A postcard from Madeira

The last time I was writing about Madeira, it was with some trepidation. For those of you who read regularly The holiday I’m not looking forward to was about my (in fact our – both my wife and I were not feeling the holiday spirit at all) real antipathy towards going on holiday to Madeira. It was the idea of the ‘summer holiday’s that just didn’t speak to us. Despite the less than sporty physique, I am not one for lying on the beach for 7 days any more (If I even once was) or lounging by a hotel pool reading pulp fiction. Frankly darling I could do that in Skegness (albeit with my coat on).

So back to the pre holiday blues really not wanting to go. I am looking back and asking myself what these feelings were all about? I haven’t been on a summer holiday for probably about 15 years in the truest sense of the word, so perhaps there was an old feeling reminiscent with my 20s when my feeling of not quite fitting in and very fluctuating mental health meant not so great experiences although to be fair, mixed with some great alcohol fuelled nights of partying which kind of got left in my 20s…

Also I think a sense of will we get on? Ridiculous really, my wife and I have been together nearly four years but this is our first summer holiday together, our first time on a plane, what if we realised we were not week long holiday compatible at this point?

This coupled with the seatbelt fear – for those of you we don’t know what that is, the fear of having to ask for an extended seatbelt in a plane full of disdainful skinniest, really did ramp up the anxiety register. So not a good start. So we’ve been here now for 3 days. Has all the worrying come to fruition? Are we having the pants time we so honestly expected? The answer, unsurprisingly to all my supportive Facebook friends who told me we’d have a great time, is no. We’re having an amazing, fun, and restful trip. God I can almost hear the ‘I told you so’s pouring forth now’ and well deserved they would be!

You see what I forgot in this whirlwind of thought before we left is I am a different person to that ball of mess that was my early 20s, I am calmer, mindful, with better mental health. I also forgot that just because it’s a hot country doesn’t mean you have to lie on the beach if you don’t want to (Funchal doesn’t have a beach anyway so we’d be pretty stuffed). No actually we can exercise free will and go off and do stuff. So we went dolphin watching in the Atlantic today ,which was amazing. We had Japanese food listening to the waves rolling over the rocks last night with me trying to make friends with the local dogs. Tomorrow we’re touring the west of the island and heading up into the mountains. Unsurprisingly our rock solid marriage hasn’t fallen apart the second we boarded a plane. At this point reader if you’re starting to itch, don’t worry, I feel like giving myself a slap! What was I thinking! Although we’ve got a few days left , we’ve already started to relax in a way that is hard when you’re at home, surrounded by all the daily stuff.

 

So I can truly say I’m an idiot, and actually I like summer holidays , as long as they involve doing stuff as well as relaxing, and this will not be our last, and for those what Madeira is actually like rather than my navel gazing, I will do a proper post on that later in the week.

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