holidays of yesteryear

I read Ross Gittins' column in SMH this morning. He usually has some interesting stuff to say about the economy that scares and calms me in equal measures!

Today he talks about annual leave, and how we've all become obsessed with "stuff" rather than "down time". Apparently, a lot of Australians are choosing to have their leave paid to them in cash rather than taking their holidays. I'm the total opposite - before I worked for myself, I was a "one week off every three months" kind of girl. I freaking love holidays.

Ross talks about holidays of years gone by, and MY GOD they sound appealing:

I confess to hankering after the long, lazy summer holidays of my baby boomer youth. Your family would go to some beach or watering hole - a lake in my case - and spend the days going up and down to the water or sprawled around reading. Occasionally you'd go for a walk.

Those holidays seemed to stretch out endlessly. Your parents were there to recharge their batteries and if you ever got bored, that was your problem. You found yourself something to do, never bothering to complain to unsympathetic oldies.

The object was to get away for as long as possible, do as little as possible and spend as little as possible. Fish and chip shops were well patronised and, as a special holiday treat, I was allowed one threepenny ice-cream cone a day.

Whatever happened to those holidays? According to Richard White, a historian at the University of Sydney, those holidays were overtaken by our growing affluence.

Relaxing! Reading! An ice-cream every day!!! Where do I sign up?!