I stick to my guns on holiday for one

Kate Livingstone
Kate Livingstone

As the years pass and lifelong friendships become not quite as close as they had once been, sometimes you find yourself reading or hearing news about people you know from other sources.

“I hear you’re going on holiday - alone,” said one such friend who called me out-of-the-blue on Monday.

“I know it’s been a while since we caught up, Kate,” she said, “but must I read this in The Falkirk Herald?”

I’d known this woman since my first child was born; we had met in hospital and gone through all the children’s milestones together.

We had drifted apart a little, but I was a bit annoyed that she seemed to be angry at me for not sharing my news with her personally.

And I did have to bite my tongue as I had read about the arrival of her latest grandchild in the birth, deaths and marriages column.

“It was a bit of a rushed decision,” I said.

“When are you going?”, she jumped in. “Because I want to come with you.”

“Em, ouch no, it’s just a break, just some me time.”

“Kate, all I would say is going on holiday alone is something you should prepare yourself for, it can sometimes make you feel quite lonely.”

While I appreciated the concern, I was a bit puzzled.

I live alone, for heaven’s sake, and all I was doing with this holiday was adding some sunshine to my life, three paperbacks, and a week off from doing the chores.

“I’ll be glad to get away from it all, honestly, I’ll be OK.” I said.

She then went on to tell me about a cathartic trip she had taken not long after her divorce.

“I didn’t really enjoy it,” she said. “There’s only so many times you can eat alone in a restaurant full of couples and families.”

She had a point, and for a minute I thought about asking her to come along.

She was great fun, had lots of free time and no money worries, she could come at the drop of a hat.

But, I decided to stick to my guns, and told her I was leaving in 10 days and would go this one alone.

“OK, she said, “have a nice time.”

I don’t mind saying that while I was happy, the gloss seemed to have faded from my holiday brochure a little.

Oh well, if I am going to be lonely, I may as well do it with a cool cocktail on a hot beach.