Let’s face it, going on holiday with a mate can be a bit risky, especially when you’ve known each other on and off for the best part of 35 odd years, and are already well aware of each others ‘funny’ little ways. But don’t let your funny little ways spoil your girly holidays.
It’s one thing gossiping over the occasional coffee and sharing lunch in the UK, but quite a different matter sharing a small space with someone for a whole week in another country.
Will you still be friends at the end of it all, or, as soon as you arrive home will you be unfriending their ‘face’ before you unpack your case?
Well me and ‘her’ have just returned from a lovely sunny holiday in Greece, and as luck would have it, we ARE still speaking. Of course there is always the possibility that she did actually want to kill me several times during the week, but if she did, she hid it well!
In theory, there could have been a few ‘on tour’ hiccups. She has a wonky hip and will be the first to admit she probably won’t be running for a bus anytime soon. What she probably WON’T admit is that she’s also fiercely proud and accepting help or assistance with her mobility doesn’t sit easily with her. So when faced with the offer of a wheelchair ride to take her to the plane, we did have a bit of a debate.
I of course, was all for it, I’d even have sat on her good knee, but ‘Miss Independent’ was less convinced. In the end, under intense pressure from me, and the nice young man in the Escape Lounge, she caved in and off we roared to the departure gate. But that was just the start of the fun.
Whilst everyone else was boarding the plane by more conventional methods, (the stairs), her and me were hoisted up into a gigantic lift on wheels, and raised up to the top of the plane on the opposite side to everyone else. At one stage it looked as though were heading for the cockpit, but then another door opened, and in we went, whilst everyone else just had to stand back waiting for us to pass. That made a pleasant change I can tell you.
It was becoming clear that rocking a wonky hip and walking stick could have it’s advantages!
Now only my mate who has mobility issues, could choose a hotel that specifically stated in it’s blurb that it was NOT suitable for people with mobility issues. But it ticked every other box, and that small ‘steep hill’ detail was not going to get in her way.
I won’t lie, we got to know the door to door buggy service drivers extremely well. This one was smiley, that one was grumpy. He took that corner a bit fast, the other one went far too slow.
And the brochure didn’t lie. Steep was a tad on the understated side. Herself did herself and me proud though. Once the warmth had made it’s way into her bones, she gave far more able bodied holiday makers a run for their money, and even if she wasn’t exactly ‘running up that hill’ in Kate Bush style, she was certainly giving it her best shot.
Maybe it was made easier by the Vodka calling to her from the bar. I couldn’t possibly say….
But spare a thought for me, I too was obviously forced to tackle the hill myself, 3 times a day for breakfast, lunch and dinner, none of us is getting any younger, but when you are on an All Inclusive deal, a person’s got to eat, and so I suffered without complaining.
But what about our other little difference, the ones that ‘could’ have caused a girly spat, but didn’t.
I’m very untidy, while she is neat as a pin. Despite it being late, she carefully unpacked her suitcase the minute we arrived in the room, and hung everything up in the wardrobe, whilst I, ever the bloody lazy cow, simply lived out of my suitcase for a whole week, thus avoiding the job of having to pack it all again to come home.
She wasn’t in the least bit surprised, she’s known me too long!
Whilst I’m no stranger to an Extra Strong Mint which I gratefully accepted on take off, I smiled at her bringing a vast selection of boiled sweets including Cough Candy, Pear Drops, and Murray Mints, and she did eventually appreciate the fact that I’d packed Shortcake Biscuits, Custard Creams and Ginger Nuts when I served them with her early morning cup of tea! She needed the sugar fix to deal with the mess I can make with two tea bags and a kettle.
Still on the neat and tidy theme, I had no difficulty in flooding the bathroom floor on several occasions, and herself played to her strengths and mopped up after me. All without swearing ‘too’ much.
But as technology is not her strongest point, with my ‘sensible’ head on, (and after she’d locked all our valuables in there), I worked out the workings of the safe, (several times), took a pair of sharp scissors to the shower head so that it did more than spit water at us, and I mastered the complicated issue of unlocking the apartment door.
Very handy when one of you is running up the stairs, happy to share with your friend, the fact that you are busting for a poo.
In return she kindly tackled the hill once all on her own, when she went foraging for wine and crisps to see me through one of those ‘can’t be bothered to go out’ nights. Oh and a bottle of Vodka found its way into the bag too. Funny that…..
One of the nice things about being good ‘mature friends’ is that you can be who you are, without fear of criticism or mocking. I knew herself would need to walk slowly on this holiday, but it was clear from our first little wander into the next village, that with a couple of alcoholic fuelled pit stops in friendly bars overlooking the sea, she could and would walk a little bit further than she thought she might. But, I was tuned in enough to know when enough was enough, and we needed to find a taxi to get back.
She accepted my ‘itchy feet’ with good grace, and made a huge effort to walk the walk to keep me from getting bored, when she probably would have been happy to stay on the sunbed.
For the first few days I was engrossed big time in a ‘who dunnit’ and couldn’t put it down, and I probably didn’t make sparkling conversation until ‘the end’, BUT, how great that once she started reading it, I felt happy when she stopped talking too and got just as engrossed in it as I had been.
It does go to prove that even if you don’t or can’t quite do things the same as each other, with a bit of compromise and flexibility, you can still go on holiday together and not fall out. I had a great time with my school gate mate, and I’d do it all again tomorrow!
She drunk more than me, I ate more than her and there’s no arguing with that!