Nora Johnson – September’s the Real Start of the New Year!

Ever felt that September is the real start of the New Year – and not January? The time when, after the long summer break, kids are back at school and adults at work. So much so that, when I still lived and worked in the UK, I used to think of the day after the August Bank Holiday weekend as “back to school for adults”.

When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, I always make mine in September. There’s less pressure on the diet that never happens, the January that’s rarely dry and the weather’s usually nicer.

But in September, it’s that shiny new pencil case feeling – a new beginning because of the change in routine (at least if you were in school or had kids in school). A time of fresh starts, self-evaluation and, for travel operators, the inevitable post-holiday complaints. Like some of the following that do nothing to dispel the stereotype that we Brits are a nation of whingers!

Some past complaints from British tourists (all genuine – honest!) are especially telling. One angry tourist who took a summer cruise around Alaska complained the weather wasn’t as warm as expected – “I wish I stayed at home!” For another, “topless sunbathing should be banned!” because her “holiday was ruined – my husband spent all day ogling women”.

Others moaned their holidays were spoiled because “the local women were too beautiful; it made me feel bad about myself”. “There was no sign telling you that you shouldn’t get on the hot air balloon ride if you’re afraid of heights.” “I spent a whole week on safari, and didn’t see any decent animals. Just some scruffy old antelopes.”

One woman on a Celebrity Cruises ship demanded a full refund because she didn’t see any celebrities on board and said the company was guilty of “false advertising” due to the lack of stars.” For another on a Mediterranean cruise, the sea was too loud and the cabins should be “better sound-proofed against the noise of the sea”.

For some Brits there are “too many Spanish people”. “The receptionist speaks Spanish; the food’s Spanish.” “How can anyone get around with street signs in Spanish?” “There are too many foreigners.” “We bought ‘Ray-Ban’ sunglasses for €5 from a looky looky man, but they were fake.”

Others complained their holidays were spoiled because “the beach was too sandy” and “no one told us there’d be fish in the sea; the children were scared stiff”.“It should be explained in brochures that the local store doesn’t sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts.”

A man even sent a complaint to Disneyworld claiming it was “too touristy”. Other complaints included: “You said the town was next to a volcano, but we went and there was no lava. I’m pretty sure it was just a mountain.” “We booked an excursion to a water park but nobody told us we had to bring our swimming costumes and towels.”

Good grief! What’s up with these guys? I’d be more than happy to go out and buy a spare cossie and towel for that water park. Because it would mean I WAS having a holiday!

Nora Johnson’s 12 critically acclaimed psychological suspense crime thrillers ( all available online including eBooks (€0.99;£0.99), Apple Books, audiobooks, paperbacks at Amazon etc. Profits to Cudeca cancer charity.                                   

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Written by

Nora Johnson

Novelist Nora Johnson offers insights on everything from current affairs to life in Spain, with humour and a keen eye for detail.