So that’s it then. You scrimp, save and slave for 50 weeks of the year for a holiday, and before you know it, it’s all over.
Nothing left to show for it but fading memories, peeling shins (the only part of your body to have got much exposure to the elements over the last two weeks) and half an inch of sand in the boot of the car.
Before the memories fade completely, though, it’s perhaps worth noting for the record that credit-holidays in the UK can indeed be just as much fun as full-on Euro-funded beach-ball-extravaganzas – as long as you keep your upper lip stiff and your sturdy waterproof top and trousers within arm’s reach.
And even if the weather really does turn offensive, every British holiday resort worth its salt has its own swimming pool or leisure centre, and in some, the queues of prospective paddlers sheltering from the rain may only stretch a mere two or three times round the building.
What’s more, many of said resorts also offer their own hi-tech white-knuckle thrill rides and interactive entertainment zones: normally in the shape of a squeaky narrow-gauge steam railway and a dilapidated crazy golf course.
Ah, crazy golf: the saviour of many a holidaymaking parent with bored children in tow and a few pounds in their pocket.
Everyone gets a differently coloured golf ball, forestalling arguments about whose went furthest but starting them about who gets which.
Not that such arguments will be anything but academic. Because every time you whack yours with your (obligatorily bent) golfing stick, it bounces back off the windmill, tunnel, or garden gnome you’re supposed to be using your mad golfing skillz to negotiate. And hits you smack in the chops.
Even if you do somehow manage to score (20 on a par 3 if you’re lucky) you then have the delightful task of fishing for your ball in the cup, which already contains either yesterday’s rainwater or the previous players’ dog-ends.
And wherever you play, it’s always nagging in the back of your mind that the course in Victoria Park is the best in the world (official), and has a special chute to return balls to the kiosk when you finish.
No matter. On days of at least partial sunshine you can get some free entertainment by jumping in the sea. Remembering first to lever yourself into a wet suit to fend off hypothermia for the five minutes it takes you to realise that you’re never going to be any good at bodyboarding, let alone proper surfing. Whatever it was the Beach Boys were singing about, it didn’t happen in Frinton-on-Sea.
And what’s changed when you get back home? Well, there are some subtle differences. All those jobs that needed to be done before you left for two weeks of R&R have got slightly more pressing, especially as Mrs D has announced her intention to repaint the upstairs bathroom.
(Hope she doesn’t get locked in like a certain columnist did when he worked his decorative magic on the downstairs loo.)
And sticking with Mrs D for a moment longer, in her absence the courgettes have grown and grown, in some cases reaching lengths of 25 feet (subs please check, this sounds a bit too long). Before us stretches an autumn of soup...