Belfast Telegraph

I'm over the (blue) moon to be going on my holidays

By Frances Burscough

The phrase “once in a blue moon” denotes a very rare occurrence. The full moon that appeared in the sky last night and will be visible until tomorrow night is just such a moon.

Contrary to what you might think, the phrase refers not to an actual blue-coloured moon, but to a full moon that occurs for a second time in a single month. To be more precise, normally we only see one full moon per calendar month, but every so often (once in a blue moon, in fact) there is a second one. As last night’s full moon was technically still within the month of July, and there had already been one on July 2, then that makes this weekend’s moon a blue moon.

So you could say that this weekend is quite phenomenal. It also happens to be the weekend that I’m going away to Rhodes on holiday.  Rhodes as in Greece. Greece as in bankrupt nation on the verge of collapse.

What could possibly go wrong? So I thought it would be fun to mark this auspicious occasion by compiling a list of holiday happenings that only occur once in a blue moon.

  • The weather forecasters predict a heatwave (like they do every year) and what you actually get is a heatwave. Not the wettest July on record, ever! EVER!
  • You get your summer clothes out of the closet anyway, in case the warm weather does arrive, and some of them still actually fit you.
  • You book a last-minute holiday that seems really cheap and affordable in the adverts, and the quoted price actually does include flights, transfers and luggage allowance.
  • You arrive at your holiday destination and the hotel actually resembles the pictures in the brochure.
  • There aren’t any cockroaches in the bathtub and the air conditioning works perfectly.
  • The head waiter doesn’t resemble and behave like Manuel from Fawlty Towers.
  • You go down to the pool at 8am and the Germans didn’t get there first and cover every sun lounger in sight with a towel. In fact, the entire hotel is German-free.
  • It starts to thunder and rain, so you cheer yourself up by sending a text message home and they don’t reply by telling you there’s been a heatwave in Northern Ireland since the day you left.
  • When the sun does finally appear, you get a nice even golden tan and don’t look at all like a lobster.
  • Your hair develops lovely golden highlights in the sun and doesn’t go green with all the chlorine.
  • You don’t have a big row with your other half for staring at the topless women on the beach.
  • Nobody gets food poisoning and projectile vomits all over the bed.
  • Your wet bikini doesn’t blow off the balcony and land on the roof of a passing car.
  • You stay well within your holiday budget and don’t have to use your credit card once.
  • At the end of the holiday you can still fit everything in your suitcase.
  • You arrive at the airport and there isn’t a five-hour delay due to technical difficulties.
  • The booze in duty-free is actually cheaper than in your local supermarket.
  • You get on the plane and you aren’t squeezed between a clinically obese man and a screaming baby.
  • You arrive back home to a heatwave and you don’t suddenly realise that you’d forgotten to cancel the milk so there are seven sour cartons about to explode waiting on the doorstep. 
  • You walk in the house and you don’t realise that you left the immersion heater on.
  • Your neighbours call round to see you and they aren’t browner than you are.
  • You don’t end up so exhausted from all the travelling that you need a holiday to recover.

Feel free to add your own suggestions. Send them to me at the above email address and we’ll be sure to publish them ... err ... next time there’s a blue moon.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph