Now that it’s September, and the schools are back, I want to tell you what I learned on my holidays this year.
Not least that having a holiday from the Internet was harder than I thought it would be.
I had some fish in the sun, then some steak in the rain, and then some music in a field.
(I didn’t eat the music. The music rather ate me – or my brain at any rate – but it was great, so I’m not complaining.)
Here are ten sort-of bookish or writerly things I know now, but didn’t know in the middle of August.
1. I have been shortlisted in 2 categories in the Blog Awards Ireland 2014: Best Newcomer, and Best Humour Blog.
I was away for this happy news, but my inability to gloat and self-promote on social media did not diminish the feeling one jot. It made me think perhaps I should not be on social media at all. Then I got confused, because blogging is technically social media, which would make me ineligible for the Blog Awards, should I remove myself from social media. Then my head hurt. So I had a mojito. Then I had a gin and tonic. I felt better. Then I felt much better. So I had 6 more gin-and-mojitos to celebrate.
2. I apparently need a holiday nowadays to have the time to read a book properly.
This made me sad. However, my dismay was tempered somewhat by the fact that I read 6 books while I was away, and all of them were superb.
3. Some of the books floating about on a sun holiday are quite surprising.
None more so than the topless lady sunbathing beside me, who must have built up extraordinary muscle by holding that hardback textbook over her head all day. The textbook concerned either acupuncture or anatomy (her hand was over most of the title). Her bohemian torso suggested one more so to me than the other, although I suppose it depends on who you’re talking to.
4. I had an ego I didn’t know I had, but it’s gone now, so that’s ok.
No matter where I parked myself by the swimming pool in the sunny part of the trip, I was followed by a lithe German couple. They were already a gorgeous shade of deep honey at the beginning of their holiday. Their disgustingly beautiful bodies were further enhanced with terribly tasteful tattoos. Just as I attempted to remove my pale pudginess from their immediate vicinity, I realised that the paperbacks they were reading were also in English, rather than German, suggesting that they were also linguistically fit. They were therefore bad for both my aesthetic and intellectual vanity. I hated them.
5. It’s easier to get Internet access off the coast of Africa than in the midlands of Ireland.
Accessing your e-mail under a blazing sun in the middle of the Atlantic? No bother. Trying to use satellite navigation or check the weather forecast in Co. Laois? You can feck off. But on the other hand, it’s easier to read without distractions.
And so we come to the end of my holiday learnings. (I left out the fact that going on holidays meant that 93% of my writing ambitions have now been delayed by approximately 2 years, but that’s ok, because my brain hasn’t come back yet. When it does, I plan to give it a welcome home party, with some balloons, and some nice blog posts about interesting things. More on that in time.)