We’re lucky enough to enjoy a beach house. We’re lucky enough to have ‘Christmas‘ in the summer months, being as how it’s New Zealand and it’s all the other way around.
As “workers” we work hard all year and get a couple of weeks off to do nothing, to laze about, twiddle thumbs, shower occasionally, eat, drink, eat, sleep, nap. It could be so nice.
But we’re also unlucky enough to have parents who drive us madly insane. Not my parents, but the in-laws for me, the parents for MrsPdubyah.
They were school teachers and so eery year they would spend a goodly amount of weeks at the beach house. For them it’s just another house, it’s managed to acquire all the town house things and none of the beach house things.
You could transplant this house to a town and you’d never know. Now holiday homes are different, they are full of art, sea-shells, mis-matched furniture, rustic tables. We don’t have one of those. The neighbours have those. The neighbours….
We have a house at the beach, and it’s a harrowing experience to live though a week here. We used to be able to do 10-14 days, now we get to about 4 days and start getting a twitch. We’ve not had any days at the beach house when they are not here, we call as say “are you going to beach this weekend” they invariably reply “if you are we will”, it’s maddening, frustrating and difficult to broach.
Age will turn you into a prisoner. A prisoner of routine. Every day you have to do the same things. Up at 7am, washing in washing machine at 7:30am, go get newspaper at 7:45am. Cereals at 8 a.m. Washing the dishes is an immediate task, heaven help us if they are left for more than 10 minutes.
Then it’s 9 a.m. so possibly mowing the lawn, picking fruit from the tree, spraying some weeds. 10 a.m. tea of course. 10:30 is mid morning siesta, because they’ve worn themselves out.
More washing at 11:00 am, they wash clean things to maintain schedule I’m sure of it. Random vacuuming and brushing time till lunch, when we have a selection of mulled over left overs and a cup of warm water.
Hourly switch on the radio at 30 seconds to the hour for the news bulletin, the log range weather for everywhere, then off. No music allowed, and don’t change the channel, ever.
Discussion about what the neighbours are up to, who’s at the beach, who’s not, why, if we don’t know why make a guess. Read the death notices to see which friends might have had the temerity to die when they’re at the beach and not in town. It happens.
Gin o’clock, wine o’clock begins as the 6pm news is on the TV. Pre-dinner dishes, of course, washing dishes not cheese and cracker dishes.
Dinner must be before 7 pm. Fretting ensues if it’s going to be later.
Entertain everyone by reading the teletext updates (A service soon to be discontinued).
Read book, coughing randomly until 9pm when it’s bedtime.
Days when the gentleman’s fishing club is in session, make an agreed time “how about around 7am” where “about” means up at 6:30 to prepare, leave at 7 am, no later, no sooner. Fishing line can only be in the water 1 hour. No longer, no shorter. 1 hour. Today I was suckered in with “whatever time” which meant of course 7:45am knocking on the door “are you ready yet” We didn’t go fishing.
We didn’t go fishing because on a 800 meter beach someone had launched a gentleman’s fishing rig into the sea before us, and fretting and panic ensued about them being too close together. Serious fretting, muttering and followed by deep investigation of the mans credentials, home address, and a lecture about “how I do it…”
Fishing was also cancelled, no only to proximity, but because weed was spotted in the waves, and weed is bad. To make up for this disaster he burnt some paper and plastics instead of putting them out for rubbish collection, it’s “what we had to do in the old days”
We’ve taken down the tent, it rained and wasn’t used. Didn’t let it dry now the weather has changed, took it down and stowed it wet. “It’s what we had to do in the old days”
This evening we will again have a discussion about Teletext, the neighbours wi-fi and how it’s intermittent (we have permission to use it, we’re not totally freeloading”, who’s arrived, who’s left, pontifications on the “Sales” the lack of Eggs in the house.
And tomorrow we will do it all again, in roughly the same order, amount of time, and with the same earnest face.
Not a holiday.