The Paris Diaries, Chapter 1: A Holiday, Digressed.

In writing this in retrospect, the events you are about to read are written on Welsh soil. Nevertheless, they are entirely relevant and any of you who have travelled will, on some level, relate…

I hope.

Being human and having the ability to question our existence has its perks but there comes a time when a) this questioning leads to a certain desperation and crisis of our raison d’etre on this earth, and b) our discovery that we really are not that far removed from our hairy mammal counterparts.

Like the Wilderbeasts that cross torrents to obtain better lands, we cross oceans to visit new countries and experiment with their foods (until we find a British restaurant, run by expats, who serve a Full English.) These two facts collide during The Great British Excursion which occurs annually between May – September. We have termed it “Silly Season” when suddenly the office is devoid of all life and you wonder where the fuck everyone is. In simple terms: A Holiday.

Ah, yes. A Holiday. Our holy pilgramage we make every year to flee the nine-to-five and be renewed at the altar of “Culture.” Cliff Richard dedicated a cheery jingle (during his period of obvious and severe creative drout) to this British tradition that has become an anthem for families everywhere driving to the coast and a reminder for all teenagers held captive in overheated people-carriers that their parents are fucking old.

A Holiday is something that we look forward after the excitement of Christmas has worn off, the New Year’s fireworks have burnt out, and our bank accounts are emptier than a Fuck Boy’s compliments. January, usually lasting 5 years as opposed to 5 weeks, gives us ample time to reflect what we would like to achieve for the year and we start proposing to our families and friends that we might “go somewhere nice this year” or “somewhere different.” (Right, so…Majorca instead of Mallorca, then?) We feel ballsy when April rocks around showing the first signs of Spring and proper sunshine. What with fucking ourselves with global warming, we can now expect a hot week in April and, what can only be considered an overdose of Vitamin D after the long Winter months, this teaser is enough to enrage our desire for more. We are addicts – one hit is never enough – and before we know it, we’re Googling “discount holidays,” paid for flights, committed to a hotel, and our cortisol spikes as we realise we’ve cleared ourselves out paying for that all and have nothing for spending money left over. As such, we stress the rest of the year until we actually go on A Holiday and obsessively check our savings balance which is more akin to a GoFundMe account – “Vitamin D and UV exposure needed urgently following weary battle with British Winter. Please donate.”

It always seems so far away as we get stuck into the rest of life but, before we know it, the coundown has entered single figures and you start giving less of a fuck about work. You start swanning around the office with your hands in your pockets, a faraway look in your eye, and a new smug confidence that only comes with A Holiday approaching. “It doesn’t matter what happens from here on in,” you think to yourself as you hautily respond to another email. “I am going on A Holiday. I will deal with this when I return a long, long time from now.”

Yes – the out of office is on, your fucks are gone, and so are you. Your colleagues look at you with a smile on their face, heads slightly tilted, and wish you a good time. However, if you look closely, you will see a silent screaming in their eyes that is begging you to save them from this magnolia, swivel-chaired prison. You suddenly know how Jesus felt when he fed the five thousand but, on this occasion, your colleagues must save themselves and book A Holiday of their own.

For now, you are gone. Goodbye, Britain, you miserable fuck.

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