Remember that bit near the beginning of Bridge On the River Kwai? You know, when Alec Guinness’s character Colonel Nicholson is taught a lesson for his insubordination by the prison camp commander. Solitary confinement awaits. Day and night in an iron box in the sweltering Burmese sun.

Now, imagine that concept applied to modern day budget holiday accommodation for four.


I was not popular with my roommates for this.

Seven nights in an up to date version of ‘the oven’. Unlike ‘Old Nich’, however, we had one of these.


Mind you, given the choice, I’m sure he’d have taken the lack of food and water over the smell of the feet of rugby-playing farmers, stale beer and aftersun. The fan wasn’t so much a help as a hindrance. But at least we had a window.


Ah, no, hang on a minute we didn’t. We had a grille. And very much a mixed one at that.

‘Look on the bright side fellas’, I said. ‘At least we weren’t nearly burgled like those other blokes across the corridor who insisted on a street view. And at least when your combine harvester breaks down next August and you complain about the heat, you’ll be able to say you survived a week in Northbridge.’


‘Err, lads?’

Somewhere, in offices, at kitchen tables and on leather sofas, survivors of Galway ’06 will be smirking then clearing their throats to sing to themselves.

‘For he’s a jolly good fellow….’

Onward now to Melbourne. I’ve told my roomies they could be pleasantly surprised with their new digs. They wisely weren’t listening.