Cast your mind back to last summer: the searing heat, the long, rain-free days with no respite from the sun….You can maybe understand why we, as a family, hot at home and even hotter on our summer holiday in the Med, made an inspired decision to go “somewhere a bit cooler next year”. Oh how we would be laughing at everyone languishing in the airless misery of 30 degree temperatures whilst we cool off……..IN ICELAND! Bring yourself back to present day: the endless rain, the wind, the temperatures not high enough to exchange jeans for shorts…. Who’s laughing now as I pack for our summer holiday in Iceland looking forward to…….the endless rain, the wind, the temperatures not high enough to exchange jeans for shorts………! The phrase “it seemed like a good idea at the time” was never more appropriate.
I usually enjoy preparing for a summer holiday, whizzing round the shops buying an assortment of gaudy-coloured flip-flops, bikinis, a sarong or two. This year I have been dragged round the mountain clothing shops no less by an enthusiastic husband whilst I have acted like a sullen teenager. I’m sorry but it’s just not the same choosing a pair of waterproof trousers…..”Hmm, shall I go for black or navy, which would be more fetching?”. Fleece tops, hiking boots, cagoules (good grief, memories of school trips come flooding back) are just so not sexy and I look ridiculous in everything! No choosing between factor 8 and factor 15 suncream for us; this year it’s insect repellent as we’ve discovered that we spend four of our 14 nights (yes, 14) at Lake Myvatn, a charming location I thought until I read that “Lake Myvatn” translates to “Lake Midge” and that a hat with netting might be useful as the little b……s can fly up your nose and in your ears!
So 14 days and nights on a “family adventure holiday” where we fly to Iceland, pick up a 4×4 car and travel round the island, staying at 7 different hotels. The fun bit (fun?) is that we have lots of family activities booked for us en-route. Now on holiday I don’t do cold and I don’t do wet and windy very much either but I certainly don’t do activities. An activity for me is turning the page of the latest bonkbuster I managed to grab at the airport, or turning myself over on the sun bed so that I can get my back done. It definitely doesn’t mean horse-riding, snow-mobiling, river-rafting, whale-watching, glacier-hiking….in fact anything with a hyphen in the middle is to be avoided at all costs I reckon!Of course husband and son are very excited about the whole trip so I have to put on a brave face, be proud to wear my mud-coloured baggy trousers-which-you-can-unzip-into-shorts (though I can’t see that’s very likely!) and console myself with the fact that my ageing face will thank me that I have avoided a fortnight of penetrating rays; though two weeks of battering by the wind can’t do it much good either!