Posted by: lucylastic | June 28, 2007

Back again and a bit flat…….

Well, here I am again!  Back from a wonderful holiday in the Caribbean – sailing on a fully crewed, tall ship around Grenada and some of the Grenadine Islands, (Mayreau, Bequia – pronounced Bekway, St Vincent and Union Island).  It was laid back, very relaxing, extremely good value as we paid in US$ with a strong £, great food, interesting scenery and history on the islands, lovely weather and our teenage boys have described it as ‘the best holiday ever’.  So why am I feeling so dissatisfied?  Is it just the general ‘back to work’ malaise?  Not really, I’ve moved to an exciting new job which I am enjoying tremendously – so that’s not it.  Is it the seemingly never ending flight home, (we had to go to St Lucia before heading back to Gatwick – which added about another 3 hours to the journey by the time we landed, got off, got on and took off again)!  I’m not sure.  But I am starting to think that holidays are just not all they are cracked up to be.  I am not a big planner-ahead – so the day before we left I was in my usual last minute dash for fairly essential things like a swim suit, shorts, sun tan lotion, sandals etc etc  Actually, it’s just shopping that I hate – with a vengeance.  There are lots of non-shopping things where I plan almost too much ahead…….but that’s another story.  No, I have decided that actually, holidays just don’t interest me like they used to.  I get bored easily, there are only so many books a girl can read after all, (6 during the course of last week).  So, enough about holidays.  Let’s do a bit of a book review. 

Even knowing my own propensity to consume books at an alarming rate, I only took 3 with me – The Kite Runner, The God Delusion and Bill Bryson’s Tales from the Thunderbolt Kid, (or something like that).  The Kite Runner – trite, annoying and made me want to go and find the wet, wimpy, cowardly Aqim and punch him hard – and I would have, if I hadn’t been stuck out at sea.  Not recommended.  I know people are raving about it, but I just don’t get it.  The God Delusion – didn’t even start it – too much like hard work I decided for a holiday read.  Bill Bryson – I LOVE Bill Bryson – he always makes me laugh out loud and this book had me in more than just a chuckle many a time – if you have never read Bill Bryson, I urge you to try, if you have, you will know exactly what I mean.  Although my lovely husband was getting fed up with my fairly frequent explosions of laughter AND my tendency to read aloud the bits I found so amusing.  So 2 down and it was only Monday evening!  I then had to raid my husband’s one and only book – The Road to Dakar by Charley Boorman – what, who?  Charley Boorman is an actor and friend of Ewan McGregor and together they undertook an epic ‘wrong way’ tour around the world on motorcycles – it was turned into a series called ‘Long Way Round’ and is very entertaining and engaging – even if one is NOT a motorcycle fan.  The new book was funny and witty and not at all self indulgent and I heartily recommend both it and it’s predecessor.  If anyone is interested, Ewan and Charley are currently completing ‘Long Way Down’, going from the Arctic down as far as they can go – I am eagerly anticipating the series. 

I was struggling now to find any new reading material, until I discovered a bookshelf at the back of the ship where previous sailors had left behind their holiday reads and my eyes lit up!  A history of our ship – The Yankee Clipper – which started life as a cargo ship and was then converted to a millionaire’s plaything was interesting but only took 20 minutes to read, so it doesn’t really count.  I do like a gory story, so Tryptych by Karin Slaughter caught my eye and had me riveted long into the night – if you like good cop/bad cop forensic, whodunnit type stuff, this is excellent – although the bad guy was revealed too early for my liking….. Another stylised ‘ex-spy gets dragged back into the bad stuff’ book was acquired at the hotel where we spent our last night – it was OK to pass a bit of the flight, but I can no longer remember the title or the author – sorry.  My final read was ‘The Cold Moon’ by Jeffrey Deaver – an author whose inside cover portrait photo is as spooky as many of his stories.  His quadriplegic hero, Lincoln Rhyme is a former forensic type cop who now works from a high tech, home based lab, assisted by his long-suffering aide, Thom and beautiful, but sad, partner Amelia Sachs.  It’s formulaic – the good guys usually win – but always very readable and often surprising.  A ‘yes’ from me.

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