Together But Apart: Catherine Heaney on The Lone Ranger Holiday - The Gloss Magazine
2 months ago

Together But Apart: Catherine Heaney on The Lone Ranger Holiday

A rental of one’s own, as Virginia Woolf might have put it, might be just the answer, believes Catherine Heaney …

“I love to travel and I’m a social animal, ergo, I love group holidays – and being relatively footloose and always up for a skite, I’ve been on a lot of them. Sometimes, given the logistics and dynamics involved, they don’t quite work out as planned (Cádiz 2005, I’m looking at you) but from the giddy text exchanges the night before departure to the landgrab for bedrooms upon arrival, even the imperfect ones have their own kind of magic. At the very least, there will be a couple of good stories (still looking at you, Cádiz) and the fun of communal living in a new place – I’m thinking here of the particular pleasure to be found in cruising the aisles of a continental supermarket to stock up on pâté and cheap wine, even if that continental supermarket is Lidl in Clifden.

“However, living on my own for years has taken its toll on this idyll. I’ve noticed lately that my ability to chat to people first thing in the morning is, at best, poor and that my solo routines have taken on a worrying degree of inflexibility. My once unwavering stamina for group social activity is on the wane – even with my nearest and dearest, there are evenings when I just want (need) the quiet, welcoming embrace of the sofa and a book or boxset.

“The solution, I have found, is to set up in a bolthole near, but not right in, the action – a rental of one’s own, as Virginia Woolf might have put it. Somewhere close enough that you still feel included in the activity and plans, but where you can start and end each day safe in the knowledge that your rituals will be undisturbed, and that you won’t traumatise your friends’ kids with your morning yoga practice. The rise of studios and Shomeras has been a game-changer in this respect: this spring, when securing the booking on a three-bedroom holiday cottage was perhaps only marginally easier than finding an organ donor, there were still plenty of options for single-person dwellings. And so, come August, I will be in West Cork, within shouting, laughing and dining distance of some of my favourite people, but in my own little cabin by the sea. I can’t wait.”

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