Friday, August 11, 2006
Back From Cyprus
While it is excellent to be home - and I mean really, truly, excellent - I can honestly say that the last two weeks in Cyprus were superb. We had a totally relaxing holiday; lots of rest, food and drink, and of course lots of play and shenanigans.
Our flight out went like a dream. We got to the airport with no problems, checked in quickly and the flight took off on time. We arrived in Paphos with a roasting hot afternoon sun waiting for us, which remained for the duration. I can't remember ever seeing a cloud for the entire time we were there.
The hotel in Limassol was way better than we were expecting. It turned out the complex was an 'all-inclusive' place, so it didn't take long for us to work out that an upgrade from self-catering saved us money and gave us access to all the food and drink we could eat. Bad news for the waistlines, but good news for the pocket.
The pool was superb and the hotel entertainment excellent. Laura made loads of pals, which left me and Gail plenty of time to make our own friends and spend time relaxing with no worries. And it was while resting on a sun-lounger by the pool that I hit with an idea. I had taken out my notebook to scribble down some minor ideas, when the poems started to come. Before long I had a couple of dozen and by the end of the fortnight I had almost 70 poems drafted in my notebook.
And so very soon, I intend to publish my fourth chapbook of poetry. No photography this time (perhaps, as it was a family holiday, I'll have to see), but lots of funny verse and contemplatory poetry. It will be called, Poolside Poetry and other Tales of Cyprus. No dates as yet as there is a lot of work to do, but I think it will make a good read and follow-up to Fringe Fantastic.
I did a lot of reading too. I began with Oracle Night by Paul Auster. It was a brilliant story and a true Auster novel, taking me on a thought-provoking journey about identity and the lives we choose to lead. I then moved onto a Rankin novella, Death Is Not The End, which was easy to read and a very enjoyable mini-thriller. I then re-opened The Outsider by Albert Camus. Gail had just finished it and I couldn't resist another read at it. I found it more compelling the second time round, and although I already knew the character and outcome, it was still gripping and sad.
We never went on any major trips while we were there. A trip to a Flea Market, which turned out to be a bit of a flop, but it was interesting from the point of view of character ideas (some of the people!). We went to Fassouri Waterpark with a couple of families we met from Fife. It was a great day out on the flumes and rides, but I suffered my worst shoulder burns during the trip.
I faired not too badly in the sun overall. Although it was around 100 degrees most days, I made sure my Factor 30 was regularly topped up and that plenty of after-sun was applied in the evenings. I do have a slight "browness" to my skin, but not as much as Gail who can develop a great tan under the rays.
Coming home was a bit of a disaster. No sooner had the transfer bus pulled up at the airport than we were being told of the minimum five hour delay ahead of us due to a technical problem with the plane, which was still berthed at Glasgow Airport. It took almost two hours to check in, due to staff shortages and a power-cut in the terminal, then two missing passengers and a missed take-off slot meant we had sat in the airport for over eight hours before we took off. It was a nightmare.
My Dad collected us from the airport and kindly drove us back home to Leith. Waking up in our own bed was a luxury after the hell we had endured, but it could have been so much worse had we been flying home on a later date. No sooner had I got up this morning, I started hearing about the terror plots and subsequent knock-on delays to all airports in the UK. We missed it all by a couple of hours, quite literaly.
And so it has been a great two weeks. The sun has gone for now and the reality is I will be back at work on Monday. I can hardly wait (sic), but there is still much to be done on other matters. There is the Fringe Festival, which is now underway, and therefore all the prep work I did before I left, has to be put into action.
There is also the revision work I was in the middle of as well as the submission of Hunting Jack and Stella to publishers and agents, as well as all my other smaller projects.
My email address was postponed by my ISP because of size constraints while I was away, so if anyone has emailed my since July 31st can you resend please and I will get back to you. I knew I should have checked my email while I was away!
No rest for the wicked - so to speak!