Ed Balls had quite the holiday experience recently; the Shadow Chancellor went on 'this amazing thing called the Sound of Music Tour'.
To be fair, that was his wife and Labour politician Yvette Cooper’s description, not his, but Balls was no less full of praise for the excursion.
The tour came during a recent inter-railing trip; the Shadow Chancellor never went as a twenty-something and had always "regretted it".
"We were talking about how our children are a certain age, we had never been interrailing, we looked it up and actually you don't have to be 21 and smelly to go interrailing - you can do it at any age and also you don't have to get trains at midnight or sleep on stations," he told The Huffington Post helpfully.
"We decided we would go on an interrailing trip, we started in London, got an interrail ticket, and we went London, Paris, Munich, Salzburg, Venice, Ancona, over to Greece and flew back on Ryanair - that was our holiday."
Imagine then the couple’s excitement at the prospect of a Sound of Music tour in Salzburg, Austria.
"Yvette was on the internet searching up what you can do in different cities and she suddenly comes running in and says 'I can't believe it - in Salzburg... the birthplace of Mozart, they have this amazing thing called the Sound of Music Tour,'" continued Balls.
"It's a British tour company and they do a three hour trip where you each have a bike with a basket, like Maria has, and they have a beatbox with all the songs, and they take you on a guided tour around all the sights playing the music, you run through a meadow and jump, you go to where the nuns look out."
But for Cooper this wasn’t enough – she enlisted Balls to help create costumes to wear made from curtains, akin to those Maria Von Trapp made in the film.
In an admirable show of dedication, they wore them round Salzburg, singing gamely on bikes.
"And then, Yvette said, 'If we do it we must make clothes out of curtain.' And so she bought some curtain material and on the train from Munich to Salzburg we sat there sewing," recalled Balls.
"For the teenage lads, she made some lederhosen, the girls had head scarves and a neckerchief... We then cycled round Austria wearing similar curtain material things for three hours, singing the Sound of Music saying we really, really hope nobody takes a photo of this because it would be really mortifying."