I finally found a great place in the South of France where we can pass a week by simply idling beside the David Hockney swimming pool whilst fixing our eyes on the olive trees and vineyards within easy reach of weary hands and minds. To say we need a holiday is a gross understatement. The past year has been challenging and stressful, lacking in lustre, desperately busy, horribly nightmarish-at times.
Small Dog's tail takes a nose dive when she hears me on the phone finalising our plans with the owner. I tell him that I like how the patio doors open out onto the swimming pool. He says that I would love the seafood restaurants only a five minute drive from the house. He assures me the plage is stunning, the village quaint and interesting, the air sweet. I swoon.
Initially H and I were to go. The boys assured us that we should be alone. A couple. They would mind the house, take care of the animal welfare. But it did not seem right at all. I felt uneasy. I wanted them to come with us, enjoy the new air. I know plenty of our peers head off without the family but not this year. This year I want to celebrate our survival and our unity. I might pack the scrabble board, a pack of cards, good books, The New Yorker. We will sip wine and talk. Catch up as our skin turns brown and in the quiet times we can even contemplate the coming of Winter when days of olive trees and sparkling blue swimming pools might seem only a dream. A mere hazy shadow of random and wishful thinking.