Saturday 4 June 2011

Holiday Time

On holiday, Samantha Upward loves buying anything artisanal that’s been made by peasants who have the good taste to employ local, fresh ingredients and natural materials. Chavs, being alienated from the means of production (as Karl Marx so cleverly pointed out), make nothing – all they do is consume. Mainly tasteless plastic tat. (Marx also said that they'd been tricked into being passive consumers - so I don't see why we should despise them for it.) Sam’s children insist on buying deep-fried doughnuts and plastic blow-up alligators. It keeps them happy, but what’s she going to say when she meets anyone she knows?

Upwards used to despise package holidays (because originally they flew chavs to Marbella), but now you can get a tailor-made walking holiday in Murmansk (or a cheap deal on the Italian Riviera) they take advantage. Stow-Crats use very upmarket travel firms run by the children of their friends, who learned about Okavango/Nova Sofala/Wasgamuwa on an expensive Gap year.

On camping holidays Upwards stay in yurts, tepees, tree-houses and roulottes – French gypsy caravans. It’s called “glamping”. They may even stay at a “gastro-glamping” site. They bring a copy of Annie Bell’s The Camping Cookbook – it tells you how to cook fish in grass, though it doesn’t tell you how to stop your children whining for baked beans. Weybridges and Teales stay at sites that are identical but have wooden chalets. Definitelies stay in park homes (static caravans) on a site with a paddling pool, shop and bar with entertainment in the evening.

Weybridges have picnics seated on foldaway chairs at a foldaway table. They sometimes do this in laybys to the scorn of passing Upwards who are looking for that elusive perfect picnic place and reducing each other to tears of hunger, boredom and weariness. They eventually find a lovely field by a stream and sit in a cowpat and get bitten by horseflies.

More here, here, here and here.

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