In these troubled times, I have to take vicarious pleasures, mainly from my mum's experiences on her holidays.
Last week she went on a cruise of the Greek Islands. Kind of island hopping for the financially secure retired working class lucky enough to be born at the right time to have company pensions. Not, then, your Lonely Planet set.
"I've had a cold all week so I've had to struggle through each day. It poured down in Istanbul. We went to a massive market where there were nothing but jewellery stalls. You'd hate it, Geoff. The Greek islands were lovely, especially the last one, Santorini. You can go to the top of the island by donkey or cable car. I was too nervous. Our Australian friends who we met on board took the cable car and had to wait an hour to get the cable car back down to the harbour. The staff on the ship were ok, but they weren't as caring as staff we've had on previous cruises. That's the trouble nowadays, there isn't the same level of care you used to get. We had a four berth cabin so it was very comfortable though I didn't get much sleep what with the cold. The food on board was very average. We've had better. The journey back was a bit of a disaster. The cab to the airport that your step dad booked online didn't turn up and we had to book another cab, sharing with the Australian couple. It cost us 93 euros! Then when we got to the airport they would let us take our brandy on board. All because it wasn't bought in the airport! Your step dad was furious, I thought he was going to hit the bloke who confiscated our brandy. He was swearing at him and saying how the Greeks are thieves. Then we got on the plane and I got my usual aisle seat and a toddler was sitting behind me constantly kicking the back of my seat. I was furious. I turned to your step dad and said in a loud voice, "This toddler behind me is kicking my seat!" And you know what his mother said? She said she couldn't control him. She said have I ever tried to control a child of this age? I was furious. I could have smashed her face in, the four eyed cow."
Last night I discovered a way of experiencing that holiday feeling in the comfort of my own bathroom. It will come in handy in the forthcoming years of the 21st century depression.
As you run your bath, step into it. Close your eyes and walk on the spot, splish splashing the water. It will feel as if you are walking in the shallow water of the sea on a tropical island. And the rushing water from the taps will sound like lapping waves.
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