I’m going away this weekend. It’s for my mum’s birthday – my dad booked us a weekend in Cornwall in a little cottage in a little seaside town for a not-so-little amount of money.
“Lovely!”, you lie, with a pang of such seething jealousy that makes it obvious that you wish I’d fall off of one of those seaside cliffs and impale myself on a particularly spikey rock.
But you needn’t feel such jealousy. I’m livid this is even happening.
On the face of it, it looks like it would be a fun break from the tedious monotony of everyday life. Instead of waking up to the sound of ambulance sirens and trains rumbling past, you wake up to the peaceful sounds of the ocean and seagulls squawking, and immediately feel the relaxation wash over you as the sun comes out – always perfectly on cue.
But wherever I am, I always wake up the same. I’m the type of person who lives in a perpetual work-bubble, fighting off deadlines and commitments in a cool street-fighter way (ok, that part may just be in my head). Spending a weekend away from this state of anxiety defeats the purpose; the anxiety still unrelentingly suffocates me.
I can’t even plan a proper holiday. I intend to take two weeks off, and end up spending four days staring at the horizon, half expecting to see a mushroom cloud billow over it, and the rest of the time planning more work to crush me when I touch back down on British soil.
If you go away like I am, to a domestic destination, you can expect to spend 4-6 hours travelling on either the Friday night or Saturday morning, spend the Saturday moaning about how exhausted you are from travelling, eat a shitty breakfast at a quaint (translation: dirty) café that is actually worse than the greasy spoon two minutes walk from your front door. Then you’ll spend the rest of the day travelling home, only to find the rest of the week ruined because you feel like you’ve travelled though the space-time continuum just to sit behind a holey wind-break on an empty beach in the middle of nowhere with your fingers turning blue from the breath-freezing cold.
If you go away to a foreign destination, then firstly you are practising a type of self-harm so stop reading this article and go and get help, and secondly you are the worst type of person that goes on a weekend away. You, Sir/Madam/Otherwise, are a dick.
Let me go all Derren Brown on you and psychoanalyse your personality. You buy puffa jackets for £120 from pop-up shops in SE London. You have an Instagram dedicated to food, an Instagram dedicated to dogs spotted on the tube, and both private and public Instagram accounts for your friends and adoring fans respectively. You never thought Craig David went out of style. I could continue but I won’t – I’d lose half of my uni mates.
So think of me this weekend, miserably sitting on a cliff in Cornwall and trying not to think about the mountain of work that with descend on me when I get back to London.
And I’ll think of you, poncing around your artisan café in Paris, or sipping your cream tea in the middle of I-don’t-care-where, and take solace in the fact that I don’t pride myself in seeking validation from how far I can travel to have a shit time. I can have a shit time at home, thanks very much.
Words, Alastair Norton