I am not a particularly austere man, and neither do I have a particularly puritanical view of things, but in my Covid neurosis of the past week, drifting in and out of sleep and in and out of social media, to Yahtzee to TMS, slowly driven to distraction by the large pile of mud which we had delivered on the front drive to level out the garden and the puzzling conundrum of when and how I’m going to level out the garden with the 10 tons of topsoil with no wheelbarrow, one thing has been buzzing around my head like a fly trapped behind the blinds, and no offence to my American friends, of which I don’t have many, but i’m reliably told by my stats that there are a handful on here. Why the hell are we in Britain substituting our own words for others from across the pond, when our words work just fine?
The word i’m increasingly concerned about here is specifically “Staycation”. I understand Vacation is a word, its not one of “ours” like Marmalise or Village Green, but there’s no denying it, people apparently “take them” in America and, well, good luck to them. But here in Britain, I hesitate to say England, because I don’t want to turn this into some sort of patriotic debate or even worse claim some sort of nationalistic nazism over the word, it’s not about that. For me its always been about going on holiday. I’ll give you an example, he said patronisingly, look:
On returning to the workplace Denise asks Ken about his summer break…
“You look well, did you go away?”
“Yes thanks I went on Holiday to Cornwall/Shropshire/Corby (anywhere in the same country will do), the weather was glorious/the pollution was horrendous”
“Oh you had a staycation”
“No, I went on holiday to the places mentioned before. (under breath) You massive Dick”
This is an example of how the word should not be used, and an example of how its use should be countered. I feel the global plague and the lower numbers of foreign holidays; taken now as a kind of game of chance, a kind of lottery of “will they, won’t they” get cancelled because of the surge in pox numbers in particular places and the sudden manifestation of the virus in loved ones, friends and family members puts the drastic Kai-bosh on any plans, best laid or not. Many have been disappointed to a greater or lesser extent by the enforced cancellations of said holidays. And for this reason, which must be mainly because of the convenience of a holiday in Britain rather than the cost of a foreign holiday in Tenerife or somewhere similar as the cost of renting a newly magnolia painted student house for a week in the summer is astronomical compared to the rental of a self catering 2 bedroom flat in Turkey (I won’t say where, thats my secret which I share with some close friends)
So the Government, yes I blame them, has introduced the term “staycation” into the English Lexicon, in an effort to, dare I say, sex up, what the British public think, in their hordes, is beneath them; a holiday by the British sea side, or on a camp site near some hills, with a lake which you may dip your toe in before the Danger signs go up. A cynical Tory Cover up to paper over the substantial cracks of our creaking country, going down fast after smashing head on into the Brexit Iceberg. Everyone thinks it is there right as a British Citizen to go abroad to sizzle like a Sausage on some rammed beach surrounded by empty bottles of San Miguel, rather than on a beach in Clacton in a jumper surrounded by empty bottles of San Miguel. So a staycation makes the perceived mundane of having a holiday in Hull, seem exotic, by having a staycation in Hull. Does this mean if you stayed in your garden for a week you would be having a “homecation”? No it just means you stayed at home. Likewise telling someone you went to Hull for a long weekend, does the same thing as saying you have a staycation in Hull, except the first option I would say makes you sound a lot less of a cunt than the second, and also proves you’re not entering into this Tory Ideology of glamourising what is, and less face it, Britain is in a pretty poor state of affairs right now, due to Covid and Brexit, a pretty run of the mill normal thing to do. We don’t need to become some streaky, striated version of America. We’ve got a lot to be proud of here in Britain, and I don’t need some Entitled chuckleheads who by some insane fortune happen to be running our country for worse and even worse. By grinning like a shitting dog throughout the clusterfuck of the past 4 years or so has taught me that maybe its time for a revolution rather than spending the time idly standing by with our hands down our trousers constantly readjusting ourselves in the hope that one day we will actually find undercrackers that are 100% comfortable, 100% of the time. It seems that for the last few years, we have visited the supermarkets and stockpiled toilet rolls, hand sanitiser and baked beans waiting for the apocalypse, lollygagging away the time as we wait for things to get better.
I’ve got news for you, things are definitely not better, and they are getting worse, staycation is another nail in the coffin of the self, a further toll of the bell to the English Language and the culture of differences, which should be celebrated not evaporated. Because as the crowd of disciples outside Brain’s house said in “The Life Of Brian”
“YES WE ARE ALL INDIVIDUALS”