I took the family on only one serious outing this year and breaking from tradition it was overseas, yes I actually took everyone abroad in the hope that I could still holiday early but avail myself of better weather than was enjoyed in 2005.

The idea of river cruising is one of those recurring holiday itches that I have scratched on about two other occasions. I went narrow boating with my parents many years ago, and again with Trudi before we were married. This year I planned a South of France river cruise and once again learnt what I’d forgotten from the previous two outings.

What you have to realise is that the distance you have to travel is actually quite large and that boats on inland waterways are actually very slow, not much faster than walking pace. Consequently to make any progress you have to spend all of your waking hours driving the boat.

This is fine if there is a crowd of you to share the driving, cooking, locking etc. But when it’s just two adults and a couple of kids it actually turns into a very long boat trip and not a lot else. Perhaps by putting this on screen I’ll remember it when I get to thinking about scratching that recurring itch again in another 10 or so years.