I returned from holiday yesterday and feel surprisingly refreshed.
Things I learned:
- Monarch airlines are actually rather good. The pilots are good-natured and humorous, the in-flight catering is simple and effective and it is clear that they know how to run an airline: they spend money where it matters and don't bother on the extraneous stuff. My expectations were low and I was pleasantly surprised.
- Spanish moths are even more stupid than British moths. Flying into candles, and becoming immediately entombed in wax, is a pretty universal trait of moths. But flying at a swimming pool (that was lit from beneath), almost drowning, escaping and then immediately jumping straight back in takes the biscuit.
- Driving a diesel Ford Focus with four adults, their luggage and a week's worth of supermarket shopping up a steep hill is not a good idea. When the car grinds to a halt on the steepest section, the clutch starts to make a bad smell and the car starts to roll backwards, you know it's time to consider offloading some items.
Things I enjoyed:
- The stunning view from the villa and the outdoor pool
- Playing mindless games of cards into the night
- Practising my feeble diving skills by fetching berries that had dropped to the bottom of the deep-end
- Drinking stunningly good Rioja for prices less than the duty on a bottle of wine in the UK
- Relaxing: this was intended as a "do nothing... just sit there, read, enjoy the sun" kind of holiday.
- Finally reading Jeremy Paxman's "The English" (which I think I borrowed from Jon... I really must give it back), finishing a couple of Richard Dawkins books (I so wish I'd bothered to read these when I was at school), finding myself spluttering in rage at the first chapter of Francis Wheen's "Mumbo Jumbo" but agreeing with most of the rest of it, giggling through PJ O'Rourke's "Peace Kills" (loads of great quotes of his here: http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/P._J._O'Rourke)
So... back to work tomorrow. I've replicated my mail to make sure there's nothing utterly terrible awaiting me (phew...) but there's still enough that I need to deal with to make tomorrow an interesting prospect.