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Posts Tagged ‘holiday’

  1. Sitges and Mathsges

    August 17, 2012 by superlative

    We had a very nice trip away to Sitges at the start of the summer holidays. We haven’t had a proper holiday in ages, not since we went to New York in 2010, so it was lovely to go somewhere new and get a bit of sun.

    We haven’t been to Sitges before, but some friends recommended it to us as being ‘like Gran Canaria but much classier’, which is a fairly accurate description of it. It’s very gay, for those of you who don’t know, and has 20 or more gay bars and clubs. But while Gran Canaria is full of broken pavements, restaurants where you sit on patio furniture, and the gay bars are all in a car park-like concrete monstrosity, Sitges is an old Spanish village next to Barcelona with lovely wide promenades, palm trees, and lots of old buildings with little balconies. It’s also only a couple of hours away by plane as opposed to four hours to Gran Canaria; and when you can only fly during the school holidays, halving the time you’re stuck in a metal tube full of ungrateful little brats is a definite bonus.

    We stayed at the Hotel Melia, which was a bit further away from the centre of town than many of the hotels, but it was really nice. We had a beautiful view of a little cove thing from our balcony:

    And the hotel had a nice big pool and lawn area to lounge in during the day time. Sitges has lots of beaches, and that’s where everyone goes if they don’t have a pool at their hotel (most hotels don’t seem to), but I did find them quite crowded and the wind chucked the sand up into your face. So having the pool was great, and then we could just go for walks on the beach when we felt like it. This is me on a walk on the beach, see:

    We were only there for five nights, but that was plenty for me. It was boiling hot (88 degrees in the day, 70 at night), and I always find our holidays exhausting because we’re out drinking every night. After five days my body was in full rebellion and demanding I return to work just so I could have a rest.

    We enjoyed lots of brightly coloured cocktails:

    And I tried out my first foam party. That was another recommendation from our friends, who told us that the gay foam parties are the place to be, as all the guys are hot and people get all sexy in the foam. The parties don’t start until 2am, which meant Chris had to drag me a bit because I’m quite sleepy by that time, and in the end the one we went to wasn’t actually that sexy because there was no one there. We were just unlucky I think because we picked a night when it was quiet. We still had a good time anyway, dancing and messing about in the foam – which came up to my shoulders actually, so considering I’m 6 foot 3 I think it must be terrifying if you’re short. You’d never be able to find your way back out!

    I would definitely go again, and I’d go back to the same hotel I think. It was just nice to treat ourselves too; we never go away anywhere, and other people seem to have holidays all the time.

    My other news so far this summer is that I passed my maths course and I got a distinction! I wasn’t expecting that at all, having bitched on about how the exam wasn’t fair and was practically impossible to finish in the time allowed. I was hoping for a grade 2 pass (the one below a distinction), and in fairness I think I probably got a mark in that bracket, but they must have adjusted the grading curve or something to take account of all the complaints they received. I’m very happy anyway, and because I’ve completed two maths modules now I’ve been awarded an undergraduate certificate in mathematics. That means, if I really want to, I can put Cert Maths (Open) after my name, which is nice.

    Unfortunately I have decided I can’t carry on with my maths next year. The next two courses are both 60 credits per year. The last two were 30 credits, and having checked with a tutor I’ve been told the increased credit value means the courses more than double in workload. I just can’t manage that, not when this was meant to be a hobby that I was doing for fun. I’d have to be doing a couple of hours of maths every night, which would seriously eat into my sitting around and drinking cocktails time. It’s a bit stupid, I think, that they’ve weighted the courses like this, because it has created an impasse for me that means I’ll be abandoning my Open University studies and they won’t get any more money out of me. Silly people. So anyway, I think I’ll try to find something else to study. Either a distance learning course with someone else, or a self-study language course or something. I’m not sure yet.

    So that’s my summer so far. Plus the Olympics of course, which were AMAZING and which I enjoyed far, far more than I ever thought I would. I’m really proud of how well it all went, and how brilliantly our competitors did. It made me want to do some more sporting activities, maybe even something like volleyball, but I expect I’ll fade back into my general level of lazy inactivity after a little while and I’ll forget to pursue it. The Paralympics start soon, and I’ll try to watch a bit of that, but I don’t think I’ll be as absorbed by it as I was the main Olympics – I’ve got sport fatigue already from watching nothing else for two weeks.

    Anyway, it’s sunny out, so I’m off to tan/burn/look at hot boys. Happy Friday all.

  2. An absurdly posh weekend in the Cotswolds

    May 25, 2010 by superlative

    I had the most lovely and amazingly posh weekend in the Cotswolds, it really was outstanding.

    One of our friend’s parents have a second home there, and they said ages ago “Oh you must use it sometime, really you must, that’s what it’s there for.” It took us quite a while to arrange anything, but eventually a group of us settled on going up there last weekend, just for a night, to have a little road trip and get away from work and things for a bit.

    I didn’t really know much about the place where we were staying; just that it was a private estate (sort of like a gated community) and that there was a swimming pool and spa thing on it for all the estate residents to use. I did see a few pictures of the pool, and thought “oo that looks quite nice”, but that was it really.

    So it came as quite a surprise when we got there that it was actually THE POSHEST THING I’VE EVER SEEN. Oh my god it was so nice! Her parents must be loaded, as the house was so immaculate I didn’t even want to touch anything.

    This is the view from the back of the house, where my and Chris’ bedroom was:

    And this is the lovely decked area where we ate:

    And this is the pool!

    It was honestly LOVELY. The weather was scorching, and it was so beautifully silent there with lakes all around (the whole thing is a nature reserve) and just a few (rich) families pottering about. Most of the houses were empty!

    Apparently the house was custom-built, as they all are there. You buy a plot of land and choose a design, and then you modify the design as you want and they build it. There was even a bit within the estate called Millionaire’s Row (unofficially anyway) where I’m told Brad Pitt was going to buy a house. THAT’S how posh it was.

    It was so nice and swanky there that even the staff seemed posher than us and I kept thinking we’d get thrown out by security for daring to drive our little red, slightly beaten up Ford Ka onto the premises.

    We had a lovely time anyway, just sitting around and drinking wine, cooking dinner together, and then lazing in the sunshine by one of the (three) swimming pools. I got a little sunburnt of course, but not too bad considering it’s me and an anglepoise lamp is normally enough to give me sunburn.

    The three hour drive home in scorching weather on Sunday was a bit of a downer after our nice relaxing weekend, but it was still totally worth it. And the huge upside is we’ll probably be allowed to go again sometime! We managed not to spill or break anything (no mean feat given the ineptitude of one of my friends when she’s near any containers of liquid), so hopefully the parents in question will be kindly disposed to us sneaking up there again.

    If you want to make yourself any more sick with envy, check out the website of the estate:

  3. Sun, vodka, boys and insects

    November 2, 2009 by superlative

    I had a lovely time in Gran Canaria, and the weather did indeed stay nice for us. It was closer to 80 degrees sometimes I think, so I was even grateful for the bit of cloud we had towards the end of the week.

    We were only there for five days, but to be honest that was quite enough for me. It’s a rare occasion now that I’d want to go out two nights in a row, so going out five nights in a row was quite a struggle for me. Thank goodness all I had to do in the daytime afterwards was lay on a plastic sun lounger in my skimpies for hours in end (see photo).
    For those of you who haven’t been to Gran Canaria before, it really is your basic sun and booze holiday. There’s not actually that much else to do there, although you can hire a car and go inland if you want to, which we’ve done in previous years. But all we did this time was get up late, sunbathe, go out for dinner at reasonably priced restaurants where you have to sit on patio furniture, drink vodka from the Spar, and then go out bar hopping around the Yumbo Centre. It was great. The only thing that could have been improved really was that there weren’t that many fit boys there this year. There were some, mostly fit waiters, but I think some people have been put off by how expensive the euro is right now. Plus of course it was half term, and what kind of fool goes on holiday in half term unless they have to? Such is my lot as the wife of a teacher.
    Oh yes, and the other thing that could have been improved was that they could have put a tent over the whole island and fumigated it before we arrived. I got SO many mosquito bites! I had about 20 in the end, and some of them have only just gone down. So with them, plus the cockroaches who occasionally scuttle across your bungalow floor, I’d had quite enough of insects by the time we left.
    Our accommodation was nice, we stayed at Club Mancha which is right by the Yumbo Centre where all the gay bars are. It’s a small complex of about 12 bungalows around a pool. The staff there were really friendly, and I couldn’t fault it really. I’d definitely go there again, but having been to Gran Canaria about four times now I think maybe we should try another destination next time we go away.
    I was exhausted by the time we got home from all the going out, so it is actually sort of nice to be back at work where I can sit down all day and drink tea. I’ve got a bit of tan but not loads as I didn’t want to burn, but at least it has given me a bit of colour for the winter. Chris, of course, has turned into a sub-saharan African again because he tans really quickly, so he’ll probably still be tanned long after mine has faded. It’s a shame I can’t really pull of Nicole Kidman-esque pale beauty, it would be so much easier for me! I just go pink in the sun. No danger of that though now that I’m back. Still, Christmas is just around the corner, so I shall look forward to that now instead.

  4. Fun fun fun in the sun sun sun with a cold cold cold

    October 19, 2009 by superlative

    It’s not long now until I’m off on holiday to Gran Canaria – five days in fact – and I’m really looking forward to it. It’s 75 degrees out there at the moment, and although there is a bit of cloud around I’m hoping it’s going to be nice enough to spend most of it lazing by the pool.

    Unfortunately, at the moment I am ill with a cold, and so is Chris, and so is one of the friends we’re going with. Which is quite a pain really, as I don’t particularly relish the prospect of travelling when I’m feeling crappy. It’s only Monday though and I’ve been ill since last Thursday, so I’m hoping it will be long gone by Saturday. I’ve eaten 13 satsumas in 5 days too, so that’s got to have helped hasn’t it?

    For a little while I felt guilty at the thought I might be on a plane with a virus and give it to other people. Then however, this was overridden by the worry that there might be people on the plane with worse viruses (i.e. swine flu) who might give those to me! So I suddenly got quite irrationally twitchy that I’ll get laid up in a random Spanish health centre with swine flu and miss all of my holiday.
    BUT I’ve just looked up some details on air travel, and it seemed to say you’re no more at risk on a plane on a short flight that you would be on a bus or train, unless you end up sitting next to someone who is coughing and sneezing. So I’ll probably be OK and I’m going to stop panicking.
    Now all I need is for the stupid AussieBums I ordered to arrive before Saturday – it’s been six weeks now and no sign of them. Typical. I just know they’ll turn up the Monday after we leave, and will be waiting all smugly in my post box when we get back.