my last holiday- only a short while ago, one week in Maldon in Essex- consisted of get up around 6.00-6.30 explain to Arran - (4 years old and knows what he wants)-that no, there is no television set here. The next couple of hours are spent playing with him having the family breakfast then going to the swing park, water park, bouncy castles, giant pirate ship climbing frame, really big swing park, walking along the river, giant sand pit etc etc (Maldon does have a shed load of things for a 4 year old to do!). Then lunch before Lara (one year old- doesn't know what she wants unless it is food, drink, clean nappy or, and this is quite cute, a hug) implodes/explodes. Then we're back to the swing park/water park etc etc then tea, then kids to bed, then cook our tea, talk about the day then read until fall asleep- approx 25 minutes! It was a great holiday but I've realised holiday reading as I knew it left my life pretty much when the second child entered it.
I had been pretty pleased that I'd actually finished the Harry Potter (which I enjoyed, and thought she'd made a pretty good fist of ending the series in a satisfying way, a not especially common occurrance in books or tv) and Damned United by David Peace (highly recommended- almost like James Ellroy died and almost went to football heaven but landed in Leeds circa 1974 and this is his report back) but reading other bookshop holiday blogs I now hang my head in shame.
Anyway- the second part of our holidays begin tomorrow- a week in Bruge but this time the Grandparents are coming, so with babysitters on tap I'm going to tempt fate and take 3 books- although I may have to take/buy a forth as I've done that dumb thing where I'm 3/4 through a book (Jason Goodwin's The Janissary Tree- absolutely brilliant depiction of 19th cent. Istanbul but I'm not to sure about the 'whodunnit' aspect, which is pretty much what the reviews had led me to believe so hurrah for them) so it's going to be dead weight after my first bath/escape to coffee house(did I say coffee house-I think I meant bar)/ lie-in etc but is too good to leave behind. I'm also taking the book that's rapidly turning into book of the year- Catherine O'Flynn 'What was lost' partly as I dipped into it and it looks fab and partly as it's setting- a shopping mall, is- I guess- the antithesis of Bruge (like most people I always used to take something that had a relationship to my destination but I've gone the other way- partly after carrying Perfect Storm to a house on the coast of Arran for Christmas, on the boat crossing to Ibizia, a desolate stretch of Suffolk shoreline and the Cape of Good Hope and still never reading the bleeding thing- I don't expect I will now). Also Storm and Conquest by Stephan Taylor about the battle for the Indian Ocean 1809- it may not be everyone's cup of tea but if you're a Patrick O'Brian fan- and I am- the Mauritius campaign was the setting for one of his best books.
wish me luck