The real trouble started when I considered taking my laptop on holiday with me last year. I knew it was wrong, but I had to be able to edit my digital holiday photos and update my holiday blog at the end of each day so that I could create the most complete digital imprint of my holiday that was possible.
This got me worried, so I didn't take the laptop and I started to think about problems with the ever increasing digitisation of the holiday experience.
In an attempt to stop the rot I have devised the Dogme Holiday Vow:
"I swear to submit to the following set of rules drawn up by the Holiday Dogme Committee in March 2003
1. No digital equipment to be taken on holiday. Computers, hand-held PDAs, digital cameras, mobile phones, video cameras, MP3 players, global positioning systems, in-vehicle navigation systems, spot watches etc. are banned. If it runs on electricity then you can't take it.
2. No cameras allowed, not even the use-once model that you saw in the airport. Experience your holiday with your natural senses. See it, hear it, smell it and touch it. If you want other people to experience your trip then take them with you instead of boring them with your slideshows after the event.
3. No television, radio, or newspapers unless they are local city or town stations, programmes or publications. If you are staying in a small mountain village in Scicily then the weekly church newsletter the only media you can consume. If you really need to know what's going on in the world then stay at home and watch cable non-stop for a week instead. You are allowed to visit a local cinema only if you see a film that you wouldn't be able to see at home.
4. No contact with people at home. You can tell people where you are going, but do not give them contact telephone numbers. If they really need to contact you then they can hire a private detective to track you down.
5. No postcards. People hate writing postcards, they don't get delivered until a week after you return home. If you really feel the need to communicate with people at home during your holiday then write them a letter instead.
6. No books or magazines from home. You can only read books or magazines that you buy at your holiday destination. Any books or magazines bought must be related to the place you are staying.
7. No holiday souvenirs. They will not remind you of your visit, they will just sit in a cupboard until you throw them away.
8. No internet. You may not access the internet from a cafe, hotel or anywhere else that provided access. Use the internet before you go on holiday to research the place you are visiting.
9. No sunglasses or other holiday fashion accessories. It is not a fashion show (Milan excepted).
10. Take the time to breathe and remember to enjoy yourself.
Now print this out, date it and sign it, then hand it to your partner, travelling companion, family or workmates before you go on your holiday.
The idea for the 'exploding' rat - now immortalised as part of the SOE legend - was developed in 1941. The aim was to blow up the enemy's boilers by lying the rat on the coal beside the boiler, with the fuse being lit when the rat was shovelled into the fire. They were never used, as the first consignment was seized by the Germans and the secret was blown.