Not feeling quite strong or coherent enough to actually string together a post about the holiday on which we have just embarked, I will instead make a series of observations. You never know, I might make some more later in the holiday too.
1. Sharing a hotel room with two other bears who both snore is not conducive to a good night's sleep. Fortunately this was confined to the pre-holiday night in the airport hotel, and LittleBear now has his own room. I don't mind launching a well-aimed elbow at BigBear's ribs from time to time.
2. Four hours on an aeroplane with two ill parents and one over-excited small bear is about three and a half hours too many.
3. There is no greater gift in the world than a calm, obedient LittleBear who doesn't tear round a foreign airport like a loon while we wait for our bags to emerge from the baggage carousel.
4. There are really quite an alarming number of school-aged children on holiday during school term-time. And yes, they are English. They can't all be home-schooled.
5. Sunshine is a cure for many ills (see item 2)
6. Language is a barrier only for adults. LittleBear, FrenchGirl and GermanToddler appeared to play quite happily together in the pool today without being able to communicate by any means other than the universal language of leaping into the water and squealing.
7. A bucket and spade and a large expanse of sand is all that's really needed to keep a small boy who is inclined towards digging happy.
8. LittleBear shows every sign of being prepared to subsist on bread, chips, croissants, cucumber and fruit. I figure that that's fine for a week, and a good deal better than some of the plates of food that have walked past our table.
9. I occasionally wander if I make parenting harder than it needs to be when I find myself helping LittleBear solve a shark-based crossword and then design a wordsearch at 30,000 feet, when I could do the same as the people in the next row, who are asleep while their son is plugged into a portable device of some description. Then I notice the blank-eyed and slack-jawed expression on the six year-old child's face, and the animated, inquisitive bouncing from my small child and think maybe I'm just playing the hand I was dealt, both in terms of my own nature and my son's*.
10. Where are all the normal-shaped people? Our holiday appears to me mainly populated with the unfeasibly thin, bronzed and toned and the grossly overweight.
11. Anyone who says "I'm not being funny, but..." is almost guaranteed to be going to say something utterly outrageous. Like explaining the need to bring frozen bacon to the Canary Islands as, despite having access to pigs, apparently the Spanish are incapable of making lean bacon, which is a situation no right-thinking person can tolerate, obviously. Yes, we did have to share a hotel transfer with her.
12. Unbranded Canarian beer is not the tastiest beer in the world, but I've definitely had worse.
* I'm not judging you if you have a portable device that keeps your child occupied. On Sunday morning, LittleBear watched an hour of dinosaur videos on Youtube on my laptop while still in bed, as neither of his parents could quite face getting up. We don't have a judgemental leg to stand on. Nor do we have an aeroplane-compatible device to plug LittleBear into, or the foresight or good-sense to organise one. I think I might just be jealous.