Tag Archives: Holiday packing

Summer Holiday Reading

14 Jul

I absolutely HATE packing. I know that deciding what to wear on holiday should be fun. but it’s the run-up to actually putting things in the case that I hate. Do I have enough? Does that still fit? Can I actually go to the shops and not just buy clothes for the kids? Our baggage allowance is what?

It is getting easier though – for a start there’s only 4 of us going away instead of the usual 5. (Will be weird, but cheaper without No1 son, who has already been away with his pals, but my mum is trying to make me feel guilty that I’m not taking him.)  Kids 2&3 are old enough to pack themselves, but need to keep a wee eye on them after No3 turned up in Brussels in October with no jacket – it was -2 degrees. To be fair to him, we’d never been abroad except in the summer, so he didn’t really compute that it might be cold.

But what I do love about packing, is choosing what I’m going to read on holiday. Because we’re not going with ElCheapo Airlines, like we usually do, I’m going to sneak in a few paperbacks as well as a Kindle (I’ve finally realised that the Nook, while a nice ereader, getting almost impossible to buy books for. And my sister-in-law was upgrading her Kindle, so I got the old one.)

Lovely man in the local Waterstones gave my kids great recommendations, although we realised that we already had quite a few of the books they were suggesting. I bought the lovely Maggie Ritchie’s new novel Looking for Evelyn (Maggie is a G2 Writer, but I missed her book launch. Did make the launches of two compadres’ launches – Kevin Scott’s Dead Cat Bounce, and Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine). Rest of the holiday reading is coming from the book shelves, and looks like this.

DSC_0190

And from the Kindle: Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry; Holding by Graham Norton; and CJ Sansom’s Revelation. A bit of a mixed bag, I know, but that’s the great thing about uninterrupted reading time – you get to put the mind to Umberto Eco and chill with Graham Norton.

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Holiday Packing

20 Jul

One of my pet hates is packing for holidays. Don’t get me wrong – I love holidays, I adore holidays, I want to be on holiday all the time, but I really hate packing.

My husband travels quite a bit with work so has packing down to a fine art and can’t understand why I get so stressed. Maybe it’s the weeks of preparation – do the kids have clothes and sandles to fit; will last year’s trunks do or I need to drag my boys to the shops; can I stand another trip to New Look with my daughter; do we have all the medication we will require for two weeks?

In theory things are easier now – the kids are more or less old enough to pack for themselves, and there are always shops where we’re going (no matter how prepared I am, we rarely/never have a family holiday without a trip to the pharmacy). I’ve also found that having a large glass of wine before I even reach for my case really helps with the stress levels. This year I’m packing over two, if not three days, which I think might be a good idea, so staying sober, and taking things in stages.

After the clothes and toiletries are packed (books always go in first), I’ve taken a wee bit of time to think about what I might achieve writing-wise on holiday. I’m not taking my computer, so writing huge chunks of my novel is not going to happen – it is a holiday after all. But writing gives me pleasure, and having some time to indulge is wonderful, so I’ve packed my Mslexia and Writing Magazine, my notebook and a couple of writing maps from Write Around Town. I’ve also noted down written prompts from the photos of on Creative Writing Ink – in case I can’t see them on my phone in the bright Portuguese sun.

So I’m hoping for a few flash pieces, maybe a short story and some notes/scenes for my novel.

Note to Burglars (from a paranoid blogger): I’ve scheduled this to appear after I’m home, so no coming round trying to rob me.

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