Recipe for conflict

Ingredients:

  • 3 single, independent, strong-willed (stubborn? 🙂 ) 30-something women
  • 7 day trip up the coast
  • 9,587,348,972 different interests
  • 2 x roosters and a hen who start their dawn welcome at 4am

Method

  • Mix all ingredients together well.

I’ve known Friend B for fifteen years and Friend A for about seven. They are two of my closest friends and they’ve known each other for around five years, through me. The three of us have lived on our own for quite a while; we’re all pretty independent and we know what we like and want. We are also quite different people, with differing interests. One of mine is sleeping in late during the holidays – a plan that was pretty stymied by our feathered neighbours*.

I’ve travelled with both of them (the girls, not the chickens) before and had no reservations about doing so again. So it was a bit of a surprise when we had some tension – although perhaps a little conflict was inevitable – on our trip last week. It ranged from going in super-tolerant ‘I don’t mind what we do – what do YOU want to do?’ circles to a little bossiness, thoughtless comments and (probably unintentional) obvious impatience.

Added to this, I had the worst PMS I’ve had in years, which makes me tearful, neurotic and pathetic. My two friends, who are lucky enough not to suffer from it, couldn’t understand that it was just the hormones talking and instead practically diagnosed depression and advised me to see a therapist. A little over-reactive, I thought.

Anyway, I’m home again now and loving the peace and tranquility of my own space, but a little sad that the perfect holiday I’d hoped for was a little fraught.

* The chickens were actually very funny. The roosters had the most comical wannabe crows ever (forget cock-a-doodle-do…) – accompanied by what could only be described as a ‘constipated look’.

Ten fab things about road tripping

1. Tiny towns that time forgot
2. Quirky decor (think country kitsch)
3. Farm stalls
4. Straight roads that stretch like ribbons over the countryside
5. Listening to CDs you forgot you had
6. Singing in the car
7. Buying things you’d never buy at home (for us it was fudge, a bumper sticker (?!) and earrings set with semi-precious stones)
8. Posing for very touristy photos
9. BEING a tourist!
10. Having a change of scenery – every few minutes.

Road trip!

I am sooo excited. Tomorrow I set off with two girl friends, SM and DV, for a week long trip up the coast. We’re taking the scenic route, which I’ve not done before, and are planning on stopping off at a number of quirky one-horse towns along the way.

I just booked our accommodation for tomorrow night in a quaint guest house in a town that is known for its port wine. Hmm – could be fun! Doing the accommodation research was so easy thanks to the Internet… what did we do before it?! The bit I like best is seeing what other visitors have said about the places. If only there were online reviews for everything (men? :-D).

So I’ll be getting up very early tomorrow, which is *not* my favourite thing, but it’s for a good reason this time. The two friends I am going with are good fun and we’ve planned a very relaxing week of visiting little towns, popping in at local organic markets, doing a little bit of sightseeing and a lot of reading, napping and chilling out. Not sure how we’ll be seeing in the New Year, but I’m sure something will come up.

One of the things I like best about road trips is farm stalls. I LOVE farm stalls. They always smell of home bakes and cabbages and dried fruit. There are always a few flies buzzing around but funnily enough that doesn’t put me off (as opposed to spotting one in my local supermarket). I’m always tempted by the jams and preserves and home-made rusks but usually never really buy much more than a snack and cold drink. Oh, and a bag of pistachios, which are the best nuts to eat on a road trip because they take so long to shell… keep you busy for miles.

I’m going to be unplugging and going offline for a week but watch this space for stories from the highway when I get back. Happy New Year!