Generally, I like to stay at home with a nice cup of tea and my laptop, attempting to think literary thoughts while watching Gilmore Girls reruns. But once in a while I like to sleep in a tent, build a campfire, and locate a hill to yomp up (or down: down is nice) – and since my sister T likes to do that sort of thing too, off we went. Zion, Bryce, Grand Canyon (plus a little Las Vegas on the side for, erm, sleeping in, mostly). 2 small Welsh ladies with great big backpacks. 109°F. Rucksack-eating squirrels. Thunderstorms and tent floods. Possibly my summer holiday this year involved more lizards, pit latrines, heat exhaustion and Barry Manilow than the average, but – I’ve hiked the Grand Canyon. Lifetime ambition achieved. Blimey.
Sincerely, it’s taken me so long to update because it’s hard to stop myself evangelising: the extraordinary, almost dusty-seeming night sky in canyon; the sobering effect of being in a place where humans are so plainly ill-equipped interlopers; the sense of pushing yourself absolutely to the edge of what you think you’re capable of. It makes it sound like torture, but it was the best holiday ever.
Of course, I maintained my usual devastating commitment to style while I did it. Mhmm. Foxy, no?
All the Pretty Horses, Cormac McCarthy, because it seemed appropriately sweaty and knackered. Stupendous – plus my copy is now shredded mess of unpeeling pages, which I’ll forever remember reading at Phantom Ranch, ankle-deep in the creek, as the mule train passed in pink cowboy hats and sunburn. Now I’m back to rain and Blighty, it’s Josephine Tey’s The Franchise Affair (I literally woke myself up with wanting to reread it), which is even more well-written than I remembered.
I am PLANNING. Please give me a gold star, because I’m usually repulsively lazy when it comes to this bit – but what I have in mind needs to be a lovely tightly-knotted unfurlable thing. I’m already ridiculously excited about it all. It’s like Heathers with ice-cream. And, um, fewer murders. OK, it’s not at all like Heathers. ICE-CREAM, though! Evil ice-cream. Oh yes.
Lying on the floor while my back decides to conk out; having a glorious time eating fry-ups with my writing group and plotting Italian shenanigans; loving District 9.