I’m going on holiday. I’ll be away and then I’ll return, probably tired, but hopefully sun-kissed and relaxed. I can’t quite decide whether to pack one pair of flip flops or two. If we were going to Tennessee again, I’d definitely pack two. But we’re going to Winchester. Maybe one pair’s enough.

I’ve learned, the hard way, that a holiday is a holiday and not a time for hard work or achievement. The principles of  relaxation and attention on your loved ones and personal achievement clash spectacularly if you try to combine them. Each to their own, they are laudable and create happiness. Together, they are a guilt and stress cocktail that ensure that you come home frazzled and dissatisfied with yourself, your work, and the people you wanted to spend time with.

I say I’ve learned.

I’m writing this to the irritating sound of my printer printing the last two thirds of the first-ish draft of my novel. I am really, really close to finishing the thing but I need another read-through. Not of the whole novel, this time, just the bits less polished or missing.

Yes. I’m taking my manuscript on holiday. And I intend to read it. But it’s OK:  there are no goals associated with the print-out, no expectations.

I just packed sticky index notes (in fluorescent colours). Still. No expectation. I know better.

This is a holiday.