Alice-Azania Jarvis: A holiday, please – the more remote, the better

In The Red

By the time you read this, I will either be sitting in the departures lounge of Stansted Airport, flicking through a month-old magazine, or I will be sunbathing on a terrace in Ibiza. As I mentioned last week, I'm freeloading on a family holiday. Shameless? Possibly. Also lucky, and very much looking forward to getting a tan.

In fact, it's just as well I'm leaving the country. I am, as it turns out, severely in need of some self-imposed exile. Not because I'm exhausted, or stressed out, or worked to the bone, or anything like that at all, but because I need to stop spending money. It's not my fault, it's the weather. Honest.

By the weather, of course, I mean that heatwave. You know, the one we had last weekend that has probably faded into the dark recesses of your memory thanks to the all-round gloomy weather we've had since. Who can budget in a heatwave? It's not so much a case of the temperature melting my powers of mathematical reasoning. It's just the sheer joyfulness of the sunshine when contrasted with the dourness of penny-pinching.

When the sun comes out, my entire neighbourhood erupts into carnival, crowds flock to the park and throng the many markets. Immediately, I start craving lunch outside a café, preferably followed by a bottle of rosé in the park.

Before I know it, I've dropped more cash than I can afford – at which point I swiftly assume the "bugger it" approach, realising I have already transgressed and so might as well go the full hog and really misbehave (this, by the way, is equally applicable to food, alcohol and laziness).

Inevitably, this means buying endless amounts on unnecessary treats: sourdough bread and chocolate brownies or a pair of second-hand trainers and a T-shirt. Then comes the guilt, not to mention the realisation that I'll be running out of funds by the end of the month.

So, in all 10 days out of London will be a Good Thing for my bank balance. As far as I understand it, we are staying somewhere relatively remote which, as I learned on my last holiday, is very useful when it comes to resisting the lure of the holiday shop. Call it a spending detox if you like. The fact that it happens to be taking place in the balmy climate of Ibiza – well, it's tough. But someone's gotta do it.

a.jarvis@independent.co.uk

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