In which our reluctant hero scrapes off the factor fifty and is absolutely delighted at being home from holidays. Or something.
“Why do holidays have to end, Dad?”
This is a very good question which, after fifty-one hours back in the drizzle and freezing dirge of a grey and miserable Blighty, I’m finding myself ponder, and struggle to answer, more and more. Perhaps it’s simply because I love Wolverhampton in the springtime? Yeah, that. Probably.
I guess that the obvious answer to satisfy a small child is that it’s nice to have something to look forward to. Simples, yes?
More complicated answers could include;
- Almost certain bankruptcy if we stay away anywhere for more than a couple of months. Even at the local Travel Tavern.
- The cats will be really cross if someone doesn’t put another tin of meat derivative flavoured chunks in jelly in their bowls soon.
- Spain will declare a national emergency due to shortages of Don Simon Vino Tinto and Churros if we had stayed much longer.
Me expanding by similar proportions to those that the cats will shrink by is one thing. Not desirable, but meh. Who cares? But, sadly, it turns out that there’s no magic money tree in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean either, unless it is cunningly disguised as a large pineapple and we missed it. So, with grumpy-face selfies and a landfill site’s worth of washing, back we came. Down with this sort of thing.
In some ways, being a grown-up is great. You don’t need to buy any new music for starters. (I’m listening to Baader Meinhof while typing this on a train. Niche, maybe, but new enough, eh pop-pickers?) You also get to be passively aggressively rude to eedjits at work, and eat leftover Lamb Madras for breakfast if you like, just because you can.
In other ways it’s rubbish. Jobs, houses, money. Middle age. Bits of your torso starting to drop off and an unhealthy desire to start ironing bed linen. This is all adult nonsense that the kids, thankfully, don’t need to worry about. They don’t know that they’re born.
Don’t get me wrong – I have no desire to relive childhood, or even my teen years for that matter, again. Which is just as well as it’s unlikely to happen unless I catch a quite nasty dose of the Benjamin Buttons, a disease that has less to do with chocolate rabbits than you would expect. Or is that Jargon Aphasia? I always get those two Myxomatosised up.
Home again and, after two days back at work, I’m ready for another holiday.
But we have nothing booked, so there’s nothing currently in the “things to look forward to” jar. We’re also stuck with having to do summer holidays during those pesky school holidays for the first time. This means forking out as much for a weekend in Center Parcs or Pontins as you would need to buy a small family hatchback, as all parents know.
It’s back to work again then. Another lifetime spent chained to a chipboard desk wrestling with a heavy pen. Working for the man, or the “Ma’am” in my case. Forever. Possibly longer. Again.
Or is it?
Fortunately, I have a plan. I returned home with about eighteen euros worth of the funny foreign money hidden in my underpants. By my reckoning that’ll be worth about ten million quid in a couple of years time. After which it will be time to superglue a sombrero to my head and invest in shares in Ambre Solaire.
Will it work? Of course it will.
Every dog must have his lucky day, that’s why I’ve learnt the way to shout “¡Olé!”