Home and away

Exactly one year ago, I was here:

Dining deck, Ocean Majesty

I know this because today is my birthday. I turned 33 on the high seas, and I am turning 34 a day after arriving back from a completely gorgeous trip to Ontario, spent with family old and new as well as some good books and better friends. Due to a lack of planning, the photos are lurking somewhere in my dad’s luggage, but they will make an appearance here and elsewhere soon.

Anyway, it turns out going on holiday around my birthday is a good thing to do, partly because it’s a treat and partly because when people ask me what I’m doing for my birthday I can say “going to Canada”, and thus be relieved of the obligation to hold any kind of a party. I like parties, but I like them best when they’re someone else’s.

The only downside of being away at this time of year is that I miss the start of the football season (do you see how carefully I chose the title of this post?). We started off in fine form with wins against Leicester City in the league and Yeovil in the Cup, then folllowed up with consecutive losses to Barnsley and Ipswich. We usually draw the opening game of the season, but is otherwise a fairly traditional start for us. However, I was cheered by the news (texted to me while I was away, its importance clearly warranting the cost of an international SMS) that Edgar Davids has signed to the club on a pay-per-play basis. That can only be fun.

Anyway, it’s about time for me to go back to bed so that I can shortly be brought breakfast in it. I used to dislike having a birthday at this time of year, because the season is just starting to turn, so my birthday always felt like the end of something. But in recent years I’ve come to realise that the end of summer is also the start of autumn, and autumn has a loveliness of its own. So I’ll take pleasure in today’s grey drizzle and look forward to the leaves changing colour. After all, when that happens, it means it’s nearly Christmas.


Here is my real-life version of the photo I posted last week:

terrace view

I think I spent about half the holiday on this terrace. There is something beautiful about waking up and immediately wandering outdoors in a t-shirt and pants to have a sniff at the weather. I think I need to go and live in a hot country where I can do that every morning. I had a balcony at my flat in Bromley, which I loved and spent a lot of time sitting on, even though it was never very warm, because it was open to the elements in winter and shaded by trees in summer:


Now, living in a second-floor flat with no outdoor space, the only significant time I spend outside on a daily basis is during the walk to the tube across Brockwell Park. It’s nice, but it’s not the same thing at all. I need to go and live in a hot country for at least three months of the year.

Soon, I will blog about Cypriot architecture (briefly, I approve) and the Rough Guide To Cyprus (briefly, I do not approve). In the meantime, the rest of the photos are here.

For a week or two

I am going on holiday tomorrow. To here:

Last night, I dreamed that it was tomorrow morning, and I’d forgotten to print the boarding passes before leaving work. Then I realised, in my dream, that we were flying from King’s Cross, which meant we could print everything at the beloved’s nearby workplace, so it was all alright. Then the alarm went, and I realised we’re not flying from King’s Cross (I think you have to have special permission to fly anything out of N1) but from Gatwick. Shit, I thought: we won’t be able to print the tickets and now we can’t go on holiday. It took a couple of minutes’ early morning panicking before I realised it was still Monday, so I hadn’t missed my chance after all.

I think I really, really need this holiday.

That aside, this Monday morning was better than most, partly because today is my last day at work for a bit and partly because I had accidentally left the radio on Magic FM, which I’d turned over to on Saturday when I was feeling exuberant and in need of something to sing along to. Being woken up by Islands In The Stream is one hundred times less stressful than having to listen to John Humphrys being unnecessarily aggressive at half past seven in the morning. But if I don’t listen to Today, what will I blog about? One to ponder from that terrace over the next few days.