Hola lectores

I'm in Spain! Somewhere two hours north or south of Barcelona - reliant on others for navigation as I am, it's hard to be sure. I just sit back and let my driver (father) do the work.

Though unable to pinpoint my exact location given our sketchy wi-fi, there's definitely a coast involved. Unless I'm very much mistaken - and bear in mind I'm not wearing my glasses today - that could very well be what's commonly known as 'sea' over there.

Now, I'm sure you picked up on that father reference, and yes, at 26 years of age, you might say I'm too old to be holidaying with my parents. You wouldn't be the first. I weathered such criticism just about every summer from the ages of 18 to 24. Such naysayery didn't bother me while I was at university - students are MEANT to sponge off their parents, come on - but I began to feel differently a couple of years back, when I finally got myself a proper job.

The thing about offices is that people tend to talk to one another. Given that 90% of Mon-Fri chat revolves around broken printers and the weather, colleagues rarely let an opportunity to branch out into more exotic fields - EG. HOLIDAYS - slip. Colleagues also rarely fail to notice when you're not in the office for 10 days. I was in trouble.

Typical Post-Holiday Office Kitchen Chat Scenario

Colleague: Ross! I hear you were in Spain! What did you get up to?

Me: Oh you know, played Pokemon Gold for the thirteenth summer running and had lunch made for me every day by my mother, the usual. My Typhlosion is on LEVEL 80!

Colleague: .....

Exeunt

Twenty-nine variations of the same conversation later and I knew my days of parent-sponsored sunbathing were over. With a heavy heart, I resigned myself to a decade of underwhelming city breaks and package deals with friends. Urgh.

Two summers tragically lacking in beaches passed, but earlier this year my parents extended an invitation to join them in Spain once more. I prepared to decline their cruel but tantalising offer, remembering again the scorn on our intern's face 24 months previously. But then - inspiration struck. How foolish I was, yet again, to underestimate my talent for underhand holiday chicanery! I replayed the previous post-holiday office scenario, with one minor adjustment.

Revised Post-Holiday Office Kitchen Chat Scenario

Colleague: Ross! I hear you were in Spain! What did you get up to?

Me: Oh you know, I was visiting my parents out there with my partner of two years. Mostly I just sat around and ate, but it was so nice to let them get to know each other that bit more, you know?

Colleague: Oh, how lovely. And how adult you are!

Me: Don't actually know about that, esteemed Colleague, I actually ended up playing rather a lot of Pokemon by the poolside! Hohohoho, how silly I am!

Colleague: Ahahahahaha, but what fun that sounds!

Exeunt

Boyfriends: I highly recommend them.