It’s 7.30pm on Sunday night. I’ve just woken up from an ill-advised hour and a half’s nap and am in the process of devouring an entire block of smoked cheddar on water crackers with a side of hummus before I’ve even opened my eyes. I’m wearing purple flannelette pyjama pants covered in teapots and a grey sweatshirt from the 14-year-old boys section at Decathlon. My socks don’t match; I’ve sweated/ slept/ rubbed most of my makeup off and my hair is a mess. Not a trendy mess, a greasy, actual mess. My tummy is bloated and swollen and seeking revenge on me for the myriad of food crimes I’ve committed against it this weekend.
Across from me on the uncomfortable wooden window seat is my long time partner in cheese-and-wine crime, who is sporting a similar outfit and state of unruliness. Outside the window, grey drizzle blurs the bleak kilt-and-shortbread-shop-lined street and the sound of bagpipes jerks out shrill and clear and never-endingly across the cobblestones. We’re both scrolling through iPhones with cheesy fingers whilst leafing through wine splattered magazines, waiting for our dinner to cook (or rather, be cooked for us) when I come across a glamorous, Insta-riffic shot of some friends, also on their summer holiday. Designer clothes replace pyjamas; slim glasses of champagne, our cheap Riesling; and Edinburgh has been replaced by an enviable island sunset. Wordlessly, I pass the phone over to my friend, who’s now eating chunks of cheese on their own as the cracker box is all the way on the other side of the kitchen.
At first we lament, and then we laugh, as the two images couldn’t be further apart. But for better or worse, our version of the holiday selfie might not be Facebook-friendly or Instagram-ready, but its real and its us and I wouldn’t have it any other way.