One week a year. Seven days out of three hundred and sixty five. One hundred and sixty eight hours out of eight thousand, seven hundred and sixty hours. This is the time that the average family dedicates to their annual holiday. It's just a tiny percentage of our year, a year that we spend working hard with jobs, school runs, housework, cooking, cleaning, laundry, gardening, DIY, getting stuck in traffic jams and queuing up at checkouts. Don't we deserve those seven days to be ones filled with unadulterated luxury, relaxation and pure pleasure? An escape from the mundane tasks that blight our everyday existence?
When those magical seven days finally come round, I look forward to spending quality time with my husband and my children. I don't want anything to ruin this. I don't want to worry about where we'll be staying or even have to erect my own accommodation, heaven forbid! From the moment I arrive I want to feel like I'm on holiday. No cooking or cleaning. I want to concentrate 100% on spending every moment having a good time with my family.
I want a comfy bed with a real mattress, not something that pulls down from the wall or needs blowing up! And don't even get me started on the issues of bathrooms. A holiday to me does not equate to queuing up for a dirty, lukewarm shower in a block that is half a mile away from where I sleep! I want something better than I have at home. I want a whirlpool bath, a power shower and a spotless toilet that I can stake my claim to for a week in the knowledge that no unfamiliar bottom will plant its cheeks on the seat. Surely that is not too much to ask?
When I'm on holiday I want to eat great food. I want to experience new cuisines and immerse myself in the hospitality of where I'm staying. I don't want to worry myself with shopping for groceries, planning meals that can be made with the inadequate kitchen equipment that self-catering always seems to offer and then wash-up afterwards. That is a worse case scenario than cooking at home! Nor do I relish the idea of heating a can of beans over a calor gas stove in the middle of a field. Oh no! I want to eat amazing food cooked by a professional on china plates washed up by someone on minimum wage.
When I wake up in the morning I want to be infused with a shot of joyous disposition. I don't want to have to worry about the weather spoiling my day. I want to feel a sense of smug righteousness knowing that I won't be stepping out of my bed into a muddy field, batting away flies drawn to my body heat. I want to pity those whose first job of the day is to scrabble together a breakfast using unfamiliar utensils in an unfamiliar kitchen.
As I take on the lady of leisure persona, I want to immerse myself in how the other half live. Just for this one week out of fifty two.