We’ve just been on holiday, you know. Yes all right, I admit I may have mentioned this, like, thirty-five times already – but a chap is entitled to get excited about his hols, isn’t he? Oh yes he is. Nearly as excited as he would be about a particularly yummy piece of cake. But not quite, obviously – that would just be ridiculous.
And I want you to know that, despite anything you may be about to read, we had a lovely time, thanks. It’s just that things don’t always go quite as smoothly as, well, the layer of goo in a slice of coffee-and-walnut, now do they? No, tragically they don’t.
So purely for your benefit – because I’m nice like that – here are some observations, tips and hints for the weary traveller ...
• It is now a condition of employment for young people working in pubs and restaurants that they must only ever address customers as “you guys.”
• An especially trendy eatery will be packed full of exceptionally pretty waitresses. It will, however, be the devil’s own job to attract the attention of any of them.
• Never trust the weather. Even when it has seemed positively chilly, if there was sun at any time, you may still wake up the next morning to find you have inexplicably turned into Lobster Boy. Blame the wind. Or was that the beans?
• Under a secret record industry agreement, any music played in a public place must feature at least one Ed Sheeran song every 15 minutes. It’s true ...
• Beware bored hotel cooks preparing endless self-service breakfasts. Just for “the crack,” they will replace bacon with old shoe leather, to see if anybody notices.
• Equally, teams of mischievous chambermaids – their enthusiasm for the job possibly blunted by a lack of tips – will, giggling furiously, replace mattresses with slabs of concrete.
• If hotel stationery has, ahem, somehow mysteriously made its way into your possession, it is perhaps best not to whip it out and make a note about something before checking you are not standing in sight of the reception staff ...
• Well-prepared travellers always wear nice thick pullovers or cardies. These come in “handy,” as so many toilets now have driers powered solely by gnats breaking wind.
• Under an obscure Act Of Parliament, it is illegal for any passenger flight to have a cabin crew not containing at least one blonde stewardess.
• Blind panic at the very prospect of flying in a plane has now become passé. The trendy neurotic these days is consumed by an irrational fear that their ears will explode during take-off or landing.
• Equally, wandering around with your head in a smartphone is now also old hat. Today, the hotel guest who is anyone cannot possibly be expected to eat their breakfast without an iPad or tablet propped up on the table. This is fine, because they never notice when the rest of us point and stare and laugh.
• Under an obscure rule of physics, known as Mick O’Thirsty’s Law, no matter what you have to drink, the first pint is always the tastiest.
• And finally: However much you enjoyed your holiday, and however sad you feel to return, remember that when you finally get back to Norfolk, you will suddenly realise ... there’s no place like home.