Operation Longvac

This is a stolen term, from a writer in the Times newspaper, but I’m borrowing it because she was talking about a six-week British school holiday. Anyone reading this in the US or expat-land will be thinking, ‘Six weeks? PAH! That’ll be over in the blink-of-an-eye!’

Try 27 June – 2 September for size, presently yawning in front of us like a gaping hole – a mind-bending vortex that needs to be filled with activities, every.single.day, to prevent my children’s boredom from toppling us.

Happy (long) holiday, kids!
Happy (long) holiday, kids!

And because Dubai is as hot as Hades at this time of year, many of these activities need to be planned in another country, maybe even two or three different countries, if you’re going to get anywhere near the romantic notion of happy, rosy-cheeked kiddies hanging off the farm gate.

So, right now, we find ourselves in the UK – then tomorrow, we head off again, for our annual trip to the US. This year, to Florida, where we lived as newlyweds.

Something tells me we’re destined to meet Mickey Mouse and his motley crew, and obv. this means peaking far too early in the holiday, because when we return to the UK, and DH disappears off over the horizon to the blue yonder of Dubai, there’s still another six weeks to go. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Grandparents rock!

There’s also the small matter of keeping my newly founded Writing Inc. going – it has to take a back burner, of course, but still demands attention, at times like a hungry child. So, I’ve packed my career in my suitcase and, this week, worked remotely from my parents’ dining room.

With this as the view (mum’s garden, a 20-year project that was a field when we moved here), and sausage rolls in the fridge, it’s been such a lovely change. Best of all, the ankle-biting whippersnappers can be thrown outdoors for lengthy and wholesome, energy-burning games of hide-and-seek.

And by the time we get back from the States, the British schools will nearly have broken up - so we'll find playmates at last!
Office with a view: And by the time we get back from the States, the British schools will nearly have broken up – playmates wanted.

8 thoughts on “Operation Longvac

  1. That garden is absolutely breathtaking – it looks like something out of a Homes and Gardens magazine! How lucky for both you and the boys that you get to spend the ‘longvac’ there – and that your parents are there to enjoy the boys while you get some work done – win-win! ; )

    • Mum is thrilled by your comment! It’s a lot of work to maintain the garden, but we all get so much enjoyment from it, I do hope they don’t decide to downsize yet!

  2. Summer holidays never seem long, once you’ve lived in the US (or Dubai). It was such a shock, the first summer we lived there. As the end of the school year approached, I looked at the calendar and couldn’t believe how long it would be before the next year started.

  3. Lovely garden – perfect for hide and seek and other adventures. A six week break seemed quite long until I found out how long they get in the US (I never used to understand why parents sent their children away to camp until I found out that the summer break can be nearly three months long in some places!).

    • There are lots of camps in Dubai now too – the funniest one I heard about was the Dubai Mall camp, offering the kids a trip to the cinema, ice skating, a day at Kidzania, etc – not exactly outward-bound, but those lucky mall rats!

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