Holidays. We can dream, can’t we? Dreams are not vectors for infection yet. You will not get stopped by the gardaí for dreaming outside your 5km zone. Unless it’s an extreme case of sleep-walking.
Where will you go first? A lot of people think big. They have a favourite place in mind and they want to recapture the intense, joyful experience. They want to return to that beach in Borneo, the village in the highlands of Laos (which they will pronounce Lao), that hard-to-find club under a railway bridge in New York, where they were being cool once. Or as cool as you can be with a big Irish head on you.
Me? My expectations are on the floor. And I don’t want to rush into it. I don’t want all this pressure to make the holiday count. When someone hasn’t eaten in a long while, you don’t start them off with steak. You ease them into it with a bit of weak porridge.
My first trip outside this house won’t be extravagant. That’s why I think there is a gap in the market for holiday providers to provide interim holidays. Holidays where you have a bit of time to think about where you might like to go on holidays.
An experience that’s not too unlike being at home. But not Airbnb, more of a souped-up B&B because I want the dinner too. A home from home — with the crucial difference that you’re not at home.
Someone else is doing the worrying. Picture it. And remember, my expectations are low.
I just want someone else loading and unloading the dishwasher. And if it was a bad wash, all the better. A grain of rice getting stuck in the propellor. I could just sit there, with a cup of tea and a Hob-Nob, agreeing with the host that dishwashers are finicky yokes while they assess the rework.
I just want to experience a different toilet. After 10 months, our toilet deserves some sort of Purple Heart. And a break.
And someone else to mind the children. Nothing too fancy. The children don’t need much. They’ve had enough parenting to last them a lifetime at this stage. If they drop down to pass maths, it’s all on them. We gave them the best start we could.
No, 'home from home' would just supervise their colouring and address their questions about ‘Donald Trunk’ for an hour here and there while we get our heads on straight. Or just help us get them out the door.
Childminding would be especially useful in the mornings. I just would like to be able to stay up drinking a can of Prazsky and eating Johnny Onion Rings and a Wispa, watching an illicit, feckit-gwan extra episode ofon Netflix, safe in the knowledge that someone else will do the morning.
My children are rays of light and hope in the morning, but their beautiful new brains have already been hard at work while my mind tries to start like a 1984 Fiat. I’m trying to decide what day it is at the same time they resume a point they began two months ago in the bath, ask a deep philosophical question or suggest building a playhouse with tea towels.
Home from home would put on the dinner for us. Again, I’m easy. I don’t need ‘jus’ or ‘a la’. In fact, if you really want to whet my appetite show me you’re improvising based on the leftovers of four separate meals. A ‘platter’ of a bit of takeaway chicken korma, a rasher and half a spud. That cuisine is haute enough for me.
Is all of this pie in the sky? Well, a man can dream.