INFLATION and the cost of living crisis means yet another staycation. Well-heeled couple the Muirs explain how to survive without a fortnight in Tuscany:
Like a cop memorising his cover story to infiltrate the mafia, memorise what you did every day in your imaginary trip to La Rochelle. Drill the kids so they don’t blurt out anything about candyfloss in Torquay, marking you forever as the scum of the prep school run.
Go somewhere middle-class within the UK
St Ives is a great example: Rick Stein restaurants and a Tate make it almost as unnecessarily select as discovering artisanal cheeses in rural Italy. If the person you’re regaling with your holiday stories looks increasingly frantic to escape, you’ve clawed back valuable self-respect.
Don’t blame yourself
You’ll have late-night thoughts like ‘Perhaps if I hadn’t bought a ride-on mower we could be in the Alps’. Stop victim-blaming. Would you have taken your family to a hellhole like Weymouth if it could be avoided? No. You’re not a sadist.
You may have to relive traumatic memories – every non-organic fish-and-chip supper, every teacup ride, every game of Krazy Golf. Confronting your UK holiday and moving on is the only way to end recurring nightmares about being trapped on a gaudy pier full of fat, waddling manual workers with palpable regional accents.
Seek spiritual guidance
You pretended to be Catholic to get the kids into an outstanding school, so it’s time they returned the favour. Priests may be reluctant to use their divine authority to absolve you of the guilt of a holiday in Whitley Bay, so hint at a donation of £400. Any loving God would agree this is the right thing to do.
Claim it was a learning experience
‘We felt it was important for the kids to see some of their own country,’ you lie. ‘They loved visiting the Cardiff Spoon Museum.’ Do a good enough job and you might con earnest friends into booking a fortnight in Hull.
A surefire way of leaving the shame behind is to move 300 miles away. Be watchful for anyone who knew you from before. You may have to murder them, but it’s better than everyone knowing you spent a week in Tenby.