This week has been the culmination of all the planning and packing for my bucket list item 76: Stay at the Burgh Island Hotel.

According to their website, this is a spectacularly iconic art deco landmark on its own tidal island, surrounded by golden beaches and silver seas.  They weren’t wrong.  We were twinning this with a 4-night stay in a luxury self-catered apartment in Westward Ho! which is where Dave holidayed as a child.  It was only confirmed the week before and, to save us losing the monies or shoving any more into 2021, we decided to embrace the staycation.

I could literally go on about the preparation for pages and pages as it has involved countless planning activities but it would be too dull beyond words.  Suffice to say, the list of things I was in charge of was much bigger than Dave’s list and the only job he had was to make sure his dinner suit and new bow tie were clean.  Not difficult and his first reminder was issued 3 weeks ago and he duly confirmed the suit had been checked, was fine and didn’t need the wife to sort it out for dry cleaning.  This was double and triple checked at suitable intervals all with the same answer – his fancy pants dinner suit was parade ready.

Picture this:  It was 8pm the night before we were due to be leaving and most things were packed and arranged – mine in beautiful embroidered bags and Dave’s in flimsy Sainsbury’s carrier bags as I have given up on trying to make him follow my lead.  The final formal outfits were just to be zipped up and there it was – horror of horrors – Dave’s dinner suit had a big white paint like strip down the left sleeve from his faulty wardrobe.  He, Dave the knobhead and not the lovely Dave as he is usually called, confirmed, very sheepishly, that he obviously hadn’t checked it properly – no shit Sherlock!  I think the man with the white stick who lives round the corner could have done a better job of checking it.

Dave knew he was in trouble and I knew he was very sorry.  I really couldn’t speak as I was beyond cross and couldn’t bring myself to even look at him as I knew I’d be in danger of saying something I would later regret, including in no particular order, “divorce”, “you are determined to ruin this trip”, “I’m not going on holiday with you” and “I am never going to one of your shitty sporting events ever again”.  Woosah!

It took about 5 minutes to brew during the time he was trying to wash it off to no avail.  Then came my fury in a great big tsunami of emotion erupting into a battle cry of, “ one job…….one effing job”!  Long story short is Marks & Spencer to the rescue and a new dinner suit was purchased in the nick of time just before the shop shut at 10pm.

Anyway, once we’d made up, we had a super few days on Burgh Island and the hotel was just spectacular helped by glorious weather.  It was slightly strange that all staff wore masks but we very quickly got used to social distancing.  The food was amazing and it made me realise just how much I have missed fine dining.  The dish of the stay was chargrilled mackerel with Granny Smith apple and white chocolate.  Although it sounds weird, it was sublime and I can’t wait to get back to the new normal.

So, what have I learned?  This little list:  Breathing through a mask when very angry is even more difficult than normal and steams your glasses up very quickly; Buying a dinner suit even in lock down is perfectly possibly despite appearing to be a lunatic; and I need to trust my control freak instincts and will not devolve any responsibility if the event is THAT important to me!

My list:  I finally finished my book by Emma Barnett (It’s About Bloody Time. Period) and I was gong to give it 3 stars but, on reflection, have upped this to 4 stars.  The reason for the change is that I thought the book was going to be funny so felt duped as it was actually quite sad and poignant in parts but overall it was a bloody good read.  There was a stark reminder that I may be 50 but I still have much to give so I am not a dried up old prune after all!  YAY!

I definitely need to read something more frivolous to lighten the mood but ended up starting a book by an author I’d not heard of before – Robert Bryndza – called The Girl in the Ice.  It is the first of the Detective Erica Foster series and she is a no nonsense Manchester lass so hopefully this is a good new series for me to get stuck into.

My crafting is going surprisingly well and my pom pom making should be re-branded as money making as I have now ordered a glue gun, a bigger pom pom maker as my Christmas Puddings were too small and tracing paper for the  decorations.  By the time it all arrives and I figure out how to use it all, I will probably be back at work so it will go back in the box for another time!

My lowlight:  Realising that despite several weeks of planning how I was going to control my bladder for the 7 hour journey down to Devon with the aid of the most horrendous “she wee” contraption, incontinent knickers and limited liquid intake, it was all thwarted and I was forced to stop at 2 motorway services.  One was much better organised than the other and I managed to control my anger avoiding families walking 4 abreast.  I even queued for coffee at Costa and did well not to pass out with fear.

My highlight: I am now without dark roots and look all blondie again – YAY!  The trip to the hairdressers was a bit odd but I felt safe enough, albeit I didn’t wear a mask but they had the standard issue safety glasses with visor combo.  I’m back again in a few weeks for the cut but I think I will wear a mask if I can breath ok.  I might be being paranoid as usual but the backwash didn’t seem as Covid friendly as the rest of it.  We will see and you never know, I might be much better once I’ve been out and about more.

Week 16 hasn’t been as “lady of leisure” as I would have liked but hopefully I will be able to relax next week on holiday with the lovely Dave.  Fingers crossed for the weather but, we are in the UK so it likely to be 4 seasons in a day every day.  The last time it snowed in July was over 300 years ago so that’s promising.


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