I do love the Summer and looking back it seems to have gone so quickly – luckily God (or someone white and beardy up there) decided August was one of his biggest mistakes and that we deserved some last minute sun to ease us into the British winter – so the weather went mental and we were all left gasping for air, glugging bottles of water and stripping off in our cars, in the park and on the streets – yup! The Indian summer that we’d been promised – arrived!!

The real Summer was quite eventful for me…we had our first experience of family festival fun and we went to Ibiza too – I also by some misfortune didn’t have much work and this was magnified and made one hundred times worse by the fact that it rained throughout August and meant I couldn’t amuse the children without splurging the cash….no days picnicing in the park – just lots of very expensive trips to Thorpe Park, Chessington, Next (retail therapy!), cinema and Pizza Express when the rain made us all hungry and not forgetting buying endless movies on box office…eek!

So, the chance to go to Ibiza on a very strict budget was greeted with whoops of joy and wild excitement all round. We decided not to even pay for suitcases….just take hand luggage. Ryan Air are really strict so we had to measure and weigh our bags – far from being allowed to pack them to busting – we had to take them all deflated and so in the end I had to pay for one suitcase. My brother in law always says ‘pack what you want to take – then half it and pack again’, he travels back and forwards to S.A. so he knows – so I halved everyone else’s things and seemed to keep adding to mine…I had packed far too many Next Bikini’s and some lovely sun dresses!

Ryan Air are also really weird and won’t let you book seats together, it’s sort of first come first serve…..so you can imagine how I started panicking when they said Antonis was seat 6A and I was 21A and the rest of my little brood were dotted all over the plane….’I’m very sorry madam but that is our policy’ the very pretty air stewardess said……I was getting a bit breathless with sheer fear for Ant ‘I’m very sorry but don’t be blooming ridiculous – my four year old cannot do a three hour flight in a seat alone?’…..I managed to easily fix things by asking the man next to Antonis’ seat if he was happy to look after Ant for the flight and also casually mentioned that Ant had a runny tummy….of course he swapped with me without hesitation – problem solved!

Once we’d arrived in Ibiza, all our strict rules seemed to disappear out the window…..for starters we had to get two cabs as Ant is no longer a toddler and there are five of us – so £50 later we arrived at my Dad’s place. We then obviously had to go and have mojitos in the bar and then go to the restaurant that we love (basically we blew three days of our budget within about three hours of arriving)….still with the sangria, sun, sand and the sea view – we were in heaven!

The holiday was fun and fortunately for Family Contomichalos, passed fairly calmly…..usually we have some pretty worrying events (like driving stolen cars, crashing without insurance, cracking teeth in the swimming pool – oh, and not forgetting Chesley’s live threatening asthma attack) so things were pretty good this year….

Pavlos got all Bear Grylls and swam from a pedalo to an uninhabited island and came back with crab claws and shells (reminding me of his pockets when he was a school boy – always full of old apple cores, a dried up worm and some shrivelled up conquers)….and Joe started to speak Spanish, whilst Antonis learnt to jump in the pool with his armbands on!

As we boarded the plane and had to leave our beautiful magic white island we wistfully turned around to take in one last sunset. We were all a bit down in the dumps as we knew we had a long flight back to Stansted and then a really long drive back to Surrey… still Pavlos had a party to go to and Joe was looking forward to getting on Facebook to speak to his friends – that was when the bare fear and panic set in……. inwardly doing the Edvard Munch ‘The Scream face’…..I realised our car keys were still in the kitchen in Ibiza……..I gasped and then started weeping, ‘ahhh, Jessie don’t worry…we’ll be back next year’, said my husband putting his arm around me……’not likely!’, I thought to myself…’this could end in divorce’……and what happened at Stansted on arrival – is another story!