Yep, holidays make me sick. They really do. I don’t know why I thought a week in Charleston, South Carolina, with Husband and the Sprogs would be different to any other vacation I’ve taken. Especially with swine flu raging through the US. I’d just settled into my plane seat to watch the safety demonstration when I started feeling woozy. At first, I put it down to the three buckets of Diet Coke I’d consumed at the airport (god love Americans and their free refills). Husband was NOT amused when I suggested there may be a slight problem with my health. (In addition to being holiday jinxed I am also a hopeless hypochondriac. Neither scenario was floating his boat). But, by the time I wobbled through Charleston airport, I was a definite goner. We’d booked a little holiday cottage near Folly Beach. I never saw the water. I saw a lot of the master bedroom, as I thrashed under the sheets with a headache, aching joints and nausea. On day two, both the Sprogs succumbed. Husband was kept awake each night by his family coughing up their lungs. Inevitably, he caught it too. Instead of sight-seeing, we toured chemists for regular top-ups of cough-mixture, tissues, headache tablets and flu remedies. We struggled gamely into Charleston one day for a horse-and-carriage ride through the gorgeous historic district. But it was a grim old journey. A friend had recommended a restaurant called the Hominy Grill for lunch. We stared dull-eyed at the food when it arrived – turkey club sandwiches and fries – had it packed to go and reheated it for dinner that night. The fries revived remarkably well in the frying pan, but went untouched again. After that, we survived on toast, cheese and grapes. Determined to see a Southern plantation, we dragged the kids to the nearest one, as they sobbed and begged to go back to bed. “Buck up,” I hissed, “the drugs will kick in soon.” The tour guide was horrified by the cacophany of coughing that accompanied her spiel, even stopping at one point to offer Sprog 1 a glass of water. The drugs did, eventually, kick in. Well, enough for us to do some listless exploring of the slave quarters. Yep. Worst. Holiday. Ever. It even says so in our photo album. There have been many other plague-ridden holidays, other Exorcist-like vomitting incidents in hotel rooms. But I think you get the point. So you can understand why I’m approaching my European adventure with a certain trepidation. Pray for me. Pray for the Sprogs. And especially pray for fed-up Husband.
TONIGHT’S MENU: Roast beef with mustard cream and whipped swede/parnsip (adults), plain roast beef and roast spuds (Sprogs).