Sometimes, when news is slow during and after Christmas, the papers go overboard on their lifestyle material and try and plan your life for you. You know the drill, headlines scream ‘new year, new you!’ You’re dying to read a decent interview or an in-depth feature on the future of the euro and all you get when you turn the page is ten tips that will help you lose ten stone in an hour.
I tend to avoid such articles. While I suffer the January blues as much as the next person, I really don’t think that advice taken from a curing the January blues magazine article would have any impact on me whatsoever.
It was one of those pieces that suggested things like long brisk walks in the rain (not really my thing). Joining a gym was also mentioned, although, again, I tend to avoid those places like the plague. Then, in a short sentence I could identify with, it simply said: “Book a holiday.”
This was an action, up until the arrival of the now two year-old, that himself and myself used to carry out quite regularly. Four or five times a year, in the halcyon buggy free days, we’d fly off to a city of our choice and spend a long week of doing nothing but drinking coffee, wine, shopping and sight seeing. Then, when our energetic little bundle arrived in 2010, everything changed - as it tends to - and we reigned in the holiday taking.
We have had great breaks closer to home. But, as people who love the sun, we had missed our previously regular Spanish excursions.
The problem is, we’ve never been the types to do resort holidays. All the swimming pool and all you can eat and drink stuff just has never been our thing. And traditionally, in chez Barr, we’ve opted for Barcelona, Berlin etc. Up until this week, we had thought those days were over.
Then, last week, exchanging emails (as you do when you’re a hip and happening couple like us and you barely see one another) we decided, in the space of about five seconds to book Barcelona. And we did. Money had been an issue too, but in a somewhat Irish approach to that we decided that we never have money anyway, so spending some of our wages on a holiday would make pretty much no difference at all.
Long story short, the Barcelona gig has been keeping the January blues at bay. When I feel them coming on, I retreat to scanning the internet in the search for the perfect apartment, in the perfect location in Barcelona and smile as I remember that our flights are booked. So next time you see a feature recommending things to do to start off your new year, read it, it might just inspire you. As for me, await an update around mid June about how to navigate a buggy around the cobbled streets of Gaudi’s city.
New year, new challenge.