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?"
And this morning?
"I was thinking... can't we go somewhere in August?"