SARAH VINE: Don’t be fooled by the “glam” of glamping. It is the opposite of spontaneous …

Now, international travel requires a doctorate in chaos theory (not to mention a loan to pay for PCR tests) – and with every hotel, hostel, B&B, chalet and broom closet in Britain booked solidly – restaurateurs are finding that they have no choice but to submit to one of the greatest evils of the 21st century: glamping.

Traditional camping can be fun. It’s not exactly my bag, all that back to nature and healthy fireside stuff. But I liked it when I was younger, traveling through Europe with friends, light feet and sciatica free. Spontaneous, adventurous and, above all, inexpensive.

But glamping is a whole different story. It’s the opposite of spontaneous, about as adventurous as a pair of full briefs from Marks & Spencer – and, almost without exception, ruinously priced.

Glamping is a whole different story. It’s the opposite of spontaneous, about as adventurous as a pair of full briefs from Marks & Spencer – and, almost without exception, ruinously priced. Pictured: A Dorset glamping site which has been criticized for its washing facilities

It also appeals to all the people you usually go on vacation to to keep you away, like the annoying girls in designer rain boots and yoga pants talking about climate change and guys with shamanic tattoos who speak lyrically about making your own kombucha.

Worse yet, glamping is pretentious, overpriced, and generally run by the kind of people who pretend to be green and green hippies.

I know what I’m talking about because I once went off-grid eco-glamping in Wales and was so freaked out that I walked into a hotel.

These days glamping sites invariably turn out to be owned by a giant conglomerate that only has eyes for the bottom line.

Pictured: Dirty washing facilities at a Dorset glamping site called Cloud Nine Glamping

Pictured: Dirty washing facilities at a Dorset glamping site called Cloud Nine Glamping

And, thanks to Covid, they have a captive market.

So much so that new glampsites are emerging across the country: 5,000 additional locations this year, helped in part by new rules which have doubled the duration of the establishment of temporary sites, from 28 to 56 days. All promise this Instagrammable dream of artfully arranged cows and scatter cushions.

But not all of them keep their promises. One of those outfits, which I won’t name for legal reasons, bills itself as the ‘ultimate family getaway’ and promises five star facilities in some of the UK’s most beautiful locations.

It has a fancy website with alluring images of pretty bell tents adorned with beds covered in crisp white linens and dreamy videos of toasted marshmallows over an open fire.

Not all glamping sites keep their promises.  Pictured: Washing facilities at the Cloud Nine Glamping center in Wimborne

Not all glamping sites keep their promises. Pictured: Washing facilities at the Cloud Nine Glamping center in Wimborne

Yet the reality, it turns out, is very far from the fantasy. According to one customer, the site looks “more like Chernobyl than Champneys”, with punters paying hundreds of pounds a night for dirty showers, poor facilities and overpriced food vans.

The much-promised “balance of outdoor family adventures and proper relaxation to indulge yourself”, meanwhile, seems to come down to a few pop-up pools full of murky water and what one disgruntled guest described as “A climbing frame and trampolines that we could have bought from Costco.”

I have immense sympathy for these people. A camping vacation will always be hard work. If you don’t come home with an advanced case of trench foot, suffer from food poisoning from frying sausages in the pouring rain, or have been eaten by a bear, you can consider the vacation to be a big deal. resounding success.

Glamping, on the other hand, is the opposite. Expectations aren’t just high, they’re off the scale. Completely unrealistic, in fact.

And that’s why I hate him so much. Because it’s based on a false premise: that you can enjoy all the beauty and wilderness of the natural world – while still enjoying all the creature comforts more typical of a five-star hotel in Mayfair.

The bottom line is this: go camping properly, just you against Mother Nature and all her many terrifying eyes; or book a hotel with hot and cold room service.

Never try to marry the two. Because that’s how disappointment is.

Fascinating to see how, even though face masks are no longer mandatory in some public places in England, so many people still wear them.

In fact, it seems that more people are wearing them on the main street or driving their cars than before.

They have become a Covid blanket: not very useful in practice, but comfort in uncertain times.

Equally unrealistic is the fact that the heroine, played by Sarah Shahi, is supposed to be an exhausted, demoralized, breastfeeding mother of two - but not only does she have the libido of a teenager, but also the body of a model. .

Equally unrealistic is the fact that the heroine, played by Sarah Shahi, is supposed to be an exhausted, demoralized, breastfeeding mother of two – but not only does she have the libido of a teenager, but also the body of a model. .

Looking for a TV to occupy my evenings, I was directed by Netflix’s algorithm to the high-profile Sex / Life show.

The premise is quite interesting: A wife and mother yearn for the excitement of her single days, despite the fact that her husband is gorgeous / super successful and their children are straight out of a JoJo Maman Bebe catalog.

But what could have been a thoughtful and provocative exploration of the status of women turns out instead to be a condescending soft-porn fantasy with endless snapshots and absurdly impractical sex scenes (rooftop pools, sports cars , pinball machines, etc.).

Equally unrealistic is the fact that the heroine, played by Sarah Shahi, is supposed to be an exhausted, demoralized, breastfeeding mother of two – but not only does she have the libido of a teenager, but also the body of a model. .

Like I said, total fantasy.

If you want to watch something that truly reflects the reality – and the madness – of motherhood and marriage, you’d better tune in to Workin ‘Moms; it’s a lot smarter, really funny, and written by and starring Catherine Reitman, who is the Canadian version of Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

Really brilliant.

Sarah Vine: Don't be fooled by the “glam” of glamping

Sarah Vine: Don’t be fooled by the “glam” of glamping

New outrage – quite justified – against the new cartoon series of the American cable network HBO Max, The Prince, on the royal family.

Not content with trolling eight-year-old Prince George and his siblings, the show also portrays the late Duke of Edinburgh as vacant and slobbery.

Such a dramatic disrespect is shocking; but you have to wonder why Americans, who have always had a soft spot for our royal family, seem to turn against them.

In my opinion, the answer is simple: it is because the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, since moving to the United States, have been concerned with undermining the reputation of Harry’s family to such an extent that it is now the season open to the royal family.

New - and fully justified - outrage against US cable network HBO Max's new cartoon series The Prince over the royal family

New – and fully justified – outrage against US cable network HBO Max’s new cartoon series The Prince over the royal family

Everyone seems to have an opinion about athletes and mental health issues these days. Last to weigh in is former wrestling gold medalist Henry Cejudo, who believes that what athletes like gymnast Simone Biles need is a “little hard love”.

For what it’s worth, however, I think diver Tom Daley has the best solution: knitting. He clearly uses it as a way to deal with stress which I understand because whenever life gets too difficult for me I take back my tapestry. There is something about the rhythm of the stitches that is very calming.

Plus, the sight of him sitting by the pool, marveling at his latest creation, is so adorable that it cannot fail to bring joy to even the heaviest of hearts.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is correct that working from home is no substitute for working in the office.

Just as distance learning isn’t the same as being in school, Zoom isn’t a substitute for the kind of creative energy that crackles when colleagues get together.

The truth is, technology can help us survive a crisis; but that will never make us prosper like we do when we work together in real life.

I recently returned from rural Wales, where the local farmer patrolled his fields with a little googly eyes, desperately worried about his cattle.

Besides the problem of cities breaking the country code, leaving doors open and garbage everywhere, there has been a sharp increase in dog attacks on livestock – up 50% from last year – due to the number of people acquiring “pandemic” puppies and then taking them for a stay.

A West Sussex farmer lost seven lambs in a single attack and vowed to shoot every dog ​​free on his land – and frankly, who can blame him?

What many dog ​​owners fail to realize is that even the smallest and most seemingly harmless breeds can still pose a danger to sheep, as they are nervous creatures and easily afraid to fall into ditches. or hurt yourself.

So please, if you are walking in the countryside, keep your pets on a leash. Especially so that the vast majority of responsible dog owners do not have to bow their heads in shame.

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About John McTaggart

John McTaggart

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