‘We’d booked two weeks on the Costa del Sol,’ said Fred Ashford, from Ashford, ‘but as soon as we knew our passports wouldn’t be ready, we reappraised the situation and found that foreign adventures probably weren’t for us at this time. It turned out that our ideal holiday destination, in terms of climate, food, relaxation, home from home facilities and all that, was Newquay. And if it pisses down all week again, who cares? I intend to have lots of fun in this new pot-bellied surfing wetsuit I bought by not paying £55 each to speed up the passport application.’
Janet Smith, who had planned a round-the-world tour, said she was relieved it’d been cancelled. ‘I’m thrilled I’m off to Cornwall for a few days instead,’ she said. ‘It’ll be much nicer with the cream teas and full English breakfasts, without the fear that somewhere along the line I might not understand the menu and be served dog for lunch. That would never happen in Cornwall, would it? I can’t wait and can’t thank the passport people enough. It’s made me realise I wanted to go to Padstow all along. All my friends are, like, sooo jealous.’
The Cornish tourist board has reacted quickly to the recent spate of bookings, printing posters for local restaurants advertising Paella (egg and chips also available), Tapas (scampi and cocktail sausages to you) and Cerveza on tap (warm and cloudy if you wish), all at the knockdown price of ‘less than one of them Euros’, and served by authentic local Iberians who couldn’t find work at home.
But Jim Adams said he was furious the passport backlog had ruined his holiday in North Korea. ‘I wouldn’t mind Cornwall,’ he said, ‘ but how can I relax when on every day of a fortnight in Rock there’s a high probability that a chance meeting with that bastard Cameron, in his Speedos, could leave me feeling seriously repressed.’