Disclaimer: None of this is an April fool.
These, however, clearly are. My favourite has to be the Guardian's story of Coldplay rewriting 'Talk' for the Tories to use as an election anthem.
I've been visiting my father in hospital these last few days. Thankfully it's nothing life-threatening but a operation he's been waiting for. As bright, modern and redesigned as hospitals are these days they remain pretty depressing places. Be it the 'clinical' smell that grabs you by the nostrils almost immediately, the tired smiles of the staff (hardly fresh from a 12hr shift) along with the moans, groans and coughs as you pass by the wards. No wonder my dad wants to get out of there at the earliest possible opportunity. He's in good spirits and recovering well from his operation but he can't wait to pull out the saline drips, return home and head out for a walk. I don't blame him.
Thankfully he should be home and well before I head off aboard next week. For those of you that don't know I'm flying out for a long weekend in Vienna, Austria, to meet up with an old friend of mine. Four days should hopefully be more than enough to explore the sumptuous Hapsburg legacy and sip plenty of Viennese coffees. And the cakes... Apparently the cakes in Vienna are a revelation.
Who the hell needs a travel agent these days though? I booked my flights, accommodation, arranged insurance and airport parking all from this very keyboard. The only reason I'll be setting foot in one next week is to grab a fistful of Euros since it's still allot cheaper than using an ATM out there.
I deliberately haven't told a soul at work what I'm doing on my long weekend, which is no mean feat considering that they're a pretty nosey bunch. Whenever I've returned from trips abroad previously, I get the polite brief questions of where I've been and what I've been up to, but no-one ever seems genuinely, deeply interested. I may as well be talking to a hairdresser. I get fed up with the snide comments of "how can I afford these luxuries so often". Well hey guys, perhaps ditch the chain-smoking habit, don't drink to excess as a rule and or buy every DVD under the sun and then you might be able to afford to enjoy a little bit more of what life has to offer beyond these borders. Shop around for flights, accommodation and the like and you'd be surprised how affordable things can be.
For once I just can't be bothered with the going-through-the-motions conversations so I'll keep this one to myself. I know travel isn't everyone's passion, I mean not to write this astride some moral high-horse but merely from the defensive ramparts of something that means allot to me.
Perhaps it's the closest I've got to having a religion.