Half term break

Today is the start of my birthday holiday. I don’t normally take a week off to celebrate my birthday but this is for a big one and here’s why. When I was growing up I was lucky enough for my birthday to fall on or near a public holiday in NZ so became used to not having to go to school on my big day. A career involving shift work with flexible and creative rosters enabled me to continue this happy arrangement to the extent that now it’s the status quo. One does NOT work on ones birthday. One has NEVER worked on ones birthday and does NOT wish to start now. 

Except for the unpaid work of parenting a couple of energetic boys during the October half term school break. With the onset of winter, shorter days and miserable weather replacing the promise of a spring birthday in the Southern Hemisphere, my birthdays now tend to take more of an attritional path. A few years ago, while taking time off for my birthday AND the half term holiday, high winds due to an early Monday assault on the south of Britain by a storm took out all electrical power for 3 days. While the boys were tremendously excited at the prospect of candle lit evenings in blissful ignorance over the inconvenience of it all, my mood deteriorated to depths of despair. Despite the false promises of the power company to get us back on the grid ASAP, my remaining time off and birthday was spent taking more time than usual getting things done as a serf to the growing demands of my children, unable to alter their generational paradigm of immediacy. The near constant nagging and dissatisfaction over their misfortune by the end of day 2 was not entirely surprising once the novelty wore off but it had run me ragged. After spending 2 hours boiling endless pots of water for a communal bath and water bottles to keep my whining off-spring warm I sat down with a glass of wine followed by another in crisis. Surely things must be better than this I thought. But I could not see it. My mind began to drunkenly wander to the extent that I even began to fantasise about being in the warm, cosy confines of my office at work. I regretted a decision to stay in the UK long term- I came to the realisation that my birthday will now be fraught with the depressing slide into shorter, colder days of autumn with its crappy weather and naked trees. What I needed was to be somewhere guaranteed to be warm and sunny, a place to escape the inevitable biting north easterlies, southwesterly headwinds, slicing heavy showers and sons with half term cabin fever. 

That day I resolved to do something about it and today that something has arrived. The irony of evading the latest UK storm to hit our neck of the woods today is not lost on us as the 4 of are spending the last week of my 4th decade in the sunshine of the Canary Islands. I have found a place to hire a bike, collect it tomorrow and am more than looking forward to exploring volcanic off road trails as well as taking advantage of some fabulously smooth paved roads…

About biking2work

Sometimes bad tempered Dad to 2 sons who break things. Use the 2 wheels to get from A to B when I can
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