Writing miscellaneous

Holiday abstinence

So, it’s the height of summer once again! Children off school, plane tickets have reached an all time high and, to top it all off, it’s pissing it down! Please say there’s someone out there who isn’t holidaying this summer, or even this year? I myself am going for a record: my 6th year without a holiday. Well, abroad anyway. That would explain my translucent skin tone. Maybe I’m just abnormal but I can’t adjust to the British sun. When I’m abroad I just lay there pasting myself in olive oil and donning outfits that even Geordie girls would label inappropriate. But here in England? No chance! I’m like the Blue Peter tortoise, kidding itself that a prolonged hibernation is necessary.

Loads of people self diagnose SAD or ‘Seasonal Affective Disorder’, a syndrome in which moods are affected by differing seasons. Basically the winter blues has a better name now. But maybe it’s just England? And anyway, we enjoy being miserable, right? It’s the English way. We’d implode, self destruct if we mutually left our houses come rain or shine with fixed smiles and a wardrobe choice to rival a clown’s in heat.

See the thing is, I complain about not being abroad but I secretly love doing things the good ol’ English way. We intentionally make time spent away from home as miserable as possible.

I remember going to Blackpool as a child- we all ended up penniless from our over enthusiasm at the slot machines (2p machines for us kids) and my dad was less than amused at a drag queen making the moves on him. I don’t see what the problem was really- I’ve heard they’re extremely picky.

I think it’s a bit of a class war wherever we choose to holiday. It reflects on our status in society and, of course, our income. Whilst one family spend a pampered, all-inclusive week in a villa in Tuscany, another get down to the nitty gritty with a caravan in Bognor Regis (and no, I am not referring to the fancy ones with 6 bedrooms, all en-suites and a newly fitted IKEA kitchen).

Sat on the train from Durham to Newcastle the other day, I took to people watching (it’s my hobby don’t you know) and made a quick decision on my favourites to focus on for the duration of my journey: a young Glaswegian mother and her 8ish year old son. Anyway, as we’re pulling into Newcastle over the Tyne Bridge the mother whips out her camera phone with the utmost in enthusiasm and gushes to her son, “Look, we’re in Newcastle!” at which point the young boy’s lack of bewilderment at the place is expressed through, “Look! Water!”.

So there sits the mother snapping away like there’s no tomorrow with her son already distracted by the possible fight breaking out between his wolverine doll and a cup. I can’t help but wonder what Glasgow is actually like and, I must apologetically admit, that I spent the duration of my journey picturing a city with no water or buildings or bars (sure it was only for about 30 seconds but that itching to see this wondrous city will stay with me until I go to Glasgow!)

So here’s to summer in the UK, it wouldn’t be anyone’s first choice but it ain’t half bad!


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