Why I Go On Holiday On My Own

It’s been that time of year again when I go off to wherever on my own, for the  past 3 years it’s been Ibiza but I’ll be looking to go somewhere different next year and it will definitely only be a week as 11 nights was a bit too long for me, but of course the same old inevitable question was asked, “Why do you go on holiday on your own?” Older people my age seem to have a bit of a problem with this, someone at some point will sidle up to me while their partner or group of friends look on to try and see what the poor sad single woman is going to say, and usually I’ll make some flippant remark about it should have been my honeymoon and I got stood up. or my partner ran off with the Jehova’s witness who apparently knocked on our door 6 months ago, just to see the embarrassment on their faces as these people are never the ones to say “On your own? Come and join us!” No, usually theses are the people who feel sorry for me, as I clearly have no friends if I have to holiday alone right?

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

At my age some of my friends have their own apartment elsewhere that they like to holiday in with their partner, family and grandkids, or a caravan that they like to take to different places, not everyone likes my idea of a holiday which consists of lying in the sun all day, couple of glasses of wine, reading, people watching then more wine. I’ve never been one to get involved in groups of women who all get together to go off for a weekend to Barcelona, my mouth always seems to get me in trouble if I take a dislike to someone (and vice versa) so it’s easier not to get involved, it doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a get together with a group but holidays are a bit different.

But I must admit that sometimes I wish someone was with me to see the likes of Carol kicking off in the hotel restaurant when they didn’t have any vanilla ice cream one day and demanding to see the holiday rep to complain. Carol with her clip in curls that she wore around the pool with a sun visor on with the curls peeking out the top and her sunglasses perched on top of the visor, think she might have been channeling her retired tennis player look but I was more concerned with the fact that her husband wore more jewelry than she did. Or Sharon and Gillian who were on the next table to me one evening telling me all about the operations they’ve had which quickly became a competition between them both as to who has had the worst time. It turned out to be Sharon who had had a swab left in her throat after an operation but they were kind enough to give me the name of a really good consultant should I ever need a hip replacement. Or the woman who fell off a 2 foot high stage in the karaoke bar one evening and broke her ankle. I wasn’t the only single woman in the hotel though,there was another single lady I’d say 50 ish who provided some entertainment for all of us as she got off with the guy who did the quiz in the hotel one evening, did the walk of shame more than once straight into breakfast (you can imagine everyone absolutely LOVED that) and decided to go for a swim in the hotel pool when everyone was going into the restaurant for dinner, a sure way of getting everyone’s attention, look at meeeee.

There are many reasons why people choose to go on holiday alone, there’s pros and cons of course but for me it really boils down to this. I have a week off work booked and I can either,

1. Sit at home on my own in Manchester and look out of the window and watch the rain.

2. Sit on a beach on my own wherever I choose feeling the sun on my face.

Decisions decisions.

Now please could someone pass those clip in curls to this sad pathetic older woman.


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Move Over Shirley Valentine

Unless you’ve been living under a rock recently, you’ll know that I’ve just had a week in Ibiza. Alone. Not front page news but you would think so by some of the reactions I get when people find out that I went on my own. “But what did you do on your own?” is the most popular question, and I always reply with “Had a good time”.  I understand why it’s a big deal for some people but faced with the choice of having a week off work and waking up on Monday morning with rain in Manchester or sunshine in Ibiza it’s not really a difficult choice to make so off I went.

I like meeting new people and luckily for me I’m a good judge of character (although we all make mistakes ) but as much as I’m friendly I don’t want to be someone’s babysitter on holiday and now and again I have to be brutal. Ibiza this time proved to be a mix of a particularly needy, nasty excuse of a man, ladies who although holidaying on their own wanted someone to sort their entertainment  itinerary  and a lovely guy who wasn’t very confident on his first time on his own.

On my first evening there I was in the hotel restaurant when I noticed “D” on his own a couple of tables away. He seemed friendly to the staff and as I was sat “enjoying” the Spanish white wine that was so dry I wouldn’t have even put it on my chips, he came over to my table. “I’m out of my comfort zone, would you care to join me?” D was a similar age to me but not really my type, although the older you get the more you realise you have to diversify on that one. So I joined him where I found out he was an ex copper, been married twice and didn’t speak to either of his exes and didn’t seem to have a good relationship with any of his grown up children. He then went on to tell me about a very unhappy childhood, although he was waiting for his parents to join him a few days later. He didn’t seem to have many friends and when questioned about why he left the police he was extremely vague.

Alarm bells were ringing.

Sat on the terrace I listened to various tales of what happened while he was a copper, some of them interesting to be fair, when he suddenly decided we were going out somewhere. “No. It’s late, I just got here today and I’m tired. In fact I’m going to call it a night.” He pulled his face but I was already making my way back inside. “See you tomorrow” he said. Oh how right he was. The next day was a beautiful sunny day so I made my way to the beach where I soon realised I’d forgotten my sun cream. After an hour or so I left my towel on the sunbed and made my way back to the hotel and as I was sat in the bar area D came over. “Hey, where have you been? I’ve been looking for you.” Christ no. “Down at the beach, going back there in a while”. “Do you want some company?” I looked at him. “No. Quite happy on my own thanks”. But I could tell he was annoyed. “See you later then. What time are you going for dinner tonight?” “Not really sure, don’t want to commit to a time”. (but I’ll bet you’re going to wait for me) And he did. No idea how long he’d been there hanging around reception but when I finally showed up and went to the bar he was there like a flash. ” Hey D, you already been in?” ” No, I was waiting for you.” As we went in to the restaurant together he lifted my hand up to his mouth and kissed it.

That’s when I knew he had totally the wrong idea.

Something had changed and instead of talking about himself he chose to mention my trip to the beach. “You’re quite selfish aren’t you? I realised that this afternoon when you said you didn’t want company.” I laughed. ” And you’re obviously quite needy aren’t you D?”  He then told me how he was so irresistible that his last girlfriend had been 26 yrs old, absolutely gorgeous, but he let her choose her career over him. Not to mention the 62 year old neighbour who he bought a fridge freezer from who was forever texting him wanting him in her bed. “She likes them young” I stifled a yawn.”Wow. So in demand aren’t you?” He then decided to tell me how he was good at two things. “If we were in a terrorist attack I would get you out alive, no one else could.” I’m sure I must have looked doubtful at that information but he carried on. “And I’m really good in bed.”  That was it, enough is enough. ” Do you know what D? You’re making me feel really uncomfortable and actually, I don’t have to sit here and listen to this.” I got up and left him sat there at the table. Next time I saw him I said “Hi” but he just blanked me and did that the rest of the week I was there but it just amused me. Luckily for me he wasn’t the only person I spoke to.

As always we have the stereotypes that we all see on holiday. Such as the chavs who kicked off when they were told to cover up after trying to come into the restaurant in swim wear.

The guy who wore the same t shirt every day to every meal.

The three women who thought they were in their own version of  Real Housewives of Anywhere.

And the group of women with loads of kids who sat them all on a table with grandma at mealtimes so that they could have some fun in a different part of the restaurant.

But every time I’ve been away on my own the people who tell me “Oh I could do that. Totally on my own with no kids, husband, anyone” are always usually the ones who have never stepped outside their postcode without someone holding their hand.








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Jungle Fever.

So here we are back in the jungle with a whole lot of new “celebs” trying to win a contract promoting Aunt Bessie’s yorkshire puds, but try as I might I can`t take this programme seriously, mainly because it`s in Australia. In the jungle.Where everything that walks, swims or flies bites you, even if it’s not poisonous.Trust me, I know.
Back in the day when I was married we had an opportunity to emigrate to Oz so we grabbed it with both hands and went. At the time I was expecting my second child so unfortunately my husband had to go and start his new job leaving me and a two year old behind for a few weeks.We sold our house and every stick of furniture we had because we weren`t coming back. Three months after the birth of  our daughter we arrived as a family down under and
after the initial couple of months renting we found and bought a house in a suburb in Melbourne which was gorgeous.The houses were all bungalows (just like Neighbours) with massive gardens which should have been ideal for a young family.Every couple of weeks brought a new challenge.One day I opened the front door and there was what looked like a puddle on the drive which was moving but on closer inspection it was a load of caterpillars which were called spitfires due to the fact that when disturbed, they would spit at you and the mucus or whatever it was would burn you.This plague probably lasted about 3 weeks then we’d have something else.
Ants bit you, flies bit you, and let me tell you I never went into the water when we were at the beach in all the time we lived there.Don’t even get me started on the spiders. But this was the problem.Where we lived every snake was poisonous so I couldn’t leave the kids unattended in the garden because if a snake or spider bit them they wouldn’t be able to tell me which species it was.
Moths the size of small birds, magpies that dive-bombed your head to peck it when it was nesting season, and of course the swarm of flies that buzzed around your face which meant you were constantly doing the “Australian salute” meant that you took your life in your hands every time you opened that door.Never mind a bikini, you needed a suit of armour.
But we did the British thing and had Christmas day on the beach.Twice.

One particular day I went to clean the kid’s bathroom when I noticed two extremely long spider legs on the side of the shower screen. Christ no. I kicked the screen and a huge huntsman spider dropped onto the floor,I don’t know who was more shocked, me or him. I pulled the door closed and phoned my husband at work.” There’s a massive spider in the bathroom, you need to come home NOW.” Not quite an emergency to him but then again he’d not seen the size of it.”Right. It will take me an hour to get home, what have you done with it? Oh yes, shutting the door will definitely stop it from going anywhere.You’re going to have to deal with this one.” And he was right. I had to deal with it as obviously a closed door wasn’t going to keep it contained. I had plenty of insect repellent as I used to spray it everywhere, so I went and armed myself with it before opening the bathroom door…

He was under the sink when I started spraying madly at him. I sprayed so much that he was a ball of mousse staggering from side to side like he’d had too many vodkas but I didn’t stop. In the end I had to leave the bathroom as I was starting to choke on the fumes myself but I left the door open so I could see that he wasn’t escaping. I felt really proud of myself and that was probably the definitive moment that cured my fear of spiders. I don’t like them no, and I could never touch one but like most people I used to be really scared of them, even tiny ones, not any more.
So when I’m watching “I’m a Celeb” I can’t help but wonder why, if everyone’s supposed to be living and sleeping outside, no-one in all this time has been bitten by anything. Hmm….


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