Tomorrow we fly. Oh, how can that be so?

Today I’ll gradually gather up the holiday debris: the boy’s ketchup-stained t-shirts from so many nights out scoffing patatas fritas with ‘ketchooop’ as they say it here; the girl’s bikinis that offer distressingly different tan-lines; the sandy towels that’ll be used to wrap some fine bottles of Spanish wine for home-time.

I’ll pack up the playing cards with hopes we’ll repeat the nights spent snapping and rummying, knowing we won’t, and the make-up I never wore along with that dress I bought which I knew hung weirdly around my knees but thought would suddenly work if worn in the sun.

What I won’t be taking home is the boy’s newly learned put-down, ‘you little prick’, as gifted by his sister, which is occasionally promoted when deep brotherly shit is going down, to ‘you massive prick’ and which he uttered last night under his breath when I said I had to cut his nails…

Also unpacked will be the enormous collection of rocks youngest has collected because if there’s any spare kilo allowance in our luggage it will be used for the aforementioned wine.

Can I also leave behind my worries? Can I bury in the sand the difficulty I’m having with a dear old friend that has nagged all week? Can I toss into the sea the fact that Gwyneth will be back at work and I’ll be on my own again? Can I leave in a bedside drawer daughter’s troubles and bring her home free and unburdened?

I know it’s all coming with me, rammed onto easyJet and thrown up on a conveyor belt for me to take home and unpack and live with.

A week in the sun is glorious fun, but it can’t burn away all your troubles.

Lovely though, to have had it. To take yourself out of it. To gawp at the stars as they jump coz you’ve had too much Rioja. To see a shooter and forget to wish coz you’ve had too much Rioja. To feel the impulse to throw your arms around your fella and not just coz you’ve had too much Rioja. 

Worth the school fine? We ain’t paying it. They can take us to court and brand us bad parents because when Gwyneth is back on the other side of the world, and he gets blurry in our memory, we’ll have the pics of when he tackled the waves with the girl…

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And when he hurled rocks at them with the boy…

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I love my home town and all the people I know in it. Home is lovely. Away is lovely too. Ànd now I’ve managed to conjure that smashing Ozzy soap (or footie analogy) for you, I’ll sign off this final postcard by saying it was brill to have you along. Do come again.

As they say in these parts, gracias mi amigoes, hablar pronto…

(Google it, plebs)…