We had a little family mini-break to Yorkshire last week through a company called Gorgeous Cottages, and I noticed something while we were there. When you go away on holiday in the UK – whether that’s to a caravan, a campsite or a cottage – something magical happens. Boring, everyday stuff that you do at home suddenly becomes fun, and if you’ve ever bought ‘holiday cereal’ you’ll know what I’m on about…
1. Washing up.
At home: Fill sink, realise everything’s gone hard and crusty, leave dishes to soak. Return half an hour later to fish dishes out of cold, dirty water. Fill bowl again. Repeat until dishes eventually come out clean and you’ve run out of washing up liquid. Leave them on the drainer in a pool of their own washing-up juices so that they never actually dry. Put them in the cupboard anyway and hope for the best.
On holiday: Fill bowl the second everyone’s finished eating and wash it all up in hot, soapy water like they do on the adverts because you’re on HOLIDAAAY! Dry everything up while whistling a jaunty tune and put it all away in its rightful place. Wonder why you don’t just do this at home, before remembering nothing has a rightful place.
2. Going to a supermarket.
At home: Squeeze slightly moany kids into trolley, preferably with a gammy wheel for maximum effect. Push wheezing, squeaking metal child-cage around too-hot supermarket throwing anything that’s BOGOF into a small space behind one child while simultaneously removing ‘special treats’ added by the other one while you weren’t looking. At the checkout, bribe them with overpriced magazines covered in plastic toys that will get lost down the sofa within the hour. Swear under breath when paying for 857 plastic bags. Again propecia pills 1 mg.
On holiday: Breeze into new holiday supermarket and marvel at the width of the aisles – so roomy! Glide around selecting items based on how pretty the packaging is. Holiday cereal? You betcha! Branded ketchup? Why not! Posh stuff off the delhi counter? Don’t mind if I do! At the checkout, purchase a Bag For Life because you’re eco-friendly like that.
3. Tidying up.
At home: Step on small plastic Kinder Egg toy. Shout that the house is a mess before realising nobody can hear you over Paw Patrol. Throw everything within a three-metre radius in a box. Find missing shoe in amongst the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
On holiday: Tidy up the second anything looks messy because it only takes two minutes on account of the fact that everyone’s belongings fit in a suitcase. Vow to read that Marie Kondo book when you get home and transform the house into holiday-home-style den of Zen.
4. Making a cup of tea.
At home: Boil kettle, forget about kettle. Boil kettle, forget about kettle. Boil kettle, forget about kettle. Boil kettle, make tea, forget about tea. Drink cold tea.
On holiday: Make tea, drink tea. Say ‘oh, that’s a lovely cup of tea’.
5. Driving anywhere.
At home: Remove errant breadsticks from car seats before strapping two sticky, wriggly people in. Put the radio on and try to convince them that Justin Bieber is in fact Justin Fletcher with a bit of a sore throat. Give in to their pleas to put the Frozen soundtrack on and sing weakly to Let It Go. Weep silently into the steering wheel when the eldest declares he needs a wee right now and can’t hold it and the littlest demands another breadstick.
On holiday: Sing multiple rounds of ‘we’re all going on a summer holiday’ while packing the car, deplete the nearest garage of all the Haribo en route, and declare, in a sugar-induced Bieber-like trill, that you’re going on a ROAD TRIIIIP!*.
*This only applies to the journey there. For the journey back, see ‘at home’, above.