Soapbox

 
 

With the recession in full force, it looks as if we may all have no choice but to experience the unspeakable horror of going down the country for our summer holidays, writes Grace Duffy.
THE SHRILL CRY of a bitter northwesterly wind whips around the caravan, as you pull the blanket tighter around you, shudder, and concentrate desperately on the riveting game of cards occupying your timeotwo.

The rain beats against the windows, the sky is infi nitely grey, there are leaks and draughts everywhere and you can’t help but wonder how your friend, who took herself off to Tenerife for two weeks, is getting on. Something tells you she’s not, like you, feeling trapped in the uncut version of a Father Ted episode with Graham Norton for company.

Embrace all things great and Irish you thought, the economy’s going to hell. Head off down the country, breathe in the fresh air and sample the native delights of your home country, so oft-overlooked in favour of baking on a beach in the Canaries. Well, this just in: Hello agonising sunburn, I miss you.

As a veteran of numerous illdestined ‘holidays’ such as the one described above – although thankfully I never had to endure a caravan – I feel qualifi ed to beg the readership to avoid holidaying in Ireland at all costs. It’s not a holiday unless there’s a plane and a confrontation in security.

In addition, there’s nothing restful about staring out at empty fi elds (which even cows have the good sense to desert), nothing liberating about gazing longingly at a freezing beach, and certainly nothing entertaining about paying extra for the privilege of Sky in order to pass the time.

Being on holiday should not involve risks to your health – at least not unless it’s worth it. Skiing, rock climbing, surfi ng – all these activities constitute idyllic ways for you to break a leg. Not so much stumbling on a huge lump of seaweed, as hypothermia sets in amidst the exotic surrounds of a particularly pissed-off Atlantic. To each their own, but I’d rather a museum in Helsinki.

Of course, there is the advantage of becoming amazingly inventive at how you pass the time. No fi lm will remain unanalysed. If you’re really lucky, a cinema will hover enticingly nearby to supplement the choice offerings already available on Sky. At least you’ll never be short of topics for ample dissection over a nightcap.

Perhaps that extra few bob on the box will, oh you know, cost you a retirement igloo in Lapland in the long run. But, in the current climate, it’s a damn fi ne investment if it lets you escape the paranoid wonder as to why a holiday in Ireland ever seemed like a good idea.

Speaking of the ‘current climate’ – it’s those exact words you need a holiday from. So for God’s sake, get out of the country. Global warming will have us all boiling in our skins within 50 years anyway. Why not spend the extra cash and hop on a plane to the Algarve for a practise run? Trust me – you won’t regret it.

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