Our Holiday In The Sun

Steve’s penchant for making friends on holiday landed him in hot water – but it did suggest going all inclusive!

My husband Steve is annoyingly friendly whenever we go on holiday.

He’s the sort of person who always has to strike up a conversation by the pool, or share a few words at the bar with a perfect stranger.

Before you know it, we’re spending our precious holiday with a couple we barely know, who despite initial appearances, begin to irritate in a very short space of time.

Tactics then have to be quickly changed, and we spend the remaining time hiding behind pillars and plant pots trying to avoid them!

Every year I warn him, and every year it happens.

Steve says I’m just being unfriendly, but I most definitely am not. I just like to relax and not feel pressured into making polite conversation when I’d rather be snoozing on a sun bed.

And yes, I’ll be honest, I really don’t care about their children, grandchildren or what sort of work they do. Does that make me unfriendly? No, of course not.

So you will be surprised to hear what happened last year in Majorca. Nice hotel, amazing pool, beautiful weather – and Polly and Dave…

Polly and Dave are the couple Steve started talking to as soon as we arrived – we hadn’t even been given the key to our room!

I had already done the eye narrowing routine that usually warns him he is doing it again, but as we were unpacking half an hour later he told me very calmly, “Dave’s saving seats for us in the dining hall.”


“Yeah, nice bloke. I met him in reception.”

“So now you’re best friends, are you?”

“No, of course not. He just said he’d save seats for us and we could sit with them for dinner.”

“Steve, I don’t want to sit for dinner with a couple I’ve never met!”

“They’re nice. You’ll like them.”

“Dave, I really don’t want –”

“Hurry up Jess, Dave’s saving seats.”

Because I didn’t want to start the holiday with an argument, I stuck a smile on my face, changed into one of my new summer dresses, and went off to dinner.

My plan of escape was already in my head, however – both the A route and the B route – because usually the first attempt at shaking off unwelcome buddies doesn’t work. I was pretty confident that if necessary, the B route would.

As it turned out, I was very pleasantly surprised.

Polly and Dave were in their forties, the same as us, although Polly looked as young and sweet as her name suggests. Dave was casually friendly, very funny, and conversation at the dinner table was relaxed and easy.

“See, I said you’d like them.” Steve said at the end of the evening. We’d all finished the night together in the bar and I was more than ready for bed.

I smiled, slipping into the cool sheets. “Yes, they were nice.”

“Good, because I said we’d meet them by the pool at ten.”

“Don’t tell me – he’s saving seats?”

Steve laughed. “You want a sun bed, don’t you?”

Dave had somehow managed to secure the best position by the pool by the time we arrived, and waved away any suggestion of a thank you.

“Nice to have some company, eh Polly?” he said.

Polly smiled. “Really nice.”

Polly wasn’t super thin or ridiculously beautiful so I felt in no way inferior or forced to squeeze my stomach in the entire day. She was pleasantly attractive with a good sense of humour and a penchant for cool white wine.

Like me, she liked to read which meant we didn’t have to spend hours in pointless conversation. Relaxed and chatty when the need arose, I have to admit I began to enjoy her company.

Dave had a small forgivable beer belly and oversized swimming trunks.

Sitting with them around the pool, munching snacks we really didn’t need and sipping wine far too early, was exactly what we loved about being on holiday.

“Stick my wallet in your bag, Jess. I’m going in the pool.” Steve said, standing up.

Dave looked surprised as he passed it to me.

“Why do you bring money to the pool? Aren’t you all inclusive?”

I shook my head. “No, we pay as we go for drinks and stuff. We know where we are then.”

“It works out cheaper to book all inclusive.” Dave insisted. “We always do. All you can eat and drink, and no worries about keeping an eye on your wallet!”

Steve shrugged. “Yeah, maybe we should look into it next time.”

“Definitely worth it, Steve.” Polly added, closing her book and reaching for her glass. “I love not having to count how many of these I’ve had.”

We all had a giggle and another lovely day passed.

Six more lovely days passed. We went on a couple of planned excursions together, dined at the same table each evening, and I found myself looking for Polly’s dark curly head each morning as we arrived at the pool.

Somehow Dave always managed to get there before us, and always secured the best position.

“We really ought to try and get there first one day.” I said. “We don’t want them to think we’re relying on them.”

Steve laughed. “Dave doesn’t care.”

“All the same, we should make the effort,” I persisted.

So the day before our final day, we set the alarm for seven. Steve said it reminded him of work and didn’t want to do it, but I told him it was only fair.

“We’re running out of time to get there first.” I said.

“For goodness sake, Jess, it’s not a race. They won’t care.”

“And you get the drinks first this time. You always leave it to Dave.”

“He’s all inclusive! Let him get his own drinks,” Steve groaned.

“At least offer,” I said.

“He’s all inclusive.” Steve repeated unnecessarily.

“Well maybe we should be ‘all inclusive’ too next time,” I said irritably, and turned out the light.

The next morning was bright and sunny as always. Despite his moans, Steve got showered, slipped his swimming trunks on under his shorts, and pulled on a tee shirt.

“Stick my wallet in your bag Jess.” he said as usual.

“Dave’s right you know,” I said, putting it into my handbag. “It’s silly taking money out with us each day. We ought to think about this all inclusive business next year.”

“Maybe. Come on, let’s go. I wouldn’t be surprised if Dave’s there already.”

“At eight o’clock? Surely not! And don’t forget the blue sunbed’s mine.”

“Why?” asked Steve.

“Because I’ve had it all week.”

“That doesn’t make it yours, Jess.”

“It’s mine today and tomorrow. I’ll bequeath it to someone else when I leave.”

Steve shook his head and muttered something that sounded like, “Crazy.”

I was pleased to see Dave and Polly had not yet arrived at the swimming pool. We gathered our four favourite sun beds together and made our usual base camp.

“They won’t be long now,” I said. “Why don’t you get four coffees in – and yes, I know they’re all inclusive,” I added as Steve went to protest. “But it’s just a nice gesture. A coffee isn’t going to break the bank, is it?”

Steve shrugged. “I didn’t see them at breakfast, did you? Maybe they’ve overslept. I’ll get our coffees for now, and yes, I’ll buy them one when they get here!”

I laughed and passed over his wallet. “Latte, please.”

“I wonder how many lattes you get for all inclusive?” Steve mused.

“As many as you like! That’s the whole point. Shall we go to Italy next year – all inclusive? I fancy the Lakes. What do you think? ” I mused.

Steve looked at me, puzzled.

“My cards are gone, Jess.”


“Look.” He held out his wallet. “It’s empty, cards gone. Cash too.” His face had gone rather pale, in spite of his holiday tan. “I’d better report it to Reception.”

“I’ll come with you.” I said getting up. “I said it was stupid carrying your wallet around with you.”

“Not the time for that, Jess.”

“Just saying…”

Thankfully Miguel spoke perfect English. He nodded and listened as we told him what had happened.

“So has anyone handed them in, or am I being optimistic?” Steve said.

Miguel shrugged. “Optimistic, I’m afraid Senor.”

“There’s a thief in your hotel then.”

“Si, Senor. We know that already.”

“You know it?”

“We have had trouble with things going missing for the past three weeks I’m afraid. Our security is dealing with it.”

“Do you mean you know who it is?”

“I think you know Senor and Senora Roberts.”

“Roberts? Isn’t that Dave and Polly’s surname?” I said quietly to Steve.

Miguel was nodding now.

“They left very early this morning, said they had to get home because of a family problem. But don’t worry Senor, please don’t worry. Our security has been watching them all week.

“There have been a few things going missing, you see, and always around Senor and Senora Roberts. This is their third week with us.”

“Third?” Steve looked at me. “But I thought they arrived the same time as us.”

“Senor Roberts is very good at making friends.” Miguel said with a wry shrug. “Security has already informed the police. They will be stopped at the airport I can assure you. In the meantime, I would contact your bank if I were you.”

I have no idea what we must have looked like. I think my mouth had dropped open with the utter shock of hearing that nice Dave and Polly were in fact a pair of thieves who had well and truly duped us!

Miguel smiled then. “We are offering any guest who has been robbed, two extra days’ holiday free of charge. We are so sorry you have had this trouble.”

Sitting in the sun later, sipping sangria under a cloudless sky, things didn’t seem quite so bad.

“I’ve informed the bank, so we won’t lose any money, plus we have an extended holiday,” Steve said, ever the optimist. “It could have been worse.”

“Yes, thanks to the hotel security being on the ball. Honestly Steve, I hope you’ve learned your lesson now.”

“About going all inclusive?”

“No! About making friends with everyone you meet at the drop of a hat!”

“Oh that.”

“Excuse me.” A lady dressed in a sarong and wide brimmed hat and was looking down at me. She smiled when I stared back. “I’m sorry to disturb you, but did you get robbed by that pair too?”

I sat up. Dave of course was already smiling at her, getting ready to make her acquaintance!

“Have you got a couple of free days too?” he asked.

She nodded. “They took my gold watch you know. Stupidly I left it in my bag when I went swimming.”

“Perhaps we can have a drink with you and your husband in the bar later,” Dave suggested.

“Not tonight Dave, we’ve got plans, remember?”

I narrowed my eyes under my sunglasses even though he probably couldn’t see them. This time however he smiled and nodded at me.

“Ah yes, I forgot that. Some other time maybe.”

The lady held up one hand in a wave. “Yes, see you around.”

Dave sat back on his sun bed and grinned. “It’s going to be just you and me, Jess, for the rest of the holiday.”

“I like the sound of that.” I said, smiling.

“And we’ll book all inclusive next year.”

I laughed softly. “Great. By the way, I never did get my latte.”

Our My Weekly Favourites series of feel-good fiction from our archives continues on Mondays and Thursdays. Look out for the next one.

Don’t forget – you can find brand new, uplifting short stories every week in My Weekly! Subscribe now for a great saving on the weekly magazine, the monthly My Weekly Special… or our fortnightly thrilling, romantic Pocket Novels. Click on the boxes below for more information.