My job is mobile and I split my time working alternate weeks in Norfolk and Nottinghamshire. I drive down country roads, enjoying rural England through the seasons.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Holiday post no 1

Holiday blog no 1

So here I am on the second full day of my first ever package holiday on my own - albeit at the same hotel K and I stayed at last September.  Amongst a long list of things to do, I have resolved to make a blog entry every day as part of an effort to kick start myself into a routine of writing again.  I've also got 2 short stories to finish, but am not going to go into that now.  This blog entry is about my first impressions, and how it feels to be on holiday on my own at last - something I have thought a lot about but wasn't sure I'd ever actually do.

Yesterday was a bit of a stressy, tired-out blur, and, not surprisingly I suppose, I felt rather lonely and awkward.  I knew I'd be ok with the flight and travel side of things - childhood travel, my uni year abroad and solo visits to mum and dad when they lived in France have made me a fairly confident traveller.  As it was the couple in the seats next to me on the plane kind of adopted me and insisted on seeing me through to the transfer bus bless  them.  But it was a late arrival at the hotel - nearly 3 am, and then I had to ask for a room change which was a shame as I'd wondered last year about the forest lodges and thought it would be pleasant to have one with a little verandah amongst the trees.  My lodge must have had a leak in the winter, though, and there was a pungent smell of mould that made me feel sick. On the whole I'm pleased with the way I handled it, for not chickening out and waiting till the morning, for remaining calm and not letting the receptionist fob me off on the phone - I simply told him I was on my way and would sleep in the Lobby if I had to.  So now I'm back in the main block and realising that a light and airy modern room with balcony and a bath as well as shower suits me better - so much for my Walden daydream!

Going to bed as the birds get up has never been my thing though, and although I went through all the motions yesterday, I felt completely wired and twitchy all day.  Still, I managed a swim in the sea - extremely bracing I can tell you, followed by a short snooze under a thatched beach umbrella.  Then when a party of extremely fat Russians invaded my otherwise deserted part of the beach, I retreated and went for a walk to reconnoiter my morning run along the prom that runs from Marmaris to Icmeler.

I took a book down to dinner, sat in the lobby and tried unsuccessfully to get online afterwards, and then went to bed.  End of day 1, and at that point I wasn't at all sure that solo holidays were a good idea.

Today has been very different, and I am starting to enjoy myself very much, and that includes appreciating the peace and tranquility of having to please no one other than myself.  This may sound dreadfully selfish, but it is really rather nice to think only of my wishes, for a while at least.

I went for my run this morning as planned, but it was already quite hot when I went out at half 7, and I only managed 2 measly miles - had thought I'd do a 5k at least.  Some of it was nerves I think, running a strange path in a strange place; I couldn't get my pace right and varied between a way too fast 9 mins/mile to over 13, and ended up running out of steam and walking a large part of the second mile.  Still, I made the effort, and will run again on Friday and Sunday.  And in any case, when I think that this time last year I was still working towards my first 5k, I'm just happy to be running and enjoying the buzz that comes with the exercise.

After breakfast I caught the dolmus to the weekly market at  Icmeler, which we went to the first year we came to Marmaris.  I feel a dab hand now at flagging down the privately run, vastly overcrowded and probably rather unsafe minibuses.  They may be unsafe, but they feel fun - partly because it's such a foreign way to get about, and partly because the drivers all seem quite mad!  We career along at speed, sitting on the wheel arches if necessary, passing our money along to the driver via the passengers in front of us, and getting our change the same way, shouting out our stops at the last minute, shifting and shuffling around to accommodate people getting on and off.

I was a bit disappointed with the market but managed to buy a few presents before the noise and heat got to me.  And after lunch I came back down to the beach, have had another cold but exhilarating swim, and am currently sat in the warm shade with a coffee and my Ipad, alternating typing and watching the relatively small number of other holiday makers on the beach.  I'm quite surprised at the low numbers here and in the hotel - but I suppose that it is only the very start of the season and the weather is warmer and fairer than I had expected.  Whatever the reason, it's very pleasant and I'm not complaining.

I've noticed a few seasonal differences today.  The first was when I walked up to the main road this morning.  The house with the big garden at the top of the road looked a bit tatty and neglected last September - today the garden is bursting with life and purpose - broad beans already podding, tomato plants in flower, runner beans and peas climbing poles and trellis, grapes starting to form in bunches.  And here on the beach - swallows and martens skimming the sea, climbing and diving, then acrobatically manoeuvring to their nests under the jetties.  It's spring here already, you can see it, smell it, almost taste the energy.  And even I have started to feel a little rejuvenated today.

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