Even this heatwave is no excuse for a staycation

I've had some fine times at home, but I am never that person who comes back from Cornwall or Scotland swearing I need never set foot in Sicily or Sardinia again

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The Independent Online

There are so many things to talk about, from internet porn to cigarette packaging – and even a few subjects that are more than just a cheap headline. If you’re not interested in what passes for serious agenda then there’s Chris Froome or Joe Root, maybe even Wayne Rooney. There’s  the sad news about the passing of the naturally gifted Mel Smith and, apparently, a young couple’s first baby is overdue.

But let’s be honest, most of us can’t get beyond the weather, the heat and just when the mother of all thunderstorms is going to arrive.

Bizarrely, the good weather has led to a cancellation in bookings for overseas holidays – as if the weather is the only reason to go away. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had too much luck with the ‘staycation’ – some fine times at home yes, but I am NEVER that person who comes back from Cornwall or Scotland swearing I need never set foot in Sicily or Sardinia again.

Despite being at opposite ends of Britain, Trebethric and Woolacombe may as well be Knoydart and Brechin. In all four places I’ve spent hours peering out of rain-soaked windows desperately trying to peer through the damp mist at the views so many make so much fuss about. Friendly locals? In Port Isaac, Cornwall I’ve had the full pub-silencing An American Werewolf in London experience as the rain water dripping through the light-fittings plopped loudly into buckets. Knoydart made The Wicker Man feel like a fly-on-the-wall reality show. Don’t get me started on the over-priced, over-rated restaurants and food…with the honourable exception of those Port Isaac fishermen - but I think they’ve given up fishing to be pop stars these days.

So as the Camerons head off to both Cornwall and Scotland this summer, I wish them good luck, and have none of the green-eyed monster about me. I’m heartily sick of the faux outrage and fuss made of our politicians’ choice of holiday destinations: Gordon Brown being damned for holidaying at home, the Cleggs for holidaying abroad. I’m sure I read once that the Clintons’ ‘people’ focus-grouped the President’s choice of vacation, which determined that Jackson Hole, Wyoming was less politically damaging than Martha’s Vineyard!

Everyone, including the PM, is the better for a holiday. If you work hard enough to be able to go off somewhere of your own choice, then good luck to you. We should all aspire to that rather than resent those who achieve it. As for the rest of us, it may be 32C today. Whatever you do, drink water, slap on the sunscreen and don’t complain. Please don’t complain. Cheers.

Stefano Hatfield is editorial director of London Live