How to live with the shame of a holiday in the UK, by a middle-class family

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.

Get counselling

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.

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Six professions that could be on strike now and you wouldn't have f**king noticed

IF your bin goes uncollected or your train is cancelled, Britain demands those responsible are shot as communists. If these non-key workers withdraw labour, nobody gives a shit: 

Social media managers

There are memes all over the internet because knobheads make them for free. Some of them are even funny. So nobody would miss, or even notice the absence of, the embarrassingly try-hard ones from the official Westlers Hot Dog account. No, not even when you start a shit flame war with the Captain Birdseye account.


With roles that  involve following an algorithm while high on machismo and cocaine, brokerages are an adult creche for corporate wankers. Society wouldn’t be lessened even slightly if they were to strike. It could help high-end gambling addicts realise they hit rock bottom years ago.

Call centre workers

The labours of Hercules, if written today, would include ‘trying to get through to a human when calling a company’. Not that they’re any f**king help when you do. And they’re always ‘experiencing an unusually high number of calls’ so having no staff would make no difference.


HR walking out? Who will do bugger all when you have a problem with your boss now? You’ll only notice they’ve gone after a few pleasant days without bullshit emails clogging your inbox. Meanwhile they’re picketing the wrong entrance because they know nothing about how the business runs.

Brand compliance consultants

‘Better run this past brand,’ someone says, whenever anyone does anything. They’re emailed and never reply, as usual. It’s assumed it’s because they’re too busy earning £80k a year for a made-up role, but actually they’re all on strike for better pay and conditions. Perhaps they’ll never come back.

Government ethics advisers

The head of the department’s already gone, so the rest of them call a wildcat strike to protest his resignation. A room in Whitehall is deprived of six civil servants throwing Wotsits at each other and writing reports that go straight in the bin. Even Jacob Rees-Mogg doesn’t check these pricks are working.