The holidaying this year was rather different from last year. Ireland with my parents was pleasantly luxurious even if immensely trying at times. I’d forgotten how nice it is not having to share a room with 25 other backpackers and their assorted smells and nocturnal burblings, and the parental food budget was certainly far more nourishing than mine usually is. The tradeoff for this luxury was having to toe the tourist trail line – service staff treating us with an air of contemptuous sufferance, gimmicky stops like Blarney Castle, and way too much colcannon.
But the tour had its moments. At the Bunratty Castle medieaval banquet thingy (also gimmicky but fairly fun), my mother, in mead-filled merriment, started telling the guy in tights how gorgeous he was; later, when he announced to the “guests” that bands of roving brigands were apparently heading for the castle to rape and pillage, she exclaimed “Oh, goody!” I buried my face in my hands and surreptitiously finished off the rest of the mead.
On a guided tour it is easy to begin to take for granted the fact that there will be a roof over your head at night. In light of this, Spain with Alec was indeed a change, given that the only things we booked in advance were air tickets. In trying to find accomodation we therefore soon became very familiar with certain Spanish phrases, most of them ranging from completo to completo, fuck off. But all hiccups were ultimately muddled through without having to resort to “romantic” nights on the beach or me pretending to be pregnant with the next Christ, so all turned out well in the end, yay us.