Oh, I’m not going anywhere, not this summer. Too much work, too many projects, too many engagements, too many things to do. There is no conceivable way to do what I did last year: ten days in a little seaside hotel, writing and reading to my heart’s content, only interrupting myself for sleep, meals, and some nordic walking on the beach. I even had a lovely storm once, and sat up through half the night to watch the dark and angry sea… Very nice, on the whole, but when I realised there would be no chance for a repeat this summer, I just shrugged it off. Who needs vacations, I told myself.
But this was back in early June, and now is early August, and I’m not all that sure anymore.
It’s not that I miss the seaside – if anything, last year served as proof that I can live without the Adriatic, and that I like the literary notion of the sea much better than the thing itself – but… but.
There is a tiny pile of books, you see. One is John Masefield‘s Live and Kicking Ned. Then there are Rafael Sabatini‘s The Sea Hawk, Baroness Orczy‘s The Nest of the Sparrowhawk, and a couple of historical mysteries… All of them the sort of summer readings that are a vacation in and of themselves. Books that are the adult equivalent of an afternoon of glorious make-believe – you know the sort.
I came by them at different times through the last six or sevent months, and set them aside. For summer, I told myself. To pack in my bag when – if – I go anywhere. To give myself a treat if I go nowhere at all. A nice notion, don’t you think? Deck chairs in the garden, lemon popsicles, cricket-filled nights of reading in bed… Very nice.
Except, there is no time. Days are too full to indulge – and frankly, there are far too many mosquitos to linger in the garden at all – and reading time is swallowed up by things I need to read for documentation… Which is all very interesting, but not at all restful, and… and yes, I’m really beginning to feel like that vacation now.
But I rather doubt I’ll have it… I’m beginning a summer course tomorrow, and a new translation job just rolled in, and I have a couple of deadlines looming, and then there is the Paper Stage project, and ten days of intense volunteer work await me at the end of August, and what remains of summer looks dreadfully short as it is. I very, very much doubt there’s going to be time for much. Perhaps one little book, if I try hard?
Ah well, Tiny Pile of Summer Books, what can I say? It would have been nice. Next year, perhaps.