wanted to try vacationing without you, to see if they could escape the jinx, so to speak, but maybe your luck has turned! At least you have some really good stories!

1:07 am  
Blogger Cherry Rolfe said...

I so resonated with your holiday adventures. I have a phobia of going on holiday which is at complete odds to Dh's wanderlust. Trouble is he caused my fears by decideing in the hazy days of young love to dump me on the last day of all our trips abroad, (which can cause quite a bit of anguish when you are on your way to Athens airport in a semi-roadworthy bus, and have no where to hide and sob)only to recant on homesoil. I should have dumped him!

8:31 pm  

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