Family holidays aren’t always the break you were hoping for…

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There are many good reasons why foreign travel might have to remain in fantasy land this year

There has been an outbreak of intense sexting among my girlfriends: whispers of desire; shared fantasies and sensual memories. “We’d just lie somewhere shady with delicious snacks and NOT TALK,” writes one. “Remember reading quietly in the air-conditioned library in Bologna? I want that,” says another. My friend H goes all in. “There’s a soft lagoon breeze in our tiny pensione courtyard,” she types, cruelly. “White peaches from the Rialto for breakfast.” “We find the perfect bar with good pastries,” I counter. “After two days they make our cappuccinos without us ordering, so we feel like Commissario Brunetti” (Donna Leon’s most Ocado of fictional detectives).

In reality, we’re going nowhere. We can’t trust the government’s rickety air bridges and even if we could afford it, we probably shouldn’t be flying, for ecological as well as virus reasons. It’s desperately unfair that mine and my parents’ generations went wherever we liked, and now preach about carbon to young people who have barely had a chance to go anywhere, but the planet is self-evidently on fire.

There’s a soft lagoon breeze in our tiny pensione courtyard, types my friend, cruelly

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