Sunshine is really rare in Britain which is why so many people go abroad to enjoy the sun. Sadly the numbers of families having a stay-cation all over the country is increasing. Many just can’t afford a holiday abroad so stay at home suffering the lack of heat.
Sunshine seems to make people fish around in the back of the wardrobe bringing out their old summer outfits, ignoring the latest fashions. Thongs are never a good idea unless you have a stunning body and have taken care applying the fake tan. When they are worn on the beach many children are so embarrassed that they try to pretend they don’t know their parents.
Men seem to be the worst offenders in the summer fashion stakes. Their beer bellies bulge over their speedos- a horrendous sight which does not impress anyone. But that does not stop chaps from sucking in their stomachs as the gorgeous girls in tiny bikinis stroll past him.
Who is he trying to impress? This may not be considered funny to most people but is a sure way to make your family laugh. And we won’t touch on the subject of socks and sandals will we? Nor wearing a baseball cap backwards.
I was lucky to have spent six years living in France. It seemed to have unlimited sunshine and wonderful blue skies every day. However I soon got into the French habit of staying indoors until it is a little cooler in the afternoon. I do love the sun and will happily lie in it, but covered with suntan lotion. I had a Jack Russell who would rush into the garden to sunbathe at the drop of a hat but like all my neighbours I had her hair clipped so she wasn’t too hot.
But Hip Hip Hooray the sun has got his hat on and the tourists come out to play. Any ray of sunshine is like gold dust to them and they intend to enjoy every second of it. You can tell the visitors from almost a mile away because they shoot off to the beach, lie there most of the day and turn a rather fetching lobster colour.
The amount of alcohol they drink keep the bars and restaurants busy, after all the visitors are on holiday. Most people going abroad don’t speak the language of the country they are visiting so ordering lunch and dinner only ends up with both waiter and tourist alike trying to mime whatever they would like to eat or drink.
Most restaurants usually give a menu complete with a translation in English. I once went to a restaurant in France and giggled so much while I read the menu that the owner came over and asked what was so funny. I explained that some of translations weren’t quite right. In the end he offered two full meals in exchange for my translation so we were both winners!
Back in the villages where I lived I was constantly dragged into the local chemists to translate whatever the foreigners needed. I felt like telling their customers that copious amounts of alcohol and sunbathing do not mix. But if I ever dared I am sure that they would disagree even if they were suffering from upset stomachs or sunburn or any other ailments which they put down to being in a foreign country!
In the summer I used to take roads that did not entail me walking past the chemist. Cruel maybe but understood by many of the locals as it happens every year.
I don’t think that everyone should avoid a holiday in the sun but a little caution might be a good thing. I am sure that not everyone will agree with me and I wish you all a happy holiday, preferably without sunburn!
by Jane Buckle