Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I'm back after a proper holiday in Anatolia with J. During which time we read lots of books, and spent the rest of the time sunbathing, swimming and sleeping. It was 44 degrees some days. Time passing slowly and easily, the heat making everything slow-motion, every sense heightened - bobbing ice-cube to the lips, blessed breeze lifting the hair on the nape of your neck, boom of surf upon pebbles, warm biscuit smell of tanned skin, sand in the spine of my book to fall on my pillow later. I took some non-fiction and political books but it was mostly thrillers and mysteries - rattling good entertainment.

Best beach reads: The Last Days of Newgate and The Revenge of Captain Paine, the first two Pike mysteries from Andrew Pepper. Atmospheric, gripping, vivid exploits of an 1830's anti-hero who stands along any of the most vivid characters in hard-boiled crime fiction.

Also great : The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters by GW Glalquist. Madcap rollicking breathless melodrama.

Best film: Vantage Point. Gripping, meticulously plotted ludicrous-conspiracy thriller with a fabulous cast.

Most disappointing film: the new Batman is nasty, brutal and too long. And extremely confused in plot and premise. Wish I'd gone to see Hellboy II instead.

Came back home and started shivering immediately - then my temperature went up several degrees when J and I discovered that the useless Kitchens Direct have messed up yet again. There has been a leak in the wooden cabinet under the sink that has warped the whole cupboard and nearly caused a fire pouring onto a switched on power point. All because a small piece of pipe near the U-bend was the wrong size, and the fitter couldn't be bothered, and bodged it, and taped it with gaffer tape and shoved it in. The hardware shop 3 minutes walk away sells the correct size pipe for £3. Replacing the cupboard, tiles, and worksurface all of which have been wrecked by the drip, then flood from the leaky pipe will cost Kitchens Direct over £1000. Argh.

J has a few more days off still. We are watching the Olympics. Despite saying I wasn't going to, the simple human drama of it all - all those obsessive, driven, sculpted people, dedicating their lives to this one moment - and their reactions afterwards if they win or lose - is compelling.

At the moment I see that it is the beach volley-ball semis. The women teams wear extremely small bikinis and jewellery. It seems only reasonable that the men should have to wear speedoes and medallions. However, it seems that this is not the case.


I'm still drifting in holiday mode, though the sun is no longer shining. I'll get back to work properly next week; this week I'm just catching up on the email backlog, doing admin, and curling up with my honey on the sofa. Notting Hill carnival marks the end of summer next weekend and that's fine with me. It's good to change rhythm and after the recharge, I know work will feel good again.