There are few greater pleasures in life than sitting upstairs, at the front of the bus on a beautiful sun-beaming-down-bright-blue-day; St. Pancras illuminated in a golden Gothic glow, budding trees skimming past, blossom blowing a blur in the breeze.....well perhaps a few.....but not so many when your head, too, is filled with thoughts of holiday, as mine is.
A couple of weeks ago I began to complain bitterly that I would never again go on holiday because I didn’t have a boyfriend. And I didn’t want to go away on my own to walk up a mountain, or learn salsa, or do yoga, or go kayaking with other enthusiastically single-Billy—no-mates, or billet myself with good-friends-who-live-abroad and have to sing for my free-supper by bouncing their children on my knee while balancing my glass of rose on the corner of the table-full-of-couples.......and that boyfriends really only are for Christmas and holidays and that what I wanted to do was go to Argentina because I’d always wanted to go to South America and soon I’d be too old to travel anywhere and I’d never see Patagonia and I’d always wanted to go to Patagonia because it’s one of my favourite words and Buenos Aires always sounded so romantic and......then someone I was working with randomly mentioned she was going to Argentina for a week over Easter to visit a friend....
“How wonderful”, I said, “I wish I was going to Argentina.”
“Why don’t you come,” she said, “I’ll change my flight, stay for two weeks, we can go to Patagonia.”
“Because..... how much is it?”
“Here’s the number, call them and just book it, it’ll be great....”
So I did.
My travelling companion, an energetic 35 year old, built like Barbie but eats like a horse, with a possible thyroid-condition, is the bi-polar opposite of me in pretty much everyway: petite, blond and not so much glass-half-full as cup-runneth-over, everything is extended: hair, eye-lashes and heels......she was once engaged to a Tottenham Hotspur’s player and so is a qualified, if non-practising, WAG. But she has too, backpacked across India and knows her way around any bargain-basement-budget- flight website. She parties hard but is always first in work and has informed me, in her fluent Yorkshire, that she has scored a rake of Temazepam for the flight.... In short, a perfect travelling companion.
And so we’re off to tango; the snap of Gaucho in the air, the tang of pampas on the tongue. We fly to BA...as I believe it is known...on Good Friday, renamed Spectacular Friday for the purposes of the trip. When, many years ago, I went to Mexico I married my ex-husband, after a similar rant: ‘we shall find our husbands, I want to marry a writer, an American....’ And I did. However, I married the wrong American. There are loads of them, it was an easy mistake. This time, I’d like to marry the right American. I shall eat steak...the travelling companion’s and mine, she’s also a vegetarian....and drink Malbec and Mate and watch the world tango by......and see what happens.....
Top tip: be careful what you wish.......but if you do want it then think it, say it and don’t give up on it.