Taking a break from falling over

PUBLISHED: 17:18 05 October 2006 | UPDATED: 10:57 06 May 2010

A rosy view of holidays

A rosy view of holidays

ON a balmy evening when we were on the Costa Brava a couple of weeks ago, the boyfriend and I did the typical holiday rose-tinted-glasses thing of commenting on how wonderful life is out there. I m always a bit wary when other people pass comments like th

ON a balmy evening when we were on the Costa Brava a couple of weeks ago, the boyfriend and I did the typical holiday rose-tinted-glasses thing of commenting on how wonderful life is out there.

I'm always a bit wary when other people pass comments like this, because I tend to think, well, of course life seems great here, you're on holiday.

People talk about the pace of life, how everyone seems less stressed and more relaxed, how there's more time to sit still and enjoy the sunshine.

I always remain fairly unconvinced that absolutely everyone in that country is immune to stress - I'm sure SOME people lead the kind of frenetic lives we all think we do.

But anyway, because it was the boyfriend and me talking about the way of life in Spain, we were of course correct and our observations spot-on.

Our particular point was that the night life was just so much more laid back. We were out on a Friday night and there was none of the drunkenness, vomiting, public urination and fighting that you see in English towns at the weekend.

Instead, people of all ages were sitting outside at cafés and bars, enjoying each other's company and having a moderate amount of alcohol.

It seemed to us that this was the right way to approach a night out - having a chat and a drink rather than standing in bars with music so loud you can't hear the person next to you, imbibing alcohol until you fall over.

Of course, possibly somewhere else in Spain on that night there were people doing exactly what their English counterparts were doing but our little town was the picture of serene, restrained enjoyment.

People's rose-tinted observations about their holiday destinations can end up with them doing something crazy like selling up their semi in Basildon and buying a run-down cattle shed in the Dordogne with the hope of finding a slower-paced, more rural life.

I'm not quite sure we'll be doing that but I'd very much like to go back to Spain and investigate our theories - all in the name of research, of course...


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