Part of me worries I’m only capable of writing posts about bad things, like losing my dog, or that the thing tampons do from time to time where they sort of dry out inside you and you have to hobble around until you can find a toilet or discrete bush to sort yourself out in. So here’s a happy holiday post for you instead.
I’m not capable of having a glamorous or romantic holiday. My IBS is usually appalling because I lose all willpower when I get into airports and eat between one and seven chocolate croissants for breakfast no matter the time of flight. I never tan successfully, my skin suffers from all the sweat, and let’s not even talk about my humidity hair. So whilst I was queen of relaxation last week for the first time in months, my trip still had a little sparkle of Emma dilemma in for sure.
So last week I gate crashed Ed’s work trip to Cyprus, like the most basic of bitches. Ed works in schools, mostly in places like Northampton and Croydon, so understandably I’ve never felt the urge to join him on his staycations. Every now and then though he gets an international invite. It’s the perfect half time between summer and Christmas, where you’re feeling a bit… dead? Your skin is falling off from all the pollution, your eyes barely stay open because it’s dark constantly, you’re crying out for nap time every hour of the day, and it’s not quite acceptable to get through the day with a six pack of mince pies yet. Time to get away.
Four days. Limassol, Cyprus (I didn’t know where that was either). A lot of ice cream, a few awkward encounters, one flat fish.
Leaving the house at 6.45am – barely know my own name. Flight is at 11.30am which gives me plenty of time to spritz myself in as many Victoria Secret perfumes as possible. Pret have run out of breakfast pots so I’m angry tweeting them. Going to Nandos instead. Nandos do spicy beans. Who knew?
I spend 4.5 hours editing my play on the plane. Remember this section, because at some point I’m going to be hassling you about it, because it has a wee London run next year.
An entire day has passed by, because Cyprus is two hours ahead, so we’ve landed at 6pm and get to the hotel at 7.30pm. It’s been about 11 hours of travelling door to door, and I’m starting to wonder why I’ve used one of my gold dust holiday days (holiday is rationed at my job more tightly than sugar in a nursery) to travel. But then we have dinner on the beach. In November. There is tzatziki. And courgette fritters. And wine. And everything is okay.
It’s a Tuesday and I’m in Cyprus. Honestly, this never happens. Tuesdays are more stressful than this and nearly always in London. Tuesdays are normally at the very least a full day of work followed by a three hour improvisation class and no time to wash my hair and a peanut butter sandwich for dinner on the bus.
Breakfast is unreal. Made to order pancakes. I could live here. I note you get a lot of weird looks as a woman eating breakfast alone in a hotel. I feel like a cross between Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman and a lost exchange student.
There is an unusual amount of kittens in Cyprus.
I spend the morning reading the new His Dark Materials book by the pool and I’m in seventh heaven. Then I venture out to the supermarket to get some lunch, have some difficulty weighing a tomato in a foreign country, and the cashier asks me where my parents are. I feel vulnerable.
We spend the evening walking about 3-4km to a marina, counting kittens, and eating the most enormous vegetarian mezze platter at a restaurant on the seafront.
On the walk home we can barely move. Ed thinks he’s dying. I’m kind of feeling a Maxibon but even that might be over-doing it. Anyone else have a separate sugar stomach?
Vegetarian food here is really good. I think I’m in love with an aubergine I ate for dinner.
It’s a Wednesday and I’m in Cyprus. Again, this is unusual.
I forgot to mention, I have extremely sore boobs on this trip. I’m prolonging my PMT a bit to try and not bleed in Cyprus, and as a consequence my hormones are eating me from the inside.
Ed has a half day at work, so I take it upon myself to do nothing again, because one of us should right?
I venture into a less psychologically damaging supermarket for lunch.
I try and discretely eat prawn cocktail quavers in the outside bar without them asking me to buy something from the hotel, because the problem with posh hotels is everything costs money inside and I can’t bill Ed’s work for cocktails. I prep all my research for my podcast recording this week, and I feel pretty on top of the world.
I wonder if travel bloggers get thigh chafage.
We go to the gym when Ed gets back, because it makes sense to try and use it once. Here, the gym is a man’s world. It is full of testosterone and competition and weird stares. I defiantly listen to the Moana soundtrack and try not to break a rib on the weights.
Ed and I make a pact not to over-eat at dinner again and fail.
It’s our last day. I’ve never done the whole winter break thing, and I’m sold. It is extremely good for the soul.
Ed has a free day, and we see a flat fish camouflaged in the sand in the sea. We feel like David Attenborough.
We see an ancient Greek amphitheatre and ruins of old houses and baths in the mountains above the ocean. It makes Bromley look pretty beige.
I make the mistake of checking my work email at the airport and scare myself with the reality of having to be a working woman again tomorrow, and not a super chilled, read-aholic, freckly, wannabe professional gelato taster. I think about having lots of wine on the plane.
Now I’m on the plane. There are a lot of drunk old people. Someone is massaging their wife’s feet across the aisle as she bends over. The people next to me sense my concern and give me a home grown satsuma from their Greek plantation. I think I might have to marry both of them.
Home. Lots of people have asked me the big How Are You question this weekend and for the first time in forever I’ve honestly answered great. I’m relaxed. I’m anxiety-free. I’m nourished (not least because I made about 45 gingerbread men yesterday). I always forget the whole taking time off thing does good for your soul, but I feel like a new woman ready to rock.