I have a very wise friend. His name is John. One of the wisest things he ever said to me was that the day you go on holiday is the best day of the year. I hadn’t really thought about it before, but he was, and remains, right.
Not all of the day is the best day. There is still, for me, the relative stress of making sure everything is packed and everything at home is switched off, that transport to the airport is sorted (thanks, John) and we don’t suffer some horrendous breakdown on the way to the airport. We have a flight at 17.25 but if I had my way we’d be in the departure lounge for 13.00. At the very latest.
No one else in our party seems the least bit bothered by the passage of time or the need to get there on time. The drive to the airport takes forever, unless it’s me that’s driving someone else in which case I can take things nice and easy. I want John to overtake everything and for god’s sake get me to the airport on time.
The best day still does not feel like the best way as we check in our luggage. Son number two launches his annual joke about how surprised he is that you’re not allowed to take fireworks and explosives onto the aircraft and of course I laugh.
Then it’s through security where I am searched for signs of terrorist activity. Son number two, surprise, surprise, caused a stir a few years ago when he packed a dumb bell in his hand luggage! It came as no surprise when he was not allowed to take it on board.
And then the lounge itself and that is definitely the start of the best day of the year.
The boys are not really boys anymore so I can leave them to it. This is not a problem with son number one since he will be sitting with me at the bar. Son number two will be topping himself up with Burger King.
The flight is usually routine. You get in, take off, sit bolt upright for three and a bit hours whilst outside day turns to night. There is plenty of time for a drink and I might make an attempt to listen to an album on my iPod, one of at least an hour’s duration that might take out a large part of the flight.
And then we land. And the first thing about landing in Corfu, as soon as the aircraft doors are opened, is the smell. It’s a heady boiling hot blend of Kerosene and, well, Corfu Town (and I say that in a really nice way). Through passport control, which is a bit of an oxymoron in Corfu, and it’s on a mini bus to Arillas where we will spend my favourite two weeks of every year.
You, my loyal reader, will read about this pretty well every day for the next two weeks. Lazy days by the pool, shallow sea swimming (of a sort), trips to various tavernas and bars and meeting friends. And a few road trips.
I’ll try not to sound like I am showing off – I’m not: we worked bloody hard to afford to come back to Corfu! – and hopefully you learn a little bit more about one of the loveliest places I know. And it gives you a laugh.
My sun bed is already waiting for me and Tuesday morning I shall almost certainly fall asleep before that first Mythos.