SO IT'S back to Butlins, according to the latest news, which tells us recession-hit families are lining up to book their breaks at holiday camps.
This may also account for the revival of interest in Hi-de-Hi - there is a musical production of the TV series doing the rounds at the moment - it's at the Beck Theatre, Hayes, April 26-28.
The day after I left school, two friends and I went to work at Skegness Butlins for the whole of the summer break.
"Were you a redcoat?" most people ask politely when I tell them this, smiling behind their hands as they imagine me leaping about in blazer and pleated skirt, entertaining the masses.
Well, err, no. The 'swish jobs' were obviously taken by year-round staff. At the height of the season we students filled the gaps. So, there we were, three chalet maids in ghastly green overalls, not exactly the glam or exciting job we might have imagined... until we heard which chalets we'd be cleaning.
Yes, Butlins decided, in their wisdom, to assign us - teenage girls - to clean the boys' rows. We never looked back!
Butlins now is very different from my day, which really was like Hi-de-Hi's fictional Maplins Holiday Camp, when the entertainment ranged from knobbly knees contests to jolly, end-of-the-prom type shows.
But after dark there was live music and the pubs were packed to the rafters with young people. Strangely, though much alcohol was consumed, no one thought to punch anybody's lights out.
SPREADING the news: Margaret Whellams, formerly of Ruislip, emailed to say she and her partner are going to help my campaign to save marmalade (Bm@il, February 24) by slapping it on their toast more regularly at breakfast.
According to another reader, I picked a good time to write about the tangy spread, as the marmalade-making season is now in full swing.
Janet Ryerson of Cowley has promised to help the cause by giving me a jar of her current batch. Ooh, I love my job!