A few days ago I got back off a holiday that lasted a month.
A month of binge drinking, eating what I liked, smoking (don't usually indulge), shagging and generally partying and being a slob.
I love Plakias as regular readers of this blog will know. It's where my old man retired to in 1997 and it rocks.
6 years ago I stayed with him for 5 months and had a whale of a time. The following year it was 3 months.
In 2012 I stayed for only 2 weeks and it felt like I blinked and it was all over. So last year and this year I stayed for 4 weeks which is “just about right” for a holiday in what could realistically be called Narnia with raki and sex.
Something I noticed though, throughout my stay in Paradise was that I sometimes sulked (usually after a lot of alcohol) at the thought of leaving.
I mean, I was in a euphoria of cheap and delicious food, gorgeous seascapes, girls in bikinis (and not just mingers, fit birds too), beautiful landscapes, cold beer, crystal blue oceans, bluer skies and 35 degree sunshine.
But sometimes the fact that I would have to pack up and go home would wriggle into my brain and remind me of its existence, not too far into the future. This would have a knock on effect to my ability to relax and enjoy myself.
It turned out it wasn't just me. There were others who had the same sense of maudlin. My friends who have been going there for 20 years said that on a 2 week holiday they tend to get down and depressed about halfway through, with the knowledge that they will soon be going home.
I once read that the best part of the weekend is not Friday night or even Saturday night but Friday afternoon when you are still working. Reason being that this is where your imagination is at its peak with all the wonderful things that you are going to do. Dancing, drinking, hanging out with your mates, shagging. The list is churning in your head as the excitement builds. By Saturday afternoon it is already nagging at the back of your mind that by Monday you will have to go back to work.
As a child I was told by my mother that I was “stupid” (one of her catchphrases when it came to anything we disagreed on) because I said I hated Sundays as they were the day before Monday when I would have to go to school. Saturdays were a day of fun, cartoons and ice cream. I'd get up about 6.30am with my brother and we'd watch cartoons and play games until about 9am when Tiswas came on TV and then play on our bikes or meet our friends. Heaven. We had the subconscious knowledge that Sunday was there as a buffer so we'd go to bed tired but safe in the knowledge that school couldn't claim us when we woke up the next morning. Come Sunday....sulking as the next day I had to return to maths, geography and the vile shit that was Mrs Coleman.
But I digress....
I had a lovely dinner with two guys in a fish restaurant in Plakias about 10 days into my holiday and the guy noted that I wasn't relaxed and enjoying, as he put it, the “ambience”. Truth was I was very drunk and reminding myself that I would have to go home.
This is the reason that no one knows precisely when they will die. Even those with terminal diseases don't know EXACTLY when they will buy the farm. Very few of us can say “fuck it! You only live once, I'm going to party until I pass out. Life is for living”. The truth is that the majority of us resent the fact that our lives will one day end, like the childhood weekend or the holiday we looked forward to for so long.
Surrounded by beauty I would occasionally lapse into melancholy solely because I knew the beauty would one day soon be gone.
The novel Logan's Run shows a world where people die at 21 and have a life clock (crystal) implanted in their palm that changes colour every 7 years. On your 21st birthday it blinks red/black for 24 hours and within that time you must hand yourself in to a “sleep shop” to be euthanased. The people in this book (which is excellent by the way) love life and party all the time
The reality is THAT is why we don't know when we will die. Instead of living our lives, most of us would simply sit around moping at the unfairness of having to check out at some point.
When you don't know how long something will last, you appreciate it much more than when you do. Despite what hippies and religious people may tell you.