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Ask Alice, with Alice McVeigh

Classical Music Agony Aunt ALICE McVEIGH
gives a worst-first view of her recent vacation

Dear Readers,
What, no questions??? Are you all away/boring/dead????!!!!!!! Or has Kelly merely floored you with her expertise/depth of research and you're just waiting to know I'm back to weigh in to me???

Never mind. I'll just have to do it all myself.


Ask Alice

Dear Alice,
Did you have a good holiday in Crete?

Dear Alice,
Yes, thanks, brilliant, but you know me: better get photoed quick before tan fades (by Saturday at the latest, more likely Friday, sigh!!!!)

Rather than bore all and sundry with irritating raves about sun, sea, sand, huge waves, glorious mountains, stunning views etc etc as nothing in the world is more tedious than ecstatic reviews of other peoples' holidays, I will instead mention what was lousy about my holiday, in order of horrificatude (starting with the worst).

  1. The landing at Gatwick. Not the fault of the Thomson flight pilot, who sounded a most sterling fellow. Just that, as soon as we tried to touch down (after going bouncy-bouncy through about thirty minutes of thick cloud) the wind skidded the plane SIDEWAYS across the wet tarmac, leaving self and many others feeling that the End was Nigh. Not, I must add, a feeling shared by daughter Rachel (9) who laughed like a hyena until prodded by self to shut the hell up ... ('It felt like a waterpark ride!' was her chirpy comment ...)
  2. The moment just afterwards when Anthony, our friend and driver, broke it to us that the M23 being solid and the M25 being closed down by a stupid lorry driver gratuitously shedding his stupid load hither and thither, we'd have to come home via routes so scenic that they were teeny weeny little lanes, as well as being overrun by other cagey drivers attempting similar maneouvres ...
  3. The moment when you realise that you are comfortably ensconced at the world's prettiest beach (towel, sunglasses, sunlotion, water bottle) but have brilliantly forgotten your book, entitled The Long March, a well-written and surprisingly gripping account of two intrepid UK journalists attempting to recreat Mao and Co's Long March in 21st-century China. (Instead, you are reduced to the truly lamentable Philip Pullman, owned by your wave-riding daughter -- God knows why anyone reads this stuff, when Tolkien is still freely available!!!!!
  4. The moment when the usually easy-going woman who runs the self-catering apartment complex picks YOU as sucker/mug of the year, doubtless due to your easy charm, and bullies you into kicking off the Greek dancing at the barbecue (there are some diabolical photos of my attempts at Greek dancing, but not QUITE as blackmailable/bad as of one or two of our fellow guests ...)
  5. The moment when, near the end of the fortnight, your normally-intelligent husband actually asks your nine-year-old what she'd like to do again, if anything, and she instantly warbles, 'The Limnopolis waterpark!' -- meaning that she gets to queue up to skim wildly down ninety-five terrifying tunnels and slides while you have to listen, for around ninety-five years, to the kind of non-stop Greek pop music that you would willingly part with your second-best bow never to hear again. (It was OK in the end: we talked her out of two visits!!!!)
  6. The time at the lake when the men decide to take canoes out for an extra hour, kindly leaving you and the other wives to shop at the kind of souvenir shops whose most desirable items include tasteless ceramic pigs and goats doing rumpy-pumpy, along with ceramic mermaids whose breasts, if real, would require their own postcodes and you'd MUCH RATHER have gone out with a canoe too only NOBODY ASKED YOU, did they?
  7. The moment when your favorite restaurant (and the only one that does great vegetables in all of Crete) tells you that they're out of their special okra, for which your tummy has been crying out since your eight (8!!!) lengths of the pool ...
  8. The moment when you realise, 'Bugger. We have to go home.'

Yours unendingly,


Copyright © 17 August 2007 Alice McVeigh, Kent UK

Ask Alice



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