Thursday, 17 February 2011
The Upper Middles on Holiday
The Upward approach to holidays is largely an exercise in exclusion and avoidance (of the wrong parts of France).
Upwards have a horror of being organised. Samantha would never go on a package holiday, or take a guided tour, though she might go on a city “walk” in a group. Posher Upwards go on watercolour or piano holidays in chateaux run by friends of friends.
Samantha and Gideon go to European capitals to see big blockbuster art shows, or tick off medieval churches, cathedrals and wall-paintings. They complain that you can’t just go for a walk (which would be free) in France or Italy, you have to go along a prescribed route (randonnée) and probably hire a canoe, bicycle or donkey.
Samantha wails: “The British seaside is in decline!”, although 60% of Brits take holidays in the British Isles, many of them in caravan parks. She really avoids the seaside because it's too democratic – anybody can go. And most of its amenities (chips, mini golf) are not her style.
Sam drags her children on whistle stop tours of Important Cultural Destinations or takes them somewhere “miles off the beaten track” where you can really appreciate “the life of the people” (she calls it a “real holiday”). The kids long to stay somewhere with a pool and other teenagers so they can make friends and have a holiday romance.
Upwards like holidaying in deserts and wildernesses: “It was mahvellous – we didn’t see another soul!” And it’s now fashionable to take your children on an “adventure” – you’re helicoptered to a volcanic lake in Kamchatka. It costs an arm and a leg, but there are no amusement arcades, computers or TVs, and there’s nothing to buy and absolutely no grockles. Only bears.
More holiday hell here, here, here and here. And here.