The Midults’ guide to...

Hol­i­day drink­ing tribes

The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine - - Contents -

SUM­MER HOL­I­DAYS ARE NOT, tra­di­tion­ally, detox hol­i­days. Those hap­pen in months like Novem­ber. And Fe­bru­ary. Sum­mer hol­i­days have wine wo­ven through their very fab­ric. They are drenched in the prom­ise of the boozy un­wind, the in­tox­i­cated let­ting go. But one per­son’s idea of wild might be worlds, or­gies and ar­rests away from an­other’s. It is – usu­ally – best to hol­i­day with some­one from your own drink­ing tribe. Or, at least, to do some re­search so you know what you’re in for. If you think that two glasses of some­thing cold is the last word in deca­dence, then don’t end up trapped in a villa with some­one who doesn’t an­tic­i­pate sleep­ing for five days. No one will have fun.


Spritzers are your thing. Huge gob­lets of rosé, with buck­ets of ice and a droplet of San Pel­le­grino. They’re ba­si­cally wa­ter, you tell your­self. You are hardly drink­ing. You are just show­ing will­ing. Every morn­ing, you can’t be­lieve how many bot­tles other peo­ple got through yes­ter­day. And it’s odd that your mem­o­ries of every­thing af­ter 3pm are so hazy.


Morn­ings are spent pow­er­ing through books or vis­it­ing the mar­ket or swim­ming 1,000 lengths. But then the rest of the day is wiped out by lunch. A lit­tle spot some­one told you about, it’s a boat ride away. It should have a Miche­lin star but the own­ers re­fused it. ‘Isn’t it won­der­ful that we can just take our time over lunch?’ say your hosts. Then you re­alise that every lunch for a week has been booked in ad­vance and each one lasts a mil­lion hours. You put on three stone, max out your credit cards and feel de­crepit when you get home.


The first night is a wild af­fair. To­tally overex­cited. You and your friends are go­ing to put the FUN into dys­func­tional. You are high on hol­i­day and end up in a night­club for the first time in 10 years, danc­ing with a Greek man in es­padrilles. When the sun rises, you jump into the pool wear­ing all your clothes. You and your An­cient Greek San­dals are ru­ined.


A metaphor­i­cal can­non goes off in the villa at 5.01pm lo­cal time. It’s cock­tail o’clock! No one drinks ear­lier in the day (‘What are we, al­co­holics?’ *Ner­vous laugh­ter*). In­creas­ingly ex­trav­a­gant drinks emerge from the bar area with um­brel­las and flamin­gos in them. You won­der if it’s OK just to ask for a beer.


You are the zen-est. You salute the sun every morn­ing. Fol­lowed by some spir­i­tual pad­dle­board­ing, like a mod­ern Poc­a­hon­tas. You even have the plaits. When it’s very hot you wear a burkini be­cause you will not pol­lute your body with sun cream. Or te­quila.


Ev­ery­body is hav­ing a per­fectly nice time, get­ting on bril­liantly, but the other guests no­tice that you are pac­ing around a lit­tle, can’t quite set­tle or just sit down by the pool, and there’s been a lot of tennis. Then on a night out to the near­est town, you go AWOL. For two days. They spend the whole time de­bat­ing whether or not to call the po­lice. You turn up look­ing sheep­ish, say­ing you bumped into an old friend from univer­sity at the tabac and thought it would be nice to just… hang out. Ev­ery­one is fu­ri­ous.


Sober and sen­si­ble 350 days of the year, some­thing hap­pens to you on hol­i­day. Is it the sun? The beach? The Aperol? It’s like you are Prometheus, set free from an eter­nity of damna­tion on that rock and un­leashed in all the beach bars of Ibiza. Once a year you give your­self per­mis­sion to let loose your in­ner maniac. Your fel­low guests are ter­ri­fied.

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