Ed Balls loves, loves The Sound of Music. He loves it. And it makes him cry. The shadow chancellor revealed details of his recent family holiday during a fringe event hosted by The Huffington Post on Monday evening at the Labour Party conference in Manchester.
"I had never been inter railing when I was a student and I always slightly regretted it," he said. However Balls' wife, Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, did.
"We were talking about how our children are a certain age, we had never been inter railing, we looked it up and actually you don't have to be 21 and smelly to go inter railing - you can do it at any age and also you don't have to get trains at midnight or sleep on stations," he said.
"We decided we would go on an inter railing trip, we started in London, got an inter rail ticket, and we went London, Paris, Munich, Salzburg, Venice, Ancona, over to Greece and flew back on Ryan Air - that was our holiday.
"Yvette was on the internet searching up what you can do in different cities and she suddenly comes running in and says 'I can't believe it - in Salzburg... the birthplace of Mozart, they have this amazing thing called the Sound of Music Tour'.
"It's a British tour company and they do a three hour trip where you each have a bike with a basket, like Maria has, and they have a beatbox with all the songs, and they take you on a guided tour around all the sights playing the music, you run through a meadow and jump, you go to where the nuns look out.
"And then, Yvette said, if we do it we must make clothes out of curtain. And so she bought some curtain material and on the train from Munich to Salzburg we sat there sewing. For the teenage lads, she made some lederhosen, the girls had head scarves and a neckerchief... we then cycled round Austria wearing similar curtain material things for three hours, singing the Sound of Music saying we really, really hope nobody takes a photo of this because it would be really mortifying."