Hurrah for the hols, as the Famous Five were prone to saying with irritating regularity. I have 22 books, factor 50 sunblock and a selection of garments that more or less approximate a burkha. All I ask is a profoundly shaded seating area with an ashtray the size of a bucket and a relentless stream of waiters bearing ice-cold Chang beer. Yes, on Saturday Mr Fishwife and I will be struggling to Heathrow with our gigantic and overweight suitcases (mine = books, his = diving gear). In our separate and characteristic ways we have been preparing for this departure for weeks. I panic-buy local currency, usually at a vastly inferior rate of exchange to the one I'd have got at the Bangkok airport ATM, and fill my suitcase with books so I'm not tempted to read them before the holiday. Mr F spends every night poring over the long-range weather forecasts, establishes that there will be heavy thundershowers DIRECTLY OVER OUR HOTEL for the entire duration of the holiday, and sulks. And this is before he decides that we are heading into an area of Political Unrest and will be unable to get home due to coup-related airport closures (suits me fine). Invariably I forget my nuclear-blast-proof sunblock and have to buy it locally (you'd have thought with my leprous pallor I'd be forewarned, but this has in fact happened twice).
HOWEVER. All of the above being equal, I am looking forward to two full weeks of blissfully uninterrupted reading. Eating things with indecent amounts of chilli in/on them. Not feeling guilty about drinking cocktails midweek. Getting up early with a smile on my face because I can devote my whole day to deciding what to read and where to have a huge plate of Pad Thai for lunch. My only obligation being to vacate the room for a polite length of time while somebody else makes the bed. Wandering about barefoot or in flip-flops. WARMTH. Seeing the joy of Mr Fishwife as he slowly turns the colour of Ikea Billy shelving (beech veneer option).
Below please find the song that will be on a permanent loop in my head. I apologise for the unnecessary nature of George Michael's white Speedo. I hope you're all thoroughly jealous. I hope our hotel isn't full of people like the ones in the video...
I should just point out the fact that it says "Pat Sharp's House of Fun" in the top right-hand corner. How far back does that take you - and would you rather not have gone there...?