Chilling in the sun (really)

I am not, in general, someone who likes lounging around in the sun. For one thing, as whatever the male equivalent of an English rose is, unless I am caked in suncream, drink gallons, and cool down frequently, then I can’t tolerate it at all.  For another, it seems such a waste of time to do nothing.  But, since I was outvoted three to one, biking across the UK got vetoed (torpedoed might be more apposite – the idea was holed below the waterline and sunk without trace almost immediately, with the only serious discussion being about my sense of judgement for what constituted a holiday).

So, we are in Faro, Portugal, firmly in the sun, and currently lounging around the rooftop hotel pool … and quite against my basic beliefs about lounging around, I am enjoying it.  I love reading, and the chance to get through a book each day is great (A decently shady sun-lounger is also a necessity).  I suspect I’ll get edgy and want to be on with things in a day or two, but for now, it’s nice to chill.

On books, I can heartily recommend ‘Anansi Boys’ by Neil Gaiman.  One of very few books where I couldn’t predict much about the way the story would unfold for much of the book.  Sa is also loving it, and it’s pretty rare that we like the same stuff.  I also finally got round to reading ‘The Hippopotamus’ by Stephen Fry – I’ve had it for ages, but lost it until now. Also loved that, both for the story and the elegently interleaved social observation.  In a moment of complete foolishness, I only brought two books, so I’m now on beg mode.  ‘Pushing Ice’ by Alastair Reynolds, which I borrowed from Al (it’s lovely to have kids old enough to read proper books) was less good.  The basic story has the makings of being great, with as much focus on the psychology as the science fiction .. . but the psychology felt very superficial, the situations weren’t terribly well developed, and those bits that then worked well felt let down by the rest.  Having started, it was worth finishing, but I don’t think it’s one I’ll be looking at again.  Not up to the standard of ‘Revelation Space’.  Now I’m about to read ‘Small Gods’ by Terry Pratchett which I remember as one of his best books – and at his best, Pratchett’s humour is not only properly funny but acutely well observed.

But first, time for a convivial lunch in the old town.

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