I wanted to go to the Alpujarras in Andalucia and had saved up A Parrot in the Pepper Tree, the last book in the Chris Stewart series that inspired this hankering. I had even found what looked like a lovely little white house with a pool and managed not to be too dismayed by the fact that all of the houses available for rent in the Alpujarras seemed to belong not to earthy Spaniards but to Brits offering massages and exotic cuisine.
As our departure approached, P. became less and less enthusiastic. "13 hours is a long time to spend in a car with two children. It's Easter week, the roads will be packed. The car's making a funny noise." "Don't be so negative", I said.
But when we looked at the weather forecast, even I had to agree that it was a very long way to drive for rain and mediocre temperatures. So we called the whole thing off and went to the Ile d'Oléron and the Dordogne instead.
And the car broke down on the way there.
Oh, and if you ever want to go to the Ile d'Oléron I have a recommendation for where not to stay.