There has been some vague and desultory talk about holidays in the Jamieson household.

Vague and desultory being our default mode. Because normally I don't know what I'm doing on Tuesday, never mind in July.

Spain has been mentioned. Italy has been mentioned. Arbroath, as yet, has not. The ingredients required between the four of us vary from sun, sand and sangria (we are a little worried about our younger daughter if I'm honest. She's only 12) to big cities with lots of shops, somewhere with galleries and museums, to somewhere off the beaten track. Where does that leave us? Probably not going to Blackpool this year.

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Actually, J has been drawing my attention to brochures offering cruises of the Mediterranean. Part of me is appalled by the idea of two weeks surrounded by people reading Agatha Christie novels and talking about their hip replacements and part of me is strangely drawn to the idea. I must be getting old.

As yet I've agreed to nothing. I am, on the whole, not good at holidays. I don't like the heat. I don't like flip-flops. I don't like swimming (mostly because I can't swim very well), I don't like Disneyworld. I don't like B&Bs, I don't like caravans, I don't like hotels that try too hard and I don't like hotels that don't try hard enough. I don't like much, do I (1)?

And when I do go on a break I never manage to achieve a happy medium. I either tick off the sights in a hypermanic rush, desperate to make sure I've seen everything and in the process enjoy nothing. Or I laze about the hotel, lying in late, going back to the breakfast buffet for seconds (2), generally doing nothing at all and then realise that the foyer of a Premier Inn is maybe not really where I planned to spend most of my time on my break.

Then there's the question of whether you go back to somewhere you've been before or try somewhere new. We've never been to (deep breath) Paris, or Munich, or Barcelona or St Petersburg or Stockholm, or Oslo. Or Arbroath for that matter. But if we go will we like them as much as the places we have already been to - Venice or Vienna or Berlin or even Broughty Ferry?

What normally happens now is this vague and desultory conversation goes on for days, weeks, maybe even months. We can't agree, we think up other destinations and can't agree on those either and in the end spend our holidays on the couch at home, watching box sets of programmes everyone else watched years ago. Actually, I can think of worse holidays.


[1] I cannot tell a lie. I think Chris Lowe of the Pet Shop Boys has used a variation of this line before. Flip flops probably weren't mentioned, though.

[2] Sometimes even thirds.

Twitter: @teddyjamieson