"It's summer. Do you take vacations from writing?"
This year is a bad example. (That reminds me of the question my new doctor asked when I moved house in Galloway. He said "Right. Diet. Tell me what you ate yesterday?" I answered "Aww, yesterday's not typical." He said "Yeah, I get a lot of that." Funny guy.)
I haven't had a proper summer holiday for two years now. A proper summer holiday means two weeks, a beach and a tower of books to read. Next year, by hook or by crook, I'm getting one. This year I've had to make do with a writing week here:
a couple of days of parties here:
and some jaunts down to here:
There will be a week-long trip to Scotland with no writing involved too. That might sound like a significant holiday, but it's seven weeks shorter than usual Scotland trips, so again . . . poor me. It's going to take some planning to fit in all the essential pies in just eight days.
Before you dissolve in floods of sympathetic tears, though, I do take a proper winter holiday. Some craz- I mean hard-working American people think Christmas is a day. In my house, Christmas starts the Friday evening before - this year, the 18th of December - and carries on until the Monday after New Year - in this instance, the 4th of January. In that two weeks and three weekends, the email "away from desk" message is on, and life is about a pile of books, a roaring fire, the kind of food that explains Henry VIII's figure and a box-set of something delicious and message-free. I'm thinking Inspector Lewis for Christmas 2015.
Until then, I'll be lucky to get a writing-free weekend. But when I hit send on the manuscript after this one at 5pm on December the 18th, it'll all be worth it.