Steve Royle writes about planning next year's holidays
It’s that time of year when I finally switch the heating from manual to schedule and my wife asks me to put her “summer clothes” in the loft for winter.
To be fair, many of those items have been well worn this year, not just for the usual two weeks abroad.
It’s been a lovely summer.
Inevitably, this leads to thoughts of next year’s holidays and I recently got persuaded (or coerced) into joining a vacation club.
My wife and I had to go to a meeting in Manchester and endure a 90-minute talk on the merits and benefits of the company’s hotels and apartments worldwide (if we did so we were assured of £75 worth of gift cards and a free holiday in Tenerife).
We sat in the car beforehand and vowed to “stay strong” together and “not give in to pressure”, but we both failed miserably.
The guy who greeted us wore a badge with the surname “Stoyle” upon it, and I was convinced this was a subtle marketing ploy to subliminally draw us in because it is an acronym of the start and end of my full name.
If Fred Bloggs had been attending, I dare say it would have read “Barry Froggs” or such like.
It would certainly be a bit awkward if Warren Hanker ever attended...
He began by asking where we like to holiday and again I fell for this as they had resorts in every country I mentioned.
If I had said I enjoy trips to exotic and unusual locations like Iraq and North Korea I think we would have had them stumped from the start, and I could have made a quicker get away. Anyway, it’s too late as I’ve now signed up to the next three years with them and can only hope their resorts are all that they appertain to be?
My biggest problem is I’m an impulse buyer and my wife is even worse.
We once nipped out to buy towels and came away having purchased a new bedroom suite, mattress included!
I’m the sort of person who actually agrees it would probably be a good idea to buy some leather protector for a new pair of sandals, even though I have eight full tins of the stuff already at home.
Even the weakest salesperson can usually get me to cave in quicker than a house of cards in a wind tunnel.
I am usually sympathetic to those less fortunate than myself, too, which is much less of a flaw, although I did once get “stung” by a poor old lady selling “lucky heather”.
I was on my way to an audition in London and she apprehended me outside Euston station.
Part through superstitious hope that it might help me get the part I was going for and part through fear, I purchased the “sprig” for a whopping £5.
When I arrived at the audition they told me they didn’t need a juggler after all and that my journey had been wasted.
Dejected I returned to the station and the same (slightly less) poor lady popped out again exclaiming “Lucky Heather”? I replied “No it bloody isn’t!” and went on my way. I may be a fool but I’m an honest fool.
Anyway, I’m off now to get the other suitcase out the loft. The one with the jumpers in it.
Fingers crossed I can get her to wear a couple and get another couple of weeks without the heating on?!