We started to plan this holiday about eighteen months ago. The first thing was to ask Daniel if we could use his beautiful house and garden in the north of the Isle of Zakynthos. He very kindly allowed us to use it for the Spring Bank Holiday week at the end of May 2013. The idea was to take my nephew James, with his wife Marcela, and the children Valentina, just 15 years of age a few days before the holiday, and Michael, who would be eight in June. That is why we needed a week in the school holidays.


The second thing was to do all the paperwork, ensuring that everyone had valid passports, booking the seats on the plane, which cost just under £3000; ordering a car so that we could drive somewhere for our meals, and also to do various kinds of sightseeing; arranging car parking at Gatwick for the week we’d be away; getting our insurance cover; finding out where the keys were, and the codes to be inserted when entering the house or using the safe; saving up money so that we’d have plenty to spend, mainly on our meals, while we were in Zak, as we call it.


My own life was complicated not long before we left, by a break-in to my house in East London. The burglar didn’t take much, not that I have much to take, as I have either given my best possessions away, or they’ve been stolen years ago, but he did take my passport, which meant that I had to get a replacement one, which took more time that one would have liked. Although a passport costs a little over £80, there were other costs: photographs of my face, taken on a Sony device at the chemist’s, £4; the doctor’s signature, £30; express letter charge, £5; all these added 50% to the actual passport charge.


Another complication was that I was helping my daughter Vicky with the costs of her holiday in Australia. Sadly they had to return to the UK only a few days after they arrived there, due to the re-emergence of her brain tumour on my grand-daughter Poppy, which meant that my £5000 contribution wasn’t much use.


Anyway here are some details of our greatest, most fun holiday,ever. Congratulations to James, who wasn’t always feeling very well, but who nobly drove us all wherever we wanted to go, on very difficult steeply curvaceous mountain roads. Congratulations to him also for providing the videos, shot on his excellent camera.

Home Nick's images From Our 2010 Holiday James's Best Pictures Videos