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SARA COX; Our funny, feisty and frank columnist; Skiing gear? 'What's in the roof box? Snorkels? No, multi-packs of crisps'.

We're just back from holiday and I've discovered a number of things about holidaying in the UK.

Normally on the day of departure you're thrilled if it's raining at home, as that means your friends have to suffer in the drizzle while you pack up your shizzle, shout, 'Laters, losers!' and jet off somewhere dead hot and foreign.

When you're loading up the car for Devon and glancing up at the jogging-bottom grey sky, you know there's every chance you won't escape the rain no matter how fast you drive.

I'm now a fan of roof boxes and ours is a thing of beauty - a glossy, jet-black capsule, which invites intrigue: 'Ooh look at that sporty family, what's in there? Skiing gear? Snorkels?' Or in our case, beach towels, bags and multi-packs of crisps. Luckily when it's on top of my mum-mobile you can't see the scratches gouged in the lid by the dangly height restriction sign at the multi-storey car park near work, but that's another story. And anyone who says roof boxes are fuddy-duddy are just jealous. Or under 30.

Holidays abroad normally mean putting on a few pounds. The breakfast buffet in Crete last year was so amazing, the whole family would hover like fruit flies around the food for hours. I can never imagine being at home and thinking, 'What do I fancy for brekkie? I'll start with cereal then maybe some sausages, eggs, fruit salad, sushi, cake, salami and a selection of cheeses' Holidaying in the UK has its own set of chow-down challenges though, and it starts at the motorway services. Nuggets, Minstrels, Monster Munch, sarnies. I mused on Twitter that I was averaging 150 calories per junction, which all adds up when you're covering serious miles. One lady replied she does the same, and refers to it as 'fat-nav'.

Once we'd arrived in Devon I discovered beaches are lovely even when it's nippy, though not if you're wearing hot pants and a crochet-knit jumper. I learnt my nine-year-old daughter loves roller coasters, my son can spot a dolphin from quite a distance on a wildlife cruise and my youngest girl loves being buried in the sand. I also learnt if you don't mind packing waterproofs as well as Factor 50, holidaying in Britain is ace.

Controversy has raged recently over Cheryl's tattoo, but whatever Chezzla wants to do with her bum is her business. As the saying (doesn't) go, a rose in the hand is worth two on the tush. The closest I got to body art was getting my belly button pierced, when I could bounce a sprout off my taut tum. The jewel is gone, but the hole remains, a cruel reminder of how fab my pre-kids midriff was.

watch it I'm disappointed in myself. I'll never get these minutes back, I could be learning Italian, sorting out my tin cupboard (a cupboard that contains tinned goods, not some not my is hot Nooooooo! Celebrity Big Brother has returned and every time I watch it I'm disappointed in myself. I'll never get these minutes back, I could be learning Italian, sorting out my tin cupboard (a cupboard that contains tinned goods, not some wartime storage made entirely of tin) or writing a novel. Instead, I'm gawping at Carol from Loose Women getting smashed on red wine. When it comes to reality TV, CBB along with I'm A Celebrity... falls under the category of 'Shows I love to watch, but would hate to do'.

Instead, I'm gawping at Carol from smashed on red wine. When it comes to reality TV, along with

'if you don't mind packing waterproofs as well as Factor 50, holidaying in Britain is ace'
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 8, 2013
Words:616
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