Ain’t No Cure for the British Summertime Blues

British Summertime Blues

There’s been a gap since my last blog post because me and Mrs Aaaaargh have been on holiday in Spain.

Apart from the obvious, the weather, the big difference we found was the attitude. Considering Spain is supposed to be in a worse economic situation than us – the main sign we saw was that public toilets are closed down – the place is still much more laid back and friendly.

When we drove out into the country a bit and got lost the people we asked couldn’t have been more helpful, even trying mixtures of French and German which eventually worked. At petrol stations we didn’t feel like we were holding them up and other customers would offer help to.

You can sit in a cafe or bar for ages with just one drink and it’s no problem if you only want to use the toilet.

The problem is that you soon get used to their attitude and when you reach the UK you notice the difference. As we got to UK passport control (UK Border Agency these days) we queued for the first time in a week. Then when a couple of non-Europeans went to the front of the EU queue because they were confused, they were waved away with no actual help at all. The officials were even moaning. “What’s wrong with these people today?” one of them said to the other… the only thing she didn’t add was “bloody foreigners” but the attitude said it for her.

And once we got on the road we immediately noticed how aggresive driving is here. Of course we then had the obligatory traffic jam adding an hour to our journey which was only one and a quarter hours to start with.

[The only bright spot getting back was the service provided by the company who parked our car for us while we were away, Sky Airport Parking. I make a point of mentioning bad service but this is one occasion where I can mention exceptional service. They provide a Meet & Greet service where they meet you at the departure area, park your car for the duration, then bring it back for you when you arrive. It went without a hitch, was cheaper than others and simpler than the airport’s own service our family used.]

The main point of this posting is that when people moan about the weather getting everyone down, that isn’t actually the problem. The attitudes and social customs we have are the problem which is probably why I’m feeling the British Summertime Blues more than most.


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