It occurred to me about half way through the weekend that in going to Alvecote I subject myself to a simulacrum of an experience I had always thought I would avoid like the proverbial. The August Bank Holiday Long Weekend ay Alvecote is remarkably similar to how I have always imagined a holiday at Butlins. It is completely self contained; we do not set foot outside the bounds of the resort for the duration. Full English breakfast is served daily in the cavernous bar by very cheerful people. We sit around in the sun by the water, until it's time for the entertaining competitions with 'amusing' commentaries. Loud music is broadcast across the site through the day, and in the evening crooners sing loudly to backing tracks. There are also dances. You can eat three meals a day in the Barlow should you so wish. And so on. Truth to tell, it does all get a bit much after a while and after a couple of days I'm glad to get home. But next year I'll be ready to do it all over again - I'm fully converted to the delights of the gin bar and am looking forward to making that an annual tradition.
Seriously though, massive praise should go to Malcolm, Matt, Caz, Alison and all the rest of the crew who work non stop in the Barlow over the weekend and were still smiling this morning.
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