(Please don't feel this is a whinge - comments below should explain my thoughts)
It's been two years since I was last in Venice. I miss it. We used to go every single year until 2007, sometimes more than once a year.
2008 came. The recession came and it affected us like many many other people. My wife lost her job and although she got another one three months later it was for quite a lot less than the previous one.
So the holidays unfortunately were sacrificed. We didn't go anywhere that year - cancelling the trip to the Loire Valley in France and the booked Venice trip and the still undecided third trip.
This year we drove over to Belgium for a week which was a quite wonderful holiday but we still couldn't return to Venice. And only one holiday in the year!!!
I sound terribly self-absorbed don't I? I'm not I can assure you. I've just heard similar feelings being expressed by other people of late (overhearing conversations in pubs and cafes). And I don't agree.
Thing is I still have a job. And it's a job I enjoy. Okay the bonus scheme was cancelled when times turned tough but I have never relied on getting a bonus. I've always tried to consider it as that - a bonus, something extra.
In difficult times I consider still having my job enough, and likewise my wife having a job - even though it doesn't have the Manager title of the last job - is enough. We are not struggling overly. Okay the previous years of four or five foreign holidays every year are long gone - but thinking back that really wasn't normal. Five times in Italy or France in a single year - over the top I feel.
I'd guess the people I overheard talking about not being able to go to the Carribean (because of the lower value of the pound in the conversation in question) haven't really considered the true state of the world. We have to be more reasonable, learn not to expect too much.
Or maybe I'm being too rational. I do want to go back to Venice after all.