Post-holiday blues

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Not quite glad to be home yet…

Back from Brittany, I am suffering the post-holiday blues. 

Oh well, what can you do? It’s the same every year. In contrast to our trips to the UK, from which I cannot WAIT to get back, and run screaming into my house, relieved beyond belief to be home, I prefer Brittany to Normandy (where we live) and would willingly move if only we had the money. 

I love the sea, the sound of the surf, the white cottages with blue-shuttered windows, the friendlier people, the wilder landscape. But above all, I love the light. 

We were lucky on this trip, of course. It was sunny nearly all the time, and at times the light was blindingly bright. We came home, in contrast, to the usual Normandy ‘grisaille’ – the greyness, fog and drizzle that besets this region most of the winter, but in fact it had been equally sunny (and warm) while we’d been away. 

We had also been staying in a modern (1960s), well-insulated, double-glazed house with hard ceramic floors that were easy to clean, and huge windows and French windows that flooded it with light. We came back to our medieval pile, with its impossible-to-clean terracotta floor in the living room; shattered parquet that’s coming up in the kitchen; bare chipboard in the office; tiny windows; energy-saving bulbs that are like turning on the darkness; and central heating that we can only afford to use for a few hours a day December-February, and which currently can’t be used at all because it turns our hot water black.

Before I even took my coat off, I cleared out the cat litter tray, along with the five deposits of poo the little sods had left me. Emptied the dog towels into the laundry (proceeding to do three washloads a day for the next several days), cleared up eight lots of cat sick, stripped the sofa, which they had vomited on (three washloads: main cover, cushion covers and throw). The next day I vacuumed the ground floor and washed the floors, phoned the plumber to come look at the heating and did the shopping for the week. Back to normality then. 

My Dad, bless him, was both a killjoy and a skinflint, and one thing he simply wouldn’t do was holiday ‘abroad’. It would be too nice, he said, and it was better to have several rubbish holidays a year that you didn’t really enjoy than one nice, expensive one that left you feeling miserable when you got back.

Was he right? Of course he bloody wasn’t. And as soon as I can get warm again (or rather, get used to being cold again), I’m sure I will be as glad to be back as the cats are to see the return of their heated furniture.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not still secretly checking property prices in Finistere… 

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