Sunday morning, the last one of these holidays. I woke up at 8.30am and relaxed into the knowledge that tomorrow is still free before work starts on Tuesday. I have had a real holiday this December and January. I haven’t done any house admin, tidied shelves, sorted out my filing, even sent e-cards to my friends for Christmas. I haven’t gone on long walks up the mountain (I hate walking when it’s hot – I end up feeling all sweaty and faint), meandering walks on the beaches or sunbathed on the sands (‘sunbath’ is almost a dirty word nowadays).
No. Instead I have slept late (when my animals have allowed me to) and read books. I had piles of books from my two book clubs, I had taken books out of the library, plus I had books that I bought with Christmas gift vouchers. I don’t think I have ever had so many books next to my bed and it was sheer heaven. I never once had that panicky feeling that when I finished a book I would nothing to read. I had the luxury of knowing I could put down a book if I weren’t enjoying it and immediately have another one to start.
One of the worst things that happened this holidays is that I left a brand new Christmas-voucher book on the beach and when I went back later, it had gone. It was “Mr Chartwell”, a fascinating, funny, quirky book about Churchill’s Black Dog (his depression). I was only about a quarter of the way through and I think I am going to have to buy it again, unless it pops up in one of the book clubs.
If I had read a particularly good, thought-provoking book, I would wait till I started the next one and read a bit of brain-candy instead – a trashy thriller, a few magazines, the odd recipe book and, as always, a cereal box or two.
Now my problem is that real life is about to start again and I haven’t finished the pile of books. Somehow reading late at night in bed just isn’t the same. If nothing else, it’s because my damn eyelids won’t stay open or I know I can’t stay up too late because I’ll be too tired in the morning.
How long until the next holiday?