The destination for our family holiday was Edinburgh. We stopped in Stratford-upon-Avon so that we could use the hotel reservation and theatre tickets cancelled earlier in the year due to exam revision pressure. (I’m pleased to say that my daughter got two As and a B in her A levels and will be going to study history and American studies at Nottingham University). We saw Troilus and Cressida at the Swan which I enjoyed but my husband thought it pretentious and my son wanted to slit his throat rather than go back in after the interval. The interpretation was baffling with the Trojans represented as North American Indians and the Greeks as desert soldiers and there was a transvestite for the fool. In addition, there were TV screens around the stage showing footage of Inuit cultural traditions interspersed with Hollywood movies. Now that was a little confusing, particularly when the actors watched the screens and replicated the actions. Overall the family gave it the thumbs down, as did The Guardian, and you can read review here.
We stopped for a few days in Cumbria with our friends the Huggetts and managed to visit the lakes, Beatrix Potter’s home and spent a day at the seaside. The weather was wonderful and the company great. Our first night in Scotland was in Glasgow and we had breakfast in the Willow Tea Rooms which boasts an interior designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and serves a splendid Scottish breakfast. Following a visit to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum (there’s a fascinating and brave section on Glasgow life) we drove to Edinburgh where we stayed in a Stockbridge flat for the rest of our holiday. There’s so much to do in Edinburgh in August. I booked a few events at the Edinburgh Book Festival including talks by Monique Roffey (I loved her book ‘White Woman on a Green Bicycle’) and Alexander McCall Smith. There were also lots of free readings and one evening I attended a live music and literature session titled The Big Time Sexuality Show. Plenty of entertainment there – and I’m reminded to flag up a piece I wrote for Luscious, a collection of flash fiction about sex and relationships – you can see my contribution here (click on ‘look inside’).The children decided what we should visit from the fringe programme and the highlight was Mark Grist, Rogue Teacher, a spoken word poet who became famous for a rap battle that appeared on You Tube. To get a better feel for his work, I suggest you watch ‘I like a girl who reads’. Stay with it after the first few lines – one for all you teachers to motivate students.
Dare I now admit that the end of the summer holiday is almost upon me? I’m having a shorter school summer holiday this year as I’ve accepted an acting post for two terms which has meant going into the office for two days already. I haven’t worked full time for twenty years so I’m wondering how I will cope, particularly as I need to keep on track with my writing. I’m still working on the pdf for my collection of short stories and flash fiction titled Four Buses. Sixty copies will be printed as my prize for coming first in the Slim Volume, Small Edition competition at the Winchester Writers’ Conference in June. That said, I’m also waiting for the return of my manuscript Manipulation which is currently with a reader from the Romantic Novelists’ Association. No doubt they’ll be lots of improvements to make when that lands on the doormat. I also want to keep up to speed with my blog and continue to write flash fiction, particularly as I’m delivering a workshop on that very subject at the National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE) conference in November. On top of all that, the holiday was so stimulating, I’ve come back with a million ideas I want to work on.
So much for the holidays – I hope you enjoy what’s left of yours.