The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel -

Grumpy Old Hol­i­days: The Of­fi­cial Hand­book Ju­dith Holder (Wei­den­feld & Ni­col­son, $29.95) JU­DITH Holder has done well out of grumpi­ness — she was here with her stage show Grumpy Old­Women in April this year — so why not milk a good idea? It’s true that hol­i­days —‘‘like Christ­mas with suit­cases’’ — can be a chal­lenge: strange food, new beds, noisy ho­tels, de­lays. Holder reck­ons we’d be bet­ter off at home shut­ting the front door and tak­ing the phone off the hook. Holder’s lines flow thick and fast, Kathy Lette style. On the great out­doors: ‘‘ If you like spend­ing a fort­night crawl­ing around on your hands and knees, camp­ing is for you.’’ On ho­tels: ‘‘ Any­thing with qual­ity in the name is a bad sign.’’ On beaches: ‘‘ There’s so much to worry about: jel­ly­fish, sharks, rip tides, raw sewage.’’ On get­ting ready: ‘‘ Pack­ing a case is women’s ter­ri­tory; clos­ing it is men’s.’’ But the book is unashamedly aimed at the Bri­tish. Ref­er­ences to Cliff Michel­more, Frin­ton-on-Sea and Cross­roads won’t mean much to most Aus­tralians. Or am I just be­ing grumpy? Barry Oliver

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