The Third Leader: Holiday blues

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The Independent Online

Continuing this space's service bespokely tailored to the holiday season, we today highlight the news that mini-breaks increase rather than reduce stress, which, as with so much else, has come as a bit of a surprise to us.

Not that we are in the habit of going on one, as they are not bespokely tailored to fit our particular circumstances, involving as they do keeping Brown's Bri-tain turning when we are not otherwise engaged in weekend chauffeuring or slumped in front of Heartbeat.

We had, nevertheless, often envied the energy of the mini-breakers, roaming cyberspace for bargains, booking, cancelling the milk, finding, losing and finding the passports, then fitting all that packing and travelling and waiting and unpacking into a few hours so as to spend a few hours rushing round somewhere else before a frantic reverse and resumption of business as usual, refreshed, positive and dismissive of footprint concerns.

And now we find many of them are too stressed to enjoy it. I'm not entirely convinced, however, by the advice that more planning and research are needed, as surely that way more stress lies: there are a lot of churches in Rome, you know.

At home, meanwhile, comes report of that state-sponsored mini-break, the August Bank Holiday Weekend, with experts warning that everyone taking time off together will cause the travel chaos it causes every year.

Do not, though, imagine that not taking a break is an option: other experts are warning that the nation faces collective burn-out if we don't take more; which, of course, adds its own stress. And Heartbeat isn't on this Sunday, either.

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