|Heavier bottles on the floor|
The holiday again.
VR said several times the most important thing was that the whole close family (minus one, for explicable reasons) would be together. And so it seemed. We arrived in three cars with an enormous – almost embarrassing – amount of drink which filled all horizontal surfaces of the utility room, see pic. Well prepared, you see.
Togetherness was symbolised by an event that first evening. The English soccer team had reached the final of the European championship and even those who disdain soccer (me in particular) felt honour-bound to watch the TV coverage. We broke the house rules (“Furniture may not be moved from room to room.”) and yelled noisily at the screen from sofas. The fact that England lost – and in a belittling way – mattered less than the sense of community.
But we were three generations with different interests. Later a split-off group visited indoor climbing walls, another went to the coast for a truncated form of surfing, out of National Service nostalgia I watched training jets take off and land at RAF Valley and discovered a decommissioned nuclear power station en route. Most times we ate together but on other occasions we fragmented.
Togetherness cannot be forced. VR read enormously, others fiddled with their mobiles. Both these activities are divisive. Occasionally, even at high noon, I crept away and lay, eyes closed, on our bed meditating on various current matters. The English tend not to be chummy by nature and holidays should offer opportunities for individual self-expression.
The unexpected gets remembered. Daniel brought a very superior game of skittles called Möllki. They played and we – the ancient grandparents – watched with interest.
Both villas were comprehensively equipped but lacked a coffee-making apparatus. We bought a cafetière and all was well in the morning. A small matter but rewarding.