Tuesday, 10 August 2010


I started writing about staycations a week ago when faced with a fortnight with nothing much to do. Kids gone to festivals, and apart from one day's work, my diary was empty. So since we’re not going away this month, I decided to attempt a staycation. In my own home.

Here are some of the things I did the first week. Stay in bed late. Have a long bath in the morning. Paint my toenails. Check out 20 books and dvds from the Library. Go back to bed in the middle of the day. Walk around town, slowly, looking in shops I don’t normally look in. Sit in a cafe, with the papers. Have a cranial treatment. Have lunch with a friend. Fall asleep on the sofa with a hot water bottle and a book, in the daytime. Spend a whole day on my allotment. Drop in on a friend. Cook a different recipe every day from Ottam Ollenghi’s brilliant vegetarian cookbook Plenty. Spend an afternoon sitting by my bees. Scrump plums from the Landport and make plum jam. 

Here are some of the things I didn’t do: turn off the phones. Turn off the computer. Stop doing the chores. Get sidetracked into a drama. So one week in and I'm not doing that well. Holiday is a state of mind, but a very difficult one to achieve.
And now I’ve had a holiday forced on me. Our router has gone bust; it’ll take ten days to get back online. And I’m setting off this afternoon on a walkabout, with my daughter Sophia. We’re taking sleeping bags, bivvy bags and a stash of food and water. We’re turning left out the door, left up the river towards the Ashdown Forest and, ultimately, Forest Row. We’ll sleep when tired and eat when hungry. I'm looking forward to it.

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