A glance backwards

Our 10 day holiday in Italy already seems far away now, although it is only about four weeks that we returned. But so much has happened since then (basically: so many boxes happened) that it feels like an old memory.

(For those who have read my post about holiday weather: The weather was NOT what you would call brilliant. It was changing a lot and we were constantly in and our of our raincoats. But, surprisingly, we still enjoyed ourselves a lot. With me occasionally muttering sentences like “ok, does it have to rain every single day at one point? what about one day with dry weather from morning to evening?” The boys did not seem to mind a lot though. And husband has this mantra of not letting any kind of weather influence his mood. Lucky guy.)

But there are things that keep reminding me of this 10 days: Like the box with sea shells and round stones we collected at the beach one evening. It had been a day with a wet start that ended sunny. Late afternoon we drove for almost an hour to a special place I had read about. It was some sort of nature reserve and it was almost deserted. One more car at the parking lot, but no people in sight. The mountains (where we came from) were in clouds (again), but the sea was deeply blue with the last rays of sun shining on it. The footpath to the beach lead through a field (oat?) which in the light of the evening sun was of an eerie kind of green. We were walking on a sort of cliff, so we could not see the beach yet. For our eyes the field ended directly in the sea. Then we found a flight of stairs winding down to the beach, consisting of partly sand, partly round stones. Standing there, the sun seemed just out of reach, dancing on the waves, leaving the stones in the shadows.

The boys collected sea shells, Little One found a big round stone he fell in love with, plus a rectangular piece of wood he also adored. He insisted he needed to take both home – meaning home home, not holiday home, meaning carrying it in our luggage. I had my doubts about the weight, but promised we would try. His heart seemed to depend on it.

Now we have the shells, the round stone, the piece of wood. And of course all of them are lying around.

While packing some boxes with Older One’s things, I found a box with shells (really pretty ones, I have to admit), from our holiday in Portugal, three years ago. They have been collecting dust ever since (ok, they were in a box, but you get it). And then I had an idea. In one corner of our garden (at the new house) there are some large white stones, put there by the previous owner. What about decorating the old and the new shells, plus the round stone and the rectangular piece of wood, around and in between those stones? It could be pretty. I t could be a way of making something nice with the shells, instead of them only occupying space in a cupboard. It could be a way of remembering our funny holidays, full of expected things.

And I could print out a picture of the blue sea with the green fields and hang it in our study. To not forget the beauty of that evening.

Holidays and the weather

I admit I have a fixation about the weather. I check the forecast a lot. I like to be prepared, in normal life but even more so on holidays. Holidays, that’s the key-word here. We will be leaving for Italy in a couple of days, and of course the visits to my preferred weather-website now also include the place where we will be staying, plus some place we want to visit. I want to know what kind of clothes to pack, when to plan which day trip. Yes, say it, I am a control freak. Guilty as charged.

But the whole weather business got me thinking: Have you noticed that people do not only care about the weather at their holiday destination – they also want to know how the weather  is/was like at home. So when they come back, one of the first questions they will ask is: “By the way, how was the weather here?” If the answer is “great, we had lovely, sunny weather”, they will nod politely. But look at them when you tell them “horrible, cold, rainy and stormy”. They will say something like “oh, what I pity”, but in their eyes you will see a spark of deep satisfaction. Because that is what they want. Great weather during their holidays and everyone else suffering.

Why is this? Why do we care? Why not just be happy if we have a great holiday? I guess it is a question of choice again. If we have a great time and the ones at home sit in the rain, we did the right thing: we choose to be away and we choose the right place to go. If we have a great time, and the ones at home too, well, that is ok, but not the optimum. We just could have stayed at home then too, right? And if, worst thing that can happen holiday-wise, we sit in the rain and see the money we payed drifting gently away, plus the others at home have the sun we ordered for us – oh my, definitely the wrong choice. Should have stayed at home. Bad, bad. And we hate it if we make wrong choices, do we? Can’t stand it at all.

So, if one of your friends comes back from holidays and ask you about the weather, be a kind soul: No matter how sunny and warm it was, just wave your hand at say “utterly rubbish”. It will make your friend  very happy. And isn’t that what counts?

And know please excuse me. I need to check the weather forecast for Italy again (not brilliant, I am afraid… but maybe it will rain in Holland too…) 😉