Holidays are a matter of discontent for me these days. Mostly because I have made the decision not to go abroad until I get my transplant.
I could in theory step off the island for a vacation. It would mean I would have to pack Brendan into his coffin case and try to float him through the metal detectors at the airport without raising an eyebrow.
Perhaps pre-9/11, it would have been possible. Nowadays I'd imagine his presence in any terminal would result in at least a Code Orange Security Alert and an uncomfortable pat-down for me by some butch looking 'woman'.
Leaving the country would also involve getting my beloved Baxter to deliver all my fluids to where I'm going and would require me to bring all the extra accessories that go with dialysis.
I have considered the possibility, but have had any such notions quenched - not least by the tales of botheration from one of my dialysis buddies who is far less prone to grumbling and moaning than I am but who went away for a week with her Brendan and vowed to never, ever make that mistake again.
Potential annoyance aside, travelling would also require me to inform Beaumont Hospital that I should be suspended from the transplant pool as I won't be available if my kidney came up. Am I going to do this? Absolutely not. I am staying put on this rock until I'm sorted.
So this year I am holidaying in a beach town at home. Some have kindled a conversation with me in cafes or in the queue for a 99 in the shop, saying the recession can't be all bad if we're here on a day like this, with the sun finally finding Ireland and the waft of fish and chips always hovering on the breeze.
I agree with them and smile politely cos I'm a far nicer creature on holidays than when I'm at home.
But I am of that generation which was brought up to believe you have to go away to get away, and I look forward to the day when I can board a plane bound for somewhere strange and exotic again. Already there are blueprints of journeys in my head. So many places to see.
There is the niggling concern about my carbon footprint, but I'll plant a tree.
Heck, I'll plant a whole forest.