Bushwhacked: Holiday plan to outwit bacteria

I HATE holidays.

Well, I like the idea of holidays. I just hate the way they happen for me.

For years it has been the same story: we plan a nice break; make all the arrangements; talk about it for weeks; discuss the fun plans and relaxed times we’ll have. 

And then, on the first day off, I get crook.

It was the same over this Easter break. Felt fine on Thursday evening. Felt like dog vomit on toast on Friday morning and didn’t really get much better until… yep… Tuesday morning.

And as regular readers know, that was pretty much the story of the Christmas/New Year break in our house this year. 

We’d planned weeks off to work in the garden and do all these beaut projects around the house.

But the week before the summer break, I had a different kind of break and spent the next eight weeks in plaster. It came off just as work got into full swing again.

A couple of years ago, we took a six-week break in Europe as a celebration of a personal milestone. 

As the plane touched down at Heathrow, my stomach touched down somewhere over Kent and the first week was spent staring at a hotel ceiling. Or the Pommie plumbing.

I tell you, it’s bizarre.

Years ago, we had a very unusual week on King Island as a way of really getting away from it all in a non-glitzy, non-commercial way.

We flew over on a plane called a Saab Metroliner, which is like a long bit of polypipe with wings. As we stepped out onto the island’s charming little grassed airstrip, our daughter asked whose paddock we had just invaded.

We checked into the beaut but basic pub at Currie – which is really the island’s only town as the other ‘town” is an abandoned mining community – and within 12 hours I was down for the count.

Even the thought of munching cheap King Island beef in the back bar couldn’t rouse me.

Mrs Whacked still tells me it was a beaut holiday, but I have no idea.

I think it has something to do with stress. All my working life has been spent meeting deadlines, coping with often extreme urgent demands, digging for news, fronting people in challenging times, organising, fixing, informing, repairing, managing. Meeting expectations.

So, when the stress lever suddenly flips to OFF, the body seems to say: Oh, and by the way, I’ve been trying to get your attention since October: I’m not feeling very well.

It may just be rotten luck, of course, but it happens so regularly that I suspect it’s no coincidence.

Mrs Whacked is heartily sick of it. She’s sick of looking after an invalid on her holidays as well, and dear reader, you just know I am a perfect patient, don’t you?

So, we are developing a plan.

Next time, she will make the arrangements, plan the projects, organise the travel if there is any and will not tell me anything about it.

One Monday, I will ooze out of bed and she will say: “Nope. Not today. We’re not going to work today. We’re going to (insert interesting idea here).”

And my stupid, unco-operative body will not have time to organise a revolt.

I will have been away, or will have dug a new garden before it can even muster a few angry bacteria.

I would dearly like this to happen soon. 

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