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GRAHAM CARTER: I don’t go on holiday to be told to wear a tie
IT WAS Samuel Johnson who said that when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.
He was right, but I don’t recall him having anything to say about getting to the age when London tires you out.
Last week we had a short, so-called break in the capital and came home, three days later, feeling (if you will pardon my French) absolutely knackered.
We were celebrating my wife’s 51st birthday, and we flitted all over the place, including to street markets, St Paul’s Cathedral and other touristy locations.
We learned quite a few things, as you always do when you go to London, but this time the main message we were picking up is we may be getting too old for this kind of thing.
As if feeling so drained wasn’t bad enough, to add insult to injury I looked around the pub we were in on Thursday evening and realised we were the oldest people in the whole place. It was the same on Friday.
Part of the problem with Carters on tour is we never know when to stop. I have spent less time lying on beaches in my whole life than some people do in a day, so it’s safe to say I am not a person for sitting still.
And so it was in London, where we were not only forever hopping on the Tube, but often walked to avoid the crowds or the inconvenience of switching lines.
But just how long can my body in general and my feet in particular stand up to this battering?
As I approach my 53rd birthday, I am now almost three years past the time when I qualified for special consideration by Saga, the old people’s holiday company, and while I haven’t succumbed to them yet, the week it has taken me to recover from our little ‘break’ means Saga is calling louder than ever. How much longer can we resist?
Well, one thing we do like when we’re away is not being bound by other people’s itineraries, so we aren’t about to sign up for their guided walks with oldies in the Andes.
However, the other type of holiday that springs to mind for Saga types is now being openly discussed under our roof.
That’s right – I am coming under increasing pressure from my wife to consider going on some kind of cruise.
My biggest argument against them has always been that cruises are inevitably on ships, and I have noticed, after studying them over a long period of time, that ships have an annoying tendency to sink.
This is especially unappealing to somebody like me who hates water and can’t swim, although the point about sinking ocean liners is it usually doesn’t matter whether you can swim or not – because it’s a long way.
Like drowning, another thing I am averse to, being naturally scruffy, is dressing up, so whereas some people seem to revel in going on a cruise so they can smarten up and have dinner at the captain’s table, I don’t go on holiday to be told to wear a tie.
The only upsides I can see is the food is ‘all you can eat’ (the best kind) and being cooped up on board does force you to put your feet up – at least until you reach the next port.
Not that I really have much say in these things in the long run. My wife has a stack of brochures with boats on the front and I’m getting that sinking feeling again.
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