The Daily Telegraph

Holiday’s off?

Here’s your Plan B


We’re lazing on squashy loungers on the private beach of the Blue Palace Hotel in Crete. The water is a shimmering Hollywood blue and the most energetic thing we’ve done all afternoon is dawdle over the menu at the hotel’s lush Elounda spa.

All of which suggest the hallmarks of a prototypic­al gal-pal trip.

Except my companion isn’t a frazzled friend, come to burn off mutual tension from the work/home super juggle. Rather, it’s my 16-yearold daughter, Sophie. And she is holidaying with me – or rather just me – for the very first time.

As has been the case for many people, lockdown had drawn a nasty red line through pre-existing plans. In Sophie’s case, the cancellati­on of a three-week trip abroad with a national youth organisati­on. (No parents, no hassle. Just unstructur­ed, sweet summer teenage fun.) Gone, too, was the “just us” trip to Prague I planned to take with my husband, Martin, while Sophie was away.

Instead, I watched with mounting anguish as exams were cancelled, trips voided and a feeling of bleakness settled over the house. Over Sophie.

And so when holidays once again became a possibilit­y, the idea of a girls-only trip began to formulate. A mum/daughter adventure was something we’d never done before. Yet I was profoundly aware that within two years, Sophie, the last of our chicks, was likely to fly – flee? – the nest. We needed to do it now.

Admittedly, something else also roared in my ear. What about the bickering teen and short-fuse working mum dynamic? Would we export those tensions abroad with us, too? There was only one way to find out.

Since my husband, who runs his own accountanc­y practice, was absorbed with work, he was happy for me to change our plans. And although being away with Sophie feels completely different to any holiday dynamic I’ve experience­d before, it has been a revelation.

Sure, we’re billeted in glorious digs

Would we export the bickering teen and short-fuse working mum dynamic?

(it was worth coming just for the look on her face) but, more importantl­y, as we idle over icy drinks on the patio, it’s gifting us some time often lost in the rattle and hum of daily life.

Be it chit chat about the new school year or playing songs I’ve never heard of (thankfully), I’m enjoying her company.

It’s even amusing watching her indulge in the uber-teen preoccupat­ion of documentin­g everything with a dash of face-pulling selfies. It is a different kind of holiday to the one I was expecting. But ultimately these are precious moments. Lockdown has taken away a great deal. Yet in this unexpected girlie break it has given back, too.

 ??  ?? Precious moments: Angela Epstein with her daughter, Sophie, in Crete
Precious moments: Angela Epstein with her daughter, Sophie, in Crete
 ??  ?? Angela Epstein
Angela Epstein

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