Tuesday 18 September 2012

Feeling stuffed

Not as in had it, but as in having it all. After months of famine, it's feast time again, publication-wise: last week stories in the Press on Monday, Herald on Tuesday and DomPost on Wednesday. And today two in the Herald, the prime spots of Page 3 (Samantha Fox territory!) and the central dps, as we in the trade call it. Double-page spread. Er, that makes it sound like Sam Fox again. I don't know why it works this way, but it always does. People start saying, "Are you still doing that travel writing thing?" and then, when there's been a flurry, swap to a slightly disparaging, "I keep seeing your name everywhere".

And the travel is the same. I had a South American tour at the end of March, followed by five weeks in Europe just a fortnight later - and then, nothing. For nearly four months. Nothing but sitting on the sofa with a cat at each elbow, tapping away day after day. But that famine's almost over now, too: next Friday I'm away to Portugal for 10 days, then back on a Sunday and off again on the Monday to the Cooks with scarcely enough time in between to wash my smalls. After that, back for four days and then away to Viet Nam for another 10 days - and that's October taken care of. Goodness knows how the cats will cope; and I'm a bit worried about myself to be honest. Plus I'll be spending my entire birthday on a plane. In Economy! Sob.

Thank goodness the one in the middle is an actual holiday: nothing to do but lie on the beach, snorkel, go on a boat trip across the world's most beautiful lagoon, eat, read and sleep. What a treat! The sort of thing, in fact, that's the whole purpose of all the stories I've been writing. Go away, take some time off, relax, experience something different. It's what ordinary people (that's you: no slight intended) do several times a year. I can't remember the last time I did that. It's going to be a real novelty. But first, I'm off with the notebook and camera, flying Business with Emirates on the A380 to Dubai again, and then Lisbon. Yay!

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