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The first two months of the year can be a drab time, although this year January and February have probably been the mildest in living memory in the U.K. It is not normally until March, when the first buds begin to appear on plant life that has lain dormant during the winter, can you look forward to the lighter and warmer days of summer.
There is one thing that brings a small glimmer of hope during these grey times, and that is planning the family holiday. By the time March will have arrived, the wife and I would have spent quite a few enjoyable evenings searching the Internet, and dreaming about all the wonderful parts of the world and interesting places we would like to visit. It is only when you stay determined not to take your children out of school during term time are you brought down to earth with an almighty bump. Holiday prices can double in the space of just a few weeks for the holiday periods.
Then there are world events. Once you could visit every shore of the Mediterranean with nothing more to fear than sunburn or a dodgy stomach. Now various countries in this region are either suffering from civil war, terrorism, or having to cope with a tide of humanity that is overwhelming the very shorelines that normally hosted hordes of tourists. It is a pitiful sight, especially when pictures of petrified families with crying children appear on the evening news, or on the front page of your morning paper. Just two years ago, I wrote an article on this very page about a holiday my family had in Tunisia. We flew from Norwich Airport and stayed all-inclusive. Now as one county after another suffers from the negative side effects of humanity, I give thanks that my family are lucky enough to live in such a peaceful and wonderful part of the world that is Great Britian
At the end of the day all we need is love. It's a mantra that under-pins all faith, but unfortunately can be forgotten, or abused by some religious zealots who will use humanities desire to find answers to universal questions we have about life, and it's true meaning, to further their own twisted desires. These are the very people that have impacted on my family life by effecting where we can enjoy our holiday break. It might seem trivial compared to what those poor refugees have had to suffer, either being trapped in a besieged town or city, being bombed and shot at or having to travel thousands of miles through dangerous lands, and deadly seas.
You reap what you sow, even if the other side started it first. By revenging hate with hate it won't lead to love, but just to more hate.
Love is a verb. A doing word. All of us need to do more loving and less hating, and then maybe, just maybe I would free to take my family wherever I could afford around the world without fearing nothing more nasty than sunburn or a dodgy stomach.