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Back to life, back to reality

July 6, 2017


This time yesterday I was in the Algarve, enjoying the last of the days sunshine. Can’t quite believe it was only yesterday?!?!

Mo and I spent last Sunday celebrating the London Eid Festival hosted by the Mayor of London at Trafalgar Square. It was a beautiful day where we met so many wonderful people, whilst we were stood out in the scorching heat.



Well, it felt scorching then but seems like nothing now in comparison to the temperatures in Portugal. After the chaos of the City, we frantically headed straight to Stansted and flew the short flight to Faro where we joined the rest of my family for a few days of total relaxation.

And that’s exactly what we did. Even though we got in quite late on the Sunday night I was up bright and early Monday, ready to explore the little villa we were staying in. First job – check out the pool. And from that first journey out on the pool atop the pineapple lilo in my pyjamas… it’s pretty much where I ended up staying for the rest of the day, exiting the water only briefly for meal times.



Fantastic Four in full holiday mode, this was exactly the kind of atmosphere I have in mind when I think of summer holidays. Private pool, selection of pool toys, goggles, snacks and drinks on hand when we need them and of course a great playlist.

Before I went away, luxury long-haul holiday specialists, kindly sent me an iTunes gift card, with the challenge to create my ultimate summer playlist. I knew exactly what I wanted on it, I didn’t even need to think about it. But I decided to leave the final decision to when we were in-situ.

I am the sort of person who, once I get a song I like in my head, I can literally listen to that song over and over and over again. This usually means that everyone around me starts to hate it. And this is usually the reason why I am banned from being DJ. However when I do put together a collection of tunes, they do tend to go down a storm.

For our ‘pool’ day I had mapped out a number of reggaeton tracks, that send me into summer mode when I’m driving to work here in the UK, usually on a rainy day.

Turns out it didn’t have quite the same effect on holiday.

Instead, I woke up that morning muttering the lines to a song I haven’t heard in decades.

And from then on, things took an unexpected turn…



Turns out our perfect holiday playlist was a combination of genres, a variety of songs that took us through the days activities.

We started with my morning earworm track – Ace of Base, Living in Danger – leading onto the the full Happy Nation album. Music that got us all reminiscing about the 90’s and energising us as the morning was spent racing to catch underwater dive sticks, throwing each other off inflatables and general mischief making around the pool.

Lunch time saw a change into old school, sing-a-long tracks that we attempted in-between bites, probably annoying the neighbours more than the screams from the competitive morning game session.

And of course after lunch, comes the wave of laziness, a time when only the soothing sounds of Bob Marley can truly relax us all as we float along the pools surface or partake in nap time on a sun lounger.



It’s funny as none of these songs were ones that I had set aside for our playlist, but now that we’ve done it, it makes sense and perfectly sums up one of the best summer afternoons I’ve had in a long time.

I’ve often spoken about scent being a strong mechanism when it comes to triggering memories, but I’ve realised for Mo and I music can be just as important. Every holiday we have gone on has had it’s own ‘soundtrack’ it’s all part of the experience. In Indonesia, it was anything Bruno Mars. Morocco, the live lounge cover of ‘Viva la vida’ by Lady Gaga instantly teleports us back to our honeymoon desert resort. In Rio we couldn’t walk along the beach without singing Sinatra’s ‘Girl from Ipanema.’

When you are travelling to a new place and you want to immerse yourself in an adventure, your body requires you to engage all your senses.

It certainly helps me define a destination. And today when I drove back after a long day at work listening to my ‘Lilo Looney Tunes’ playlist as I crawled down the M60, I couldn’t help but smile as I remembered my perfect summers afternoon with my loved ones.

Even though it took me two loops of the playlist to get home!


What makes up your Summer holiday soundtrack?

Do you stick with all time favourites? Or change them every year?



*** Thanks to for gifting me with an iTunes voucher to make up my perfect summer playlist. Their summer2017 deals have really helped ease the holiday blues since my return. Luckily the suns been out here in Manchester too, so I can do what I do best and whack that playlist on repeat ***



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