What came first- the chickens or the blog?

Holidays are bad for you, it’s official!

on July 10, 2013

As sure as one report tells you that coffee drinking is good for your health, within a couple of cups of the brown stuff there will be a damning report warning imminent death from caffeine. So for the sake of balance today’s post is why holidays can be bad for you.
Paradoxically, it’s when we start to relax away from the stresses of everyday life that we might fall prey to infections such as cold and flu. Even on your last day at work, you might notice the tell-tale tingling nose and sore throat starting.In everyday life, our body produces hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol which help keep our body in balance at times of stress and maintain normal immune function.
However, once on holiday, our stress hormone levels generally decline, which might lead to a weakening of the immune system and an increased susceptibility to infection. This would help to explain my father’s annual dose of Christmas ‘flu.
Add to that travel sickness, upset tummies, prickly heat, itchy mosquito bites and sunburn it is no wonder that when I open my case at our destination I feel like a travelling pharmacy with lotions and potions for everything including possibly the Black Death.
On day 8 in our Portuguese paradise here are some of our petty complaints-
Bugs not generally bother me. But maybe it’s the heat here makes them stronger, harder, faster, noisier, more menacing. Mr Gillybirds caught a magnificent black iridescent bee complete with 1cm stinger this morning. On one of my many lengths of the pool a 8cm bright green grasshopper floated tranquilly past me, which fortunately I didn’t swallow. The wood lice are armour plated. And don’t start me on the ants. Of all sizes and speeds. And they all bite. The teeny tiny ones seems particularly nippy. I read that the combined weight of all the humans on the planet is equal to the combined weight of all the ants on the planet. I believe most of them have come here to vacation.
How I wish there was a machine in the airport like a body scanner that doused children in sun cream which lasted for your entire holiday. It is a constant battle to protect the Gillyboys lily white skin from the harsh sun especially when they are in the pool so much. As well as medicine I have pretty much every sun factor cream/spray from factor 10 to factor 50, waterproof, sand proof, for face, for sport, hypo allergenic, non greasy…the best investment is solar shirts which are factor 50 skins which they wear in the water to protect their little white bodies. Despite wearing factor 30 cream littlest Gillyboy is scoring highly on the Freckle-ometer! But they look so cute.
To my shame even though we have been holidaying here almost annually since 1999 my Portuguese vocabulary is extremely limited to hello bom dia, thank you obrigada, milk leite, various food items necessary to survive. My favourites are cogumelos(mushrooms) and Peru which is turkey in English. Amusing that it is the name of a country as well. Add to that saida or exit and that is about it. I do remember many years ago when littlest Gillyboy was a cute chubby baby and Portuegues old ladies would pinch his fat cheeks saying multo gordo which we discovered when buying milk means full fat!
Little Drives
Mr G has always been a great one for taking detours off the main road just to see where he will end up. I don’t share in his exploratory whims. A trip out the other night ended up fifty minutes and 30km in the wrong direction away from our destination, with the chilly atmosphere in the car not entirely due to the air conditioning.
I’m not homesick, but leaving two young men at home just as one is starting his first proper job has, on reflection, not been the best timing. On the plus side they are managing to feed both themselves and the hens, and the oldest Gillyboy has had to learn to iron shorts for work. I can track their movements on social networking sites as well as phone calls. And there have been a few Instagram pics of the Gillybirds too. Thanks Miss L for those.
It has been a lot hotter here than usual. Even the locals are complaining. A least we are on holiday and can cool off by wearing as little as modesty allows and swim to cool off. They have to keep working. Even at night there is no relief. Ironically at home they are having a heat wave too. I can predict it will come to a rainy end as our plane lands back home on Sunday morning.
As with every tourist destination there are shops on every corner selling cheap tat irresistible to boys with pockets full of euros. Yuk.
A good cup of tea
Obviously I am hard to please. As some of you know I am fussy about mugs (must be white inside) and fat content of the milk (as little as possible). So there won’t be a good cup of tea until we get home. Enough said.
So is there any benefit to going on holiday at all?
A Dutch researcher Nawijn says: ‘The maximum benefit of a holiday is two weeks after coming home. After that, people are not any happier than they were beforehand.’ People who have holidays booked but had not yet travelled tend to be happier than people who had not gone on holiday. ‘People who have a great holiday may start to remember why they’re alive, only to be thrown back into the living death known as working life,’ says clinical psychologist, Oliver James.
So looking forward to Monday morning then…..


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