Friday, 24 June 2011

The one where I learnt new things

Family holidays actually force us to live together for a fortnight. In the humdrum routine of life, we pass by, rush around, seek our own space and generally only talk about what we need to. Holiday allows us to unwind and (sometimes) talk, and in so-doing we learn new things about each other. Here is what I have learnt.

... about my husband ...

He has a passion for fish finger sandwiches.
Where did that come from? Thirteen years of marriage and I discover that we have to experience this culinary delight. Supplemented by a healthy portion of chips and tomato ketchup, Sunday lunch was a whole new experience for us.

When he says he doesn't like slides, don't believe him. 
I spent half our time at Duinrell holding his glasses so that he could try all the water slides. And when he says he doesn't like all the thrill rides, don't believe that either. The water slides were of increasing intensity (dark, steep, fast) and then outside it was he who rushed to go with our son on the wildest rollercoasters. Meanwhile, my daughter and I watched, waited and munched our way through a packet of sweets.

... about my children ...

They actually get on very well.
All the months at home when they whinge and whine, tell takes, thump, hit, fight ... and yet on holiday they can quietly play cards together, help each other set out clock patience and invent new games between themselves. Something, somewhere, is actually working correctly in this dragging up of children.

... about myself ...

I get too tense going on holiday.
When my son said on day 3 that I was really unpleasant, I had to pull myself in check. The adaptation to a new place, the stress of having everything in place (food, car, the final night in an as yet unknown location) was making me tetchy and liable to snap. Son objected - and rightly so. I think - I hope! - I improved after that. We're still talking to each other at any rate!

... about the Dutch ...

They are, on average, the tallest people in the world.
Incredible fact I was told. In our flat, when I sat on the toilet my feet didn't touch the floor. It must have been like mountaineering for my children! They couldn't see in the mirrors at all and none of us attempted to get crockery or glasses from the top shelves. At the Space Expo, I had to lift the children up for them to see through the peepholes at the planets. There was one I couldn't see in myself. I consider my 5' 4" a fairly average height for a female so I don't think we can base this on my diminutive stature. What makes the Dutch so tall? Milk and dairy products? Sun and fresh air? Cycling? Who knows!

To end my holiday week blog, a childish joke. I don't know any about The Netherlands, but I do know one about cows and, given their export of the black and white friesian cow to the rest of the world, it is a small tribute to one of their greatest (and smelliest) assets. (And my children taught me it, of course.)

Why do cows wear bells?
Because their horns don't work.

Photo: (c) The University of Waikato 


Muddling Along said...

I worked with a Dutch girl who told me if I'd drunk a proper amount of milk as a child I'd be six foot and blonde like her. I'm 5'4 and dark brunette....

Catharine Withenay said...

Perhaps I had more milk than you as a child - no height advantage but at least I have blonde hair!!

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