Friday, June 21, 2013

The Quest

The pressure is on. FL has finally realised we don’t have a holiday booked, but that I have a large number of days of holiday to take off work before October. So “Let’s go to the west coast”. Children, a word of advice from Auntie Roo: you cannot wait until the end of June to book a holiday in July or August unless you are willing to spend a week in a caravan in a pub car park (no, I am not kidding – I will give you the address if you are interested: no dogs allowed, electricity costs extra).

It is complicated by the need to sandwich a break in between hospital appointments and blood tests. So there are only two weeks out of any 4 when we can go away. I still have work meetings across the summer, and the longer we hesitate, the more of those creep into the diary. Today I ruthlessly blanked out every possible week between now and the middle of October as “Hold: annual leave”. The secretary whose job it is to book meetings is no longer speaking to me, and I can’t say I blame her, but it’s every woman for herself in these circumstances!

So… the criteria for a holiday cottage.

It must be: cheap (less than £500 for a week), allow a dog, include electricity and fuel costs in the base price, include bed linen and towels, have a toilet on the same floor as the bedroom and preferably have no stairs at all, have an enclosed garden with a nice view, be detached from other properties… and be within ten miles of Gairloch. This final factor is the sticking point. FL has not been fit to play golf for months, and yet our week away must be near this one particular golf club… just in case he gets the urge. Huge sigh.

July is a write-off. August is almost a write-off, unless you are willing to spend a week in a pub car park (see above). There is only one week in September when we can get away and I can’t find anything that week because it is the final week of the English school holidays… so it was looking like October.

I identified a cottage which met all of the criteria. Heaven help me, it looked lovely! It was within walking distance of one of my favourite restaurants from holidays past. But… October? I showed FL.  He blinked.
"It's a bit... bleak?"
New criteria:  must have shrubbery.
And this morning?
"I was thinking... can't we go somewhere in August?"


Lorna A said...

Oh dear. Mystery holiday coming up?

Maria said...

Bleak? I think it is beautiful :) a bit more shrubbery wouldn't hurt, but when you have the view you just shared...I can forego the plants :) wishing you the best in finding what you need Roo...

Heather L. said...

I hope you find something!!! It is hard to find just what you want, when you want it! And I agree about the shrubbery. Still can't figure out why houses like Downton Abbey don't have shrubbery around them either???

MaryinTN said...

Lovely cottage. I don't think its too bleak. I completely empathize with the holiday criteria. We are trying to get airline tickets to visit my in-laws using the refund on last year's attempt before the refunded monies expire...and either school or work schedules keep getting in the way. I hope you are able to book something soon!

Linda C said...

My sympathies to you -I 've had the job of being the holiday planner when I was looking for a place for our whole family and all the different schedules. My husband too doesn't realize that you almost need to start in January looking and book as early as you can. I like the looks of the cottage but maybe FL needs more civilization. Good luck!

No holiday for us this year. We did some needed work in the kitchen and spent all our money and my husband's time off. It does look lovely, but I am still getting things sorted out, deciding where exactly is the permanent home of everything. I am doing a lot of opening and closing of drawers, looking for things.

Start getting together the books and projects to take!


LinB said...

I'll pray that the same God who let the woman find her lost coin will find a suitable cottage for you! People change their travel plans and cancel at the last minute, all the time. Business meetings can take place without you -- it's good for your co-workers to miss you, and realize how indispensable you are to them when your absence inconveniences them. A change in scenery may perk up FL's general health for long enough to get in some of The Golf.

Kat said...

Good luck Roo! This was the first year where my boyfriend and I had proper work calendars to work around - in the end there was only one week we could both do before the summer holidays kick in (which we wanted to avoid as it gets pricy!) and two weeks ago we finally book a holiday...we go on Monday!! We were very lucky to get a last minute deal but we didn't have your specific requirements. I really hope you find something that fulfils them all (or at least the most important ones!)

Sandy said...

I say "Ni!" to the knights as well and demand they bring on something with shrubbery AND a golf course all within your affords and timeline and I am aligning and intending this for the highest and best good, knowing it is so, Whoooooo-hoooooo!

Waiting to hear the awesome results and then reports of the fab van-kay.... hugs!

PS - could you offer your house up as a trade to someone who has one on a golf-course?

Carolyn said...

Oh I hope you find something!! I would gladly offer you our beach house since it fits all your criteria, but you're going to need to hop on a plane to get here!

auchenshugglegranny said...

let your spirits lead you to Dalriada....aka Kintyre, honestly can't recommend it enough...loads of things to do and see, or be like me just goo here and 'be'. If all else fails there is always whiskey to be found there