gillybirds

What came first- the chickens or the blog?

Holidays are good for you. It’s official!

on July 8, 2013

Day six of our holiday. Two books read, 100 lengths a day in the pool, many hours spent in the pursuit of 100% on the Pop Stars game app (thanks Grandma for the recommendation). Even Candy Crush seems too much like hard work. On the tanning colour chart my skin is somewhere between “oven ready cookie” and “weak tea”. After a particularly warm day yesterday (35 degrees) and with all the Wimbledon Tennis Final excitement, last night the Gillyboys and I cooled off by swimming under the stars, it was awesome with the pool’s underwater lights on, like bathing in a heated glow stick. Throwing open the windows every morning to yet another glorious day seems all the sweeter knowing that this time next week we will be back to grey skies and and strong chance of rain.
Mr G has spent most of his days walking, reading and consolidating his thinking as he calls it. The boys spend so much time in the pool I need to start checking if they have sprouted fins and gills. Mr G and the 15 year old are having a World Series table tennis tournament the ultimate outcome of which is anybody’s guess.
It is rest, it is re-creation
A recent scientific study showed that holidays are good for us. Not only do getaways make you feel better, they help you to manage stress, improve sleep patterns, reduce blood pressure, strengthen relationships, live longer.The results of the research, a collaboration between the long-haul travel specialist Kuoni, and experts in psychotherapy and health care, tests carried out by Christine Webber, a psychotherapist, showed that those who went away for two weeks experienced significant upswings in mood and energy levels and returned feeling more relaxed and clearer in their life goals. Their blood pressure dropped on average by six per cent, sleep quality improved by 17 per cent and resilience to stress improved by 29 per cent. Those who stayed at home recorded on average a two per cent increase in blood pressure, a 14 per cent deterioration in sleep quality and a 71 per cent reduction in the ability to cope with stress.
To put this into perspective, these were couples who were either spent a fortnight for example being tourists in Thailand, working as volunteers on an environmental project on the Amazon river. Two couples stayed at home. They were all then given various physical and mental tests.
Mind you as I sit in the shade with a cup of tea blogging in peace I have been reflecting myself on how much easier it is to
A) travel with only two children instead of four
B) older children need a lot less luggage ie nappies, buggies, special food, buckets and spades
C) holiday with children who can feed themselves and will eat most things (including goose neck barnacles)
D) swim with children who are strong swimmers themselves
E) enjoy hours of quiet reading with children capable of entertaining themselves by either reading or playing on their own digital devices. Mind you, where cases once held beach toys, they are now full of chargers and digital tablets. And panic sets in if there is no Internet access.
It is rest. It is re-creation.
We have been here on holiday many times. So there is no pressure to see and do “tourist” things. So far the dreaded trip to the soulless shade free water park has not been mentioned. Being Grandma’s house it is home from home, quiet and relaxed, no need to be up before dawn to reserve seats by the pool, no need to dress for dinner and make small talk with strangers. No need to tidy up before the maid comes to do the daily cleaning (surely I’m not the only one to do that on holidays) And we can swim and splash any hour, day or night without spoiling someone else’s vacation.
It is rest. It is re-creation.
Bet you didn’t know that for some creatures, there is a summer equivalent of hibernation, known as aestivation. Prolonged sleeping during the hot dry summer months is necessary to protect the survival of some snails, toads, reptiles and a sweet little mammal known as the Malagasy Fat Tailed Dwarf Lemur.
I find myself dropping asleep quite regularly during the heat of the day. It’s bliss. I know just how our little friend feels.

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