Thursday, 30 October 2008

Double-Life Syndrome - am I a little bit odd?

I don't think I would ever leave Isleworth to live anywhere else. With all my roots, my childhood and my memories being there, it would seem almost like a betrayal, even though the majority of the people I grew up with have long moved on to pastures new.

When I am at home though, there is nothing I look forward to more than my next holiday. It doesn't much matter whether it's a week in the Algarve or a £9.50 Sun weekend on the Isle of Wight, I love to be across the water and away from it all.

And then, as soon as I arrive at my apartment, caravan, bungalow or whatever, almost the first thing I do is log onto my laptop and attend to my casework or liaise with my Community Group colleagues back home.

Somebody once described it as "Double-Life Syndrome", the desire always to be part in one place and part in another.

As I write I approach with a little sadness the last night of a week-long stay on the Island. Having spent the first three nights in a modest chalet at Whitecliff Bay, we then moved across to Rookley Country Park for another four in one of Island View Holidays' impressively spacious new bungalows.

As each member of my family has distinctly different interests, life is always a compromise. At Whitecliff Bay much time was spent amusing the children, including endless games of pool with Joe. On one occasion though we managed a very pleasant walk along the beach during which he was able to put his geological expertise to good use by describing to us all the many rock formations along the multi-hued cliffs (see above).

Rookley provided me with an opportunity for a spot of fishing, while Caroline took the little ones to the cinema. Then today it was the turn of Caroline and I to venture out on a five-mile cliff-top walk, much to the chagrin of the couch-potato tendency.

Whilst I'm no stranger to walking, the cliff-top hike (below right) was a completely new experience. The official guides assume that the walker is an anorak, familiar with the requisite lingo. Thus it was that I found myself hundreds of feet up in the air, one eye straining down at the sea below whilst keeping the other out for a "triangulation point" without having the foggiest what one actually looked like.

Somehow we got down, and back, and now it's off to the club to watch a cabaret for the last time before making our way back to TW7 in time for my Ivybridge surgery. And looking forward, no doubt, to next year's holiday.

No comments: