‘Pre­cious time to talk to each other’

The Daily Telegraph - Travel - - THE GENERATION GAME -

walks or late-night bars, say – mean that you sel­dom meet. But break­ing off in smaller groups is also fun: un­likely peo­ple play games to­gether, or be­come each other’s com­pan­ions for out­ings to mu­se­ums or to track down elu­sive in­gre­di­ents for recipes.

It’s also fine to take on cer­tain roles for the du­ra­tion if they come more nat­u­rally: when my fa­ther came back from the su­per­mar­ket with two small pack­ets of crisps and one large bot­tle of fizzy pop (there were seven teenagers present), I be­came shop­per-in-chief.

But no hol­i­day needs a mar­tyr; every­one should take turns with the cook­ing and all the less fra­grant jobs. If you’re eat­ing out in a large group, make the book­ings well in ad­vance. “Ta­ble for 12, please,” sounds ridicu­lous when you’re stand­ing in the mid­dle of a crowded restau­rant.

Other peo­ple’s habits and opin­ions can grate, but you’re shar­ing space, so you all need to take a vow to park your ir­ri­ta­tion and be pre­pared to tol­er­ate things and smile sweetly. My friends tell me that this goes for as­pects of child-rear­ing, too. Pool­side is not the place to in­sist on a re­think of your grand­chil­dren’s at­ti­tudes to home­work. (Ob­vi­ously, my daugh­ter al­ways gets her child rear­ing right, so we have no ex­pe­ri­ence of this.)

My own off­spring’s ten­dency to in­vite many more friends than the bed­room al­lo­ca­tion of the house has meant that my dad and his part­ner Elaine have had, over the years, a crash course in the Way of the Teen. He proved a won­der­ful, tol­er­ant and funny

com­pan­ion – it

So­phie El­lis-Bex­tor and her mother Janet El­lis re­veal the de­lights of an ex­tended fam­ily hol­i­day in an Ital­ian villa Don’t ex­pect har­mony if some party un­til dawn

Full steam ahead to fam­ily har­mony at The Hyde, above, find your own cas­tle at Manoir de Cha­lan­des, left, or head for the pool in Greece, right

Janet El­lis, left, and her daugh­ter So­phie El­lisBex­tor

Italy, above, proved the per­fect des­ti­na­tion for large fam­ily get­away

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