At the end of this post, I mentioned looking forward to mine and RJ's holiday in Italy, and this innocent little remark caused some comment and discussion (mostly behind the scenes).
It made me think about what constitutes a "proper" holiday for me.
Let me try and explain - or else, skip this post and wait for the next one.
England - and by that I mean mainly Yorkshire - is not a holiday for me, but a necessity. It is necessary for my wellbeing, for my mental health, if you want, to spend some time every year in the country I consider my second home, seeing the people that are just as much family to me as the blood-relations here in Germany, even though technically speaking we are not related at all, and our original link - my husband Steve - died 2 1/2 years ago.
In England, and with family and friends there, I feel so much at home, so welcome and so at ease that it simply does not feel like "being away" from home, even though I go to places I have not seen before every time.
A "proper" holiday is something else for me; it means (again: for ME! It might be entirely different for other people) really going AWAY from familiar surroundings, discovering different places, different sights, sounds, smells and tastes, speaking a different language (not always) and then, at the end of it, enjoying to go back home and return to the "at home" feeling that I love about both my town here in Germany and Ripon in Yorkshire.
The holiday RJ and I went on together was spent in Riva del Garda, a small town on the northern edge of Lake Garda. We had booked ten days in a hotel and stayed only a week, deciding to break off because of the weather taking a turn for the worse as well as the hotel staff and service going continuously downhill in the course of the second half of the week.
We did a lot of hiking and spent a day in Verona and one in Sirmione; we went dancing on the piazza at a huge street party in the heart of the old town centre of Riva, had delicious meals and generally a really good time - and we wanted to leave while we still had more good than bad memories.
There will, of course, be pictures of some of the places we explored and accounts of what we saw, did and ate.
In the meantime, I am still officially on vacation and will take up work again on Monday.