No more smart work clothes, eating lunch in my car, traipsing along farm tracks up on Dartmoor in the pouring rain, driving miles and miles in a day, catching horrible bugs in doctor's surgeries, going to meetings that bored the socks off me, no more NHS managers, no more missing the summer in the garden. There could be drawbacks I suppose... like perhaps not actually seeing people and babies, or pining for the pit bull terriers that sit on your lap and drool all over your trousers, or feeling lonely because you're not in an office having a laugh... except we use skype as our office and we do laugh a lot. But I'm dealing with lots of very sad things, and words are all I have to work with, so I have to remind myself to take a break from work every so often and recharge the batteries, which is what I'm doing for the next two weeks.
No plans to stray far from home or blog and lots of lovely things penciled in the diary, including a visit from Mrs KFC and friends from Canada which we are more than over-excited about. They will be staying at a nearby 'very nice hotel' and we shall be serving Devon cream tea on the verandah because how can we not. It's also the annual village Cherry Fair whilst they are here, so if Canada wishes to witness traditional English village mayhem with a good old rural wellie-throwing contest and Guess the Weight of the Cake we will be able to oblige.
It's a very scaled down Dartington for me this year because for reasons various ( to do with publicity and marketing requirements) I have declined the kind offer of six free tickets, and will be paying my own way just like the old days. I am planning to see Per Peterson whose latest novel The Curse of the River of Time I have just finished, Charlotte Moore speaking about Hancox, Lyndall Gordon on Emily Dickinson, Jon McGregor speaking about Even the Dogs and Carol Drinkwater... the first Mrs Herriot in the TV series All Creatures Great and Small and now the author of the very successful Olive Farm series. Carol has very kindly done a lovely dovegreyreader asks... for us which will be on here soon, and I'm really looking forward to meeting her next week.
I will hopefully be getting to Port Eliot again this year too.
I was very generously offered carte blanche for a dovegreyreader event which I'm embarrassed to say I declined in a bit of a panic and a sudden dearth of imagination (chicken...but next year I wonder about a knitting tent...or a quilting tent..) but I will be blogging around the festival and Offspringette may come along and blog about all the noisy things.
I meanwhile am very much looking forward to the Persephone Tea with Diana Athill, Margaret Drabble will be speaking too and you can be very sure I won't miss the new Flower Show which sounds quite amazing. I've been sent a sneak preview of Michael Howell's designs for the set and it's fabulous, with a fantastic line up of events all set in the Orangery. This includes Alice Oswald's mother, gardener Mary Keen, talking about Growing Alice's Flowers and with recorded poetry readings by Alice....bliss and much more about that soon.
But even though we're not going away, it's holiday time and I need holiday reading so I've been having a gaze around the shelves because it would be a good time to settle down with a chunkster of a book.
I still haven't read A Place of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel so that might make the cut if I fancy a bit of French Revolution.
Seeing Peyton Place by Grace Metalious on Simon's selection for the NTTVBG Summer Reads reminds that I have it and have been meaning to, so I might.
This next one might not make for holiday reading, but arriving in the post another book which had me jumping up and down with excitement, others may not see it as quite so exciting but it's my sphere and I can't wait to read it, The Mind of the Child - Child Development in Literature, Science and Medicine, 1840-1900 by Sally Shuttleworth and published by Oxford University Press.
So that's enough to keep me going, how about you...any good holiday reads lined up?