Monday, 23 July 2012

Summer holidays

Most, if not all, schools, colleges and universities have Broken Up For The Summer (excluding you poor buggars doing nursing, who I am aware don't get to have holidays either). Although the weather has yet to show much sign of improving, it's officially summer time. Ergo, it's time to talk about holidays.

I took all of one summer holiday while in university, three glorious weeks backpacking around Italy. (I came back with a deep and spiritual need for tea, mostly.) Other than that, I spent all of my holiday time working, and used to think I was a pretty hardcore and awesome human being, working all through my A-Levels and then my degree. Take your internships and stick 'em up your arse, I thought quietly, I'm going to spend the summer cleaning the toilets.

What I didn't realise was that a change is as good as a rest, and essentially nine months studying and working and then three months working and, er, mostly drinking was sort of like going on holiday. It was a change to the routine, and I was desperate to get back to uni by the end of it.

Now I have, in essence, four weeks of holiday a year. My employer chooses to give us the legal minimum of holidays, and being office based this includes our mandatory shut down periods which eats up a week of leave. As such, four weeks off a year. Last year I hoarded them like a miser in order to take off all of March, and coped with it reasonably well, I thought. This year I am struggling, somewhat.

A week off last week ended in a surprise trip to Venice (surprising to me, Mr DG and probably also Venice) which was wonderful, but the flatness on the return to work was fairly awful. After four days in I headed out again for a long weekend, and now I know that I'm in (including two six day weeks) until September, when I get two weeks off. Weirdly, I'm dreading that (or at least, the bit after it) the most, because then I only have four days of annual leave left to play with.

This is possibly the ultimate first world problem: middle-class Western girl whinges that she doesn't get enough paid time off. BOO HOO. I think, though, that I don't necessarily just want the time off, although a day off midweek here and there would be handy for doing stuff like 'going to the post office'. What I miss is the change from the routine, one long enough to make you grateful for the return to the routine. I'm also aware that I'm going to have the same amount of holidays pretty much for my entire working career.

Honestly, it's enough to make you go into teaching. Then I remember that if I did that I'd have to, you know, actually teach children, so perhaps I can cope without the holidays.

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