“Truant”

I am tidy.orange dustpan
I bet I am the only person you know who used to enter her place of work (radio newsroom) and clear up before she began to work – taking the dirty dishes back to the canteen, wrapping to discard leftover food, stacking old newspapers, press releases and other written material for which there was a pile – excuse me, a mountain.  I can’t think in a mess.
So if you saw my flat now you’d know, something is up …

There are clean clothes everywhere, an open suitcase in the office and a bag beside it I am trying not to fill. cheap-winter-clothes And the shirt I bought when I was channelling Michelle Obama doesn’t iron well and the air is full of muttered curses and starch …
Listen, I am going on holiday for the first time in some years, to a Greek island I haven’t been to.  With a friend.  A gay friend.

I can’t write in advance, though I may well tell stories afterwards.
It is, as they say, an interesting time to be going to Greece.
I have invested in makeup I have never heard of.  Two lots of samples later I was sufficiently impressed to invest in a travel kit.  Watch this space. Last time I went away with Wal I had my upper lip threaded and looked like a Dalmation with hives i.e pink and lumpy.

Wal is spoken for and I am out of circulation.  So, thank heaven, he won’t care about me in a swimsuit.   Perhaps you remember Suddenly Last Summer in which the lovely young woman (E Taylor) encourages the young men of the resort so that her cousin (M Clift at his most tormented and sexually convoluted) can drool and pick?

This is exactly the opposite.

My problem with holidays is that I have in the past idealised them.vintage-glamour

In my mind’s eye I see myself drifting down the terrace …who am I kidding?
Drifting is for less earthbound creatures than I.
In my mind’s eye and aided by a lifetime’s exposure to the camera, I see myself posed, hair just so, clothes just so – it all comes of a lifetime of believing that if you could think like a model, you could look like one and I now know I cannot.

I laughed aloud when I looked for a picture of dugong,dugong a weirdly appealing sea mammal widely supposed to have inspired the legend of the mermaid.  The first one I found had the same name as a long ago much loved Israeli boyfriend.

So this little effort is larded with every kind of swimwear (except me in mine or Wal in his) beautiesand the hope that you will come back and see me next week, telling me and showing me stories of you and holidays, silly happy memories from buckets and spades on up.

I know it is said that “a week is a long time in politics” but you and I both know that time is elastic.
If you are unhappy, it may be fast and sharp like the cut of a knife, or it may drag on forever till you think that the tunnel you’re trapped in has no end.
Or you may be so happy that the golden days string out like bubbles light and multicoloured into a future you can’t imagine.  Or you may have just a moment of
pure and beautiful joy.

A week may be a long time and it may be the blink of an eye.

I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours.
See you soon.  pine tree shadow

4 responses to ““Truant”

  1. Have a fantastic holiday!

  2. Have a great time.

    I have a penchant for Greece as I went to many islands as a teenager and eventually did a Greek night school course. I got so much more out of the holidays as the already friendly Greeks loved my efforts.

    I recently went to Athens for the first time. As I got off the efficient train at the spotless station there were lots of boarded up shops and buildings, streets full of grafitti and run down. The cheap budget hotel was anything but. Athens was so cheap and all the main sites are fabulous. The Atheniens are very welcoming and working hard to keep afloat but I could sense the desperation behind the smiles. I feel sorry for them. I really hope the economy improves.

    I visited the Chelsea pensioners for the first time yesterday on a regular visit to London and they were incredibly friendly and very cheeky! True gentlemen and Britain’s most eligible bachelors.

    A week in North Wales last month took me back to my roots and I felt so proud.

    Poland is amazing and restored my faith in human nature. Albania is a wonderful, friendly village place full of curious Albanians and eccentricities.

    Travel does broaden the mind and gave me confidence travelling on my own. I didn’t realise how brave or capable I could be.

    Hope you and your friend really enjoy and look forward to reading all about it! Safe journey.

  3. James coupland

    Have great holiday anna you deserve it

  4. Enjoy!
    My trip to Greece included a wedding and baptism. By pure chance the wedding photos were being taken in our hotel grounds, I helped out when the brides flowers came adrift and then got invited to the reception. Our favorite restaurant seemed full to overflowing, the Manager recognized us and invited us to the baptism reception of his nephew, Friendly lot them Greeks!

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