Well, Tomaltach is set to head off on holiers with Bean Thomaltaigh agus Mac Thomaltaigh tomorrow!
It feels likes an age since I've had a real holiday, but it's only been two years. Last holiday was a lovely trip around Andalucia in 2006. Last year my annual leave was used for a very different purpose - to take time off for the birth of our son, Mac Thomaltaigh. That was a wonderful experience, but doesn't count as a holiday I'm afraid. I've had a couple of trips abroad since - but they were with work and again, not exactly a holiday.
So I'm really looking forward to our little trip dans la Vendée. I find the sense of excitement and expectation of heading on holiday is a huge part of its value! I'm genuinely excited about setting off tomorrow - though in funny way, since I don't particularly enjoy air travel (who does these days). But still the sense of voyage - even if this one is modest in scope - is always a bit of a thrill. In some ways I hope I don't get more of an adventure than I'd like - this of course is our first time travelling with Mac Thomaltaigh.
And so this week was our first time to pack for going away with a young child. Oh how life has changed. First, no more last minute packing. Worse, no more 'carrying light'. No matter how you compress it, you need bottles and a few toys and lots of clothes and a million bits and pieces. Then there's the push chair. I reckon it at least doubles the load - and almost the cost! But such are the joys!
So while on previous holidays we always liked to travel around, explore and area, do some trekking, check out some monuments, explore the nooks and off-beaten tracks of cities, this time it'll be a more settled affair. A rened house and stay put - perhaps we'll take a couple of 1/2 day trips to look around.
Ok, a change, but I'm kind of looking forward to it. I've packed a couple of books and might buy a few french books while there. And there should be ample time to sit back and read at our leisure. If the weather is bad (and the Vendée is changeable enough) - the book can be washed down with a beer, or if its hot, a nice rosé. And hopefully we'll manage to dine out a few times.
Here's the master plan: for the first week we will be accompanied by my wife's brother and law, his wife, and their one year old. For the second week, my parents arrive. The extra hands should give everyone a chance to break away a bit and do what they like, and I hope that includes a couple of fine meals and a bottle or two of the good stuff.
Cheap mé ar dtús go dtiocfadh liom mo chuid francaise a chleachtadh, ach sílim go mbeidh cuid mhaith béarlóirí thart faoin trá agus faoin tsráidbhaile. Mar sin féin, is cinnte go mbeidh orainn roinnt mhaith rudaí a shocrú agus mar sin de. Is breá liomsa an teanga sin a labhairt mar bhí sí ar bharr mo theanga agam nuair a bhí cónaí orm sa Fhrainc. Tagann meirg ar do chumas labhartha i dteanga nach labhrann tú go minic. Is annamh a fhaighim seans é sin a dhéanamh ar na laetha seo.
An rud is tábhachtaí ar saoire - dó scíth a ligint. Le go nglanfaidh tú imní an tsaoil amach as d'intinn ar fad. Bíonn deis agat macnamh a dhéanamh ar do shaol féin agus breathnú ar an chaoi a bhfuil cúrsaí ag titim amach. Tá súil as Dia agam go n-éireoidh liom na rudaí fíorthábhachtacha seo a dhéanamh.
Rud eile - is deas an rud é roinnt mhaith ama a chaitheamh i gcuideachta do chlainne agus do mhuintire gan aon bhrú ama a bheith ort nó brú intinne. Is iontach an chaoi a gcuireann an obair isteach ar shaol an duine. Cuireann an obair sriain ar do shaol ar fad, agus cuireann sin isteach ort ar an iliomad bealaí. Is deas agus is pleisiúrtha briseadh ón tsriain sin anois agus arís.
Sin a bhfuil, beidh mé ar ais is dócha faoi cheann coicíse nó mar sin.