Today I have been mostly looking at holiday porn. A brochure for Simply Travel plopped through my letterbox (addressed to the previous owner) and I have been dribbling all down my bib over the full-colour photographs of bougainvillea-clad balconies, apricot-washed walls and stunning sea views. Cor, check out the infinity pool on this one! Phworr, this one’s got an outdoor wood-fired pizza oven! And only £4,500 for a week in August!
I would be perfectly happy not to have a holiday at all this year, given the Recession and all, but it seems my sister has taken matters into her own hands and booked us in for a week’s ‘break’ at a cottage in Norfolk with my mum and dad. What is wrong with her? Has she forgotten our last family holiday, in Suffolk, during which my dad drew up a schedule for us every morning of medieval moated priories to visit? And how we trudged around them dutifully, even though each one looked as medieval and as moaty as the last, and despite my sister being heavily pregnant and sweating in the July sunshine, and by the way, Dad, have you ever tried cramming a double buggy through a lychgate? The journeys between priories got more and more tortuous as my parents (in the car ahead with the only map) struggled to follow the road signs, and the babies in the back screamed louder and louder until my sister suddenly shouted, ‘Fuck this! Let’s go to the otter sanctuary instead!’ Oh, the sense of liberation as we did a U-turn and tanked it towards Bungay in our Renault Scenic.
They fuck you up, your mum and dad
They do not mean to but they do.
It’s just that when they say ‘We’ll meet you there in an hour’,
what they don’t tell you is that they’re using
an outdated Ordnance Survey map from 1957,
which only shows Roman roads and medieval farm tracks.
So better make it two.
This pretty much sums it up.
(Apologies to Philip Larkin, who is no doubt turning in his grave like a chicken on a rotisserie grill.)