The sand undulates, white as snow, silken soft down to a jade green sea. The sun's rays dust the gently rippling waves in diamond shards. The clear sky is a bright turquoise, the blue horizon broken only by the lazy flapping of a pelican scanning the waters for a mid afternoon snack. White yachts bob serenely out at sea and children hunt for shells at the waters edge.
The beach is dotted with royal blue cabanas, each sporting a oiled pair of legs sticking out from beneath the shade, some sleek and brown, others toasting an angry, livid pink. As I recline onto my own padded lounger, sunglasses perched on my nose, an icy cocktail sweating in the heat on the table beside me, I sigh and think: 'This is the life'.
That is in the scant nanosecond of peace afforded to me by my relentless offspring, before one of them arrives by my side, to climb, scratchy and sandy onto my toasting belly, knocking over that well deserved drink in the process. As they drip chill seawater down my back the demands commence.
The twins want 'More, more water' to be fetched from the sea, even though they are both sitting right beside it, while I am happily ensconced halfway up the beach. The bigger boys want me to miraculously rid the sea of all of its salt, as this makes their eyes sting, and check each wave for an approaching stingray. The warning signs telling us to do the stingray shuffle in order to avoid injury, having left them paranoid about all marine life.
A beach holiday with the boys just isn't the same as those far off breaks we had a deux. While husband and I attempt to relax and enjoy they idyllic surroundings, the children seem determined to thwart our plans. If they aren't asking for endless cups of juice they are complaining that it's too hot. You just can't win.
I am beginning to wonder how old children have to be before you don't feel as if you need another holiday the moment you hop off the plane on the way home from your last one.