Deborah Ross: 'John Travolta isn't about to invite me on to his yacht. I don’t think he has ever been spotted in Cornwall'

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If you ask me, the news from "fashion industry experts" – ie. a couple of PR girls with time on their hands, God bless them – that women spend more on their "holiday wardrobe" than the actual holiday itself is silly and ridiculous and laughable and also probably true because, as your pesky Pre-Holiday Brain always puts it: "OK, you're not a bejewelled sort of person now, but who is to say you won't be by the time you reach your destination?"

So this is why you must have the bejewelled kaftan and the bejewelled sandals and the bejewelled tote and the bejewelled children – "Hold still, children, while I bejewel you..." – and the bejewelled husband, who may or may not say: "Why are you bejewelling me? We're only going to Cornwall." If necessary, you may have to bejewel your husband in his sleep, although don't take it as a given he won't notice. Someone in his office is bound to point it out the following morning – such rotters and spoilsports! – and then you'll get the phone call that goes: "Damn it, woman, you've bejewelled me. I'm on my way home where I shall demand to be dejewelled at once!"

Of course, the moment you actually reach your destination, Pre-Holiday Brain surrenders to On-Holiday Brain and what the On-Holiday Brain realises is this: "I am not a bejewelled person. I will never be a bejewelled person. What was I thinking of? John Travolta isn't about to invite me on to his yacht. I don't even think John Travolta has ever been spotted in Cornwall. I can't wear any of this. I'll look a tit. I think I'll just wear this one, old thing over and over... And so that's what you do: you wear the one old thing over and over, and bejewels be damned.

If you want my advice, which is good advice – remember, I'm wise beyond my years by at least a decade – you will save your money so that, on your return, you can put your Post-Holiday Brain's fitness plan into action by joining a gym you will never go to. It's what I always do. As it is, I've already joined 17 gyms I've never been to, and am hoping to add an 18th this year. It may or may not be bejewelled.

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