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A Handbook For Holidaying With Friends

The Gloss, July/ August 2021

As a poor student, I and some friends spent a week in a holiday-home in Barleycove. We arrived from different parts of the country but I’ve no recollection of how we all pitched up. A blustery week was had, exploring everywhere on foot, as the notion of anyone having access to a car was laughable.


With our meagre funds all spent, and nothing left for a return journey in the questionable luxury of a CIE bus, or a ‘Come In Early’ bus as they were wryly known, we decided to hitch home to Limerick. However, no-one had room for three young women, so we split up. Mobile phones had yet to make their début and the débâcle that ensued inspired me to write The Blue Pool years later.


Events following a hen-party lead to disaster in my novel, The Bride Collector. Happily, one hen-party holiday with friends to London went off with aplomb, largely due to the organisational prowess of the bride’s right-hand woman, along with the precision timing of eating and entertaining interludes. Might I heartily endorse having a glass of champagne before having a twirl on the London Eye?


Special homage should always be paid to the organiser of friends’ holidays - even if that holiday turns out to be less than billed. One dear friend organised a group holiday to Portugal. We still laugh – no, I clarify – she still laughs about the shape-shifting floor of the apartment, alive with ants and the curious case of a missing bed that meant sun-burned, overly sangria-ed bodies ended up rolling into the dip in the middle of a clapped out futon.


A special word of warning therefore, check out the sleeping arrangements – oh, and no boats. I’m not convinced they bring out the best in people. But ‘Sin scéal eile’. 

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