Fiona Duff: Aren’t holidays relaxing?

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I met up with my cousin this week. No big deal, you may indeed think. However, he lives in New Zealand which is a bit of a trek in order to have a bite to eat and a glass of wine. Mind you, Douglas likes to do things with a bit of style. Not for him a fortnight in his mother country and in the spare room of his mum’s house.

He’s made his way up through Europe, mainly Italy and France, then some time near London and now in Scotland for a few weeks. “How long are you actually on holiday?” I asked him. “Nine weeks” he replied. An extra half and his girlfriend would have been running for the hills. Then again, when you live on the other side of the world you need to factor in a bit of time to get over the jet lag.

Many years ago I used to regularly take five weeks’ holiday at a time – in those far-off days that were child-free. Being away for that length of time does put you into a completely different mindset. I really would completely switch off; all the day-to-day niggles were simply swept aside.

Mind you, those were times before mobile phones and wifi virtually everywhere you visit. I am not sure if I would have the courage to leave my phone at home – the fact that the easiest way for my cousin and I to correspond in order to arrange a time and place to meet was via Facebook just shows how times have changed.

When I visited him Down Under many moons ago I remember thinking how great it was to send him a fax with all our details rather than try and work out a time when we would both be awake. I don’t even think I have seen a fax for about five years.

So spare a thought for poor didums me – I am only allowing myself seven days to get away from it all.

But with the rest of the family coming it really will just be a different kitchen sink.