If you want to reconnect with your family, take them on holiday to an isolated villa on a volcanic rock in the middle of the Atlantic with wi-fi that’s intermittent at best.
Make it so remote that even the taxi driver, who picks you up at the airport, scratches his head and calls back to base to find out where it is. Within two days, you’ll know them better than they know themselves.
Last week, we rented a beautiful three-bedroom villa with its own pool in Tenerife for what, in all probability, will be our final family holiday together.
The two best things about hiring your own place are:
1 No sun lounger wars. There’s no walk of shame at dawn to put your towel on a sunbed.
2 Other people’s screeching, entitled children are literally miles out of earshot.
With kids aged 18 and 16, the idea of being stuck with mum and dad for 10 days in the middle of nowhere was as appealing as travelling anywhere in the UK by train.
After a day or two, they started to make their own amusement. Daughter No.2 ploughed up and down the pool on a lilo shaped like a TDK D90 cassette, propelling herself with two wooden paddles from a bat and ball game we bought in Mallorca in 2014.
However, I made the schoolboy error of asking daughter No.1 for a favour. Could she help her old dad out by playing some tunes from her phone through her Bluetooth speaker, while me and the boss sip Rioja on the terrace as the sun goes down, as after two hours of trying, mine just wouldn’t connect?
After 30 minutes of behaviour that would make a petulant schoolgirl blush, she played the three worst songs in the world. On purpose. While laughing so hard she could barely breathe. Angels by Robbie Williams, You’ll Never Walk Alone and Simply The Best by Tina Turner, pictured.
Put it this way, the paragliders off Mount Teide had to dodge the fireworks from our villa for about an hour.
It was only the fact the speaker cost more than some cars I’ve bought that saved it from being launched into the pool.
Wind-up merchant? I don’t know where she gets it from.