Letters: Holiday at Home – September 2019

Holiday at Home!

Although my family had organised a lovely holiday in the Norfolk area, unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances we were unable to go, although the rest of the family “carried on regardless” (with our blessings). Whilst disappointed, health comes first, and as the Holiday at Home had been planned for the week we were originally going to be away, I had not requested a place. However, imagine my surprise and delight when I was asked if I would like to be included, as another person had been unable to attend.

To say that the two days were brilliant is an understatement. Participants were
greeted at the door with the question “tea or coffee” and find yourself a seat. The theme of the Holiday was a “cruise” starting in England, “sailing” to France on Thursday and on to Italy on Friday.

Thursday – France
Once all passengers had assembled, we were greeted by “the captain” (Stephen
Burrow); who gave a quick run-down of the days activities, including a short prayer. Next came the Captain’s Challenge. Having been given a sheet with a list of “tools” we were allowed to “buy” with our allowance of 30p, instructions were to make a contraption that you could put a fresh egg in to be dropped from approximately 5 feet without it breaking! The table I was involved with quickly got to work with different ideas and a summary of the tools we might need. Our idea (and as it turned out the other teams idea too) was to make a hot air balloon structure. Needless to say, all eggs broke! – but because our team had spent the least amount, we won the round and the prize of a box of chocolates.

Next on the agenda was a craft activity. Deborah Burrow had organised coasters
with glue and mosaic tiles, that all had to decorate. Once finished these were put to one side to dry, to be grouted the following day. We also had intricate pictures to colour at our leisure – this was to allow time for the “catering staff” to put the finishing touches to our dinner. Wow! What a lovely dinner too – Coq au vin, followed by Apple pie & custard.

After dinner activities included Quoits, Jenga, table top curling, along with various table top games, dominoes etc.

Time seemed to pass so quickly, and in a wink of a eye it was time for afternoon tea – cakes, scones, tea & coffee.

First day’s sailing came to a close around 3.30. – Can’t wait for tomorrow!

Friday – Italy
Once again passengers were greeted with tea or coffee and biscuits, on the tables were Crossword puzzles and word search to keep you busy whilst waiting for the ships passengers to arrive.

Again Stephen greeted us with a run down of the days activities, followed by a short prayer.

Captain’s Challenge – each team had information cards with various facts. The idea was to work out the earliest time and day you could get from England to
Transylvanian to “kill” Count Dracula. Again the team I was involved with seemed
very organised, and started by spreading out all the cards, and then gradually
working through the different times and days we had been given for various parts of the journey. It became apparent that we had found the right day and time and again, we were the first team to call. Again, our team won a box of chocolates!

Next came the craft session. More colouring in the shape of a Postcard, designed
by participants, with a sea as the theme, with the view to sending to someone who we thought would like to join the Holiday from Home next year. Whilst busy with this, each of us took turns to finish our mosaic coasters with the grouting, and then they were left to dry.

Lunch today was Lasagne, Garlic bread, Salad and Tiramisu.

Today’s entertainment was courtesy of the Heyford Singers, who entertained us with a medley of songs taking us from London to Italy. Many of us joining in, and I’m sure thinking of times gone by. Whilst listening to the wonderful sounds, and joining in where I could, the “crew” where busy getting afternoon tea ready. This consisted of cream and jam scones, with a choice of cheese scones, tea & coffee – again the time between lunch and afternoon tea just seemed to fly by.

Then, in a blink of an eye, we were back in England – time to go home. What an
absolutely fabulous, enjoyable two days – one I would highly recommend to anyone who isn’t able to go on holiday.

I just would like to say a huge big THANK YOU to everyone involved in the two days of wonderful company and activities, as well as fantastic food – not forgetting the person who unfortunately couldn’t make it and gave me my place on the Heyford Cruise.

Wonder what next year will hold, and will I be able to join in again – I hope so.

Christine Phillips