Toby Young Toby Young

Status Anxiety | 5 September 2009

With four children under six, flying anywhere for the annual summer holiday has become prohibitively expensive, so for the past five years we’ve been going to Cornwall.

With four children under six, flying anywhere for the annual summer holiday has become prohibitively expensive, so for the past five years we’ve been going to Cornwall.

With four children under six, flying anywhere for the annual summer holiday has become prohibitively expensive, so for the past five years we’ve been going to Cornwall. The upshot is that I am now an expert when it comes to renting holiday cottages. I have rented big ones, small ones, cheap ones and expensive ones, and I’ve come to the following conclusion: wherever possible, go gay.

I don’t mean that the owners of the cottage should be gay, though that probably helps. I mean the cottage should cater to homosexual couples. When it comes to things like home furnishings, tablewear and bathroom fittings, their standards are so much higher than anyone else’s. It’s the difference between being in a Woody Allen film and a Mike Leigh movie. In ordinary Cornish cottages, you’re left in no doubt that you’re on a bucket-and-spade holiday. In a gay cottage, you can make believe you’re in the Hamptons. (There is one caveat: homosexual couples usually have dogs and dogs can be messy. But on the plus side, they tend to have very small dogs and there’s only so much damage a chihuahua can do. Gay dogs, like gay cottages, are very clean.)

I have learnt this lesson the hard way. The first time I rented a cottage I thought I’d found a real bargain: it was on a working farm, which I thought would be fun for the kids, and was about half the price of anything else. It didn’t occur to me that there would be a connection between these two things until we got there. We opened the front door to be greeted by a swarm of flies.

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