The holiday starts here


Well, the girls are back at school and the really serious countdown to exams has begun. Every day I’m told, ‘that’s my last ever X lesson’, or ‘only eight more days before study leave’. I hope they’ll be well prepared when the dread day is finally upon us all but, as they spend their revision time exclusively in their rooms, I have no idea really how much work is going on – and how many hours are being spent watching You Tube films of goats falling out of trees.

I wouldn’t blame them in the slightest if they did get distracted from memorising the themes of The Tempest or discussing the use of the subjunctive in French. Whenever I need to get down to work, I’m amazed at the chores which have somehow become deeply compelling, from clearing out the garage (again) to trying to remove limescale from the taps (impossible). When I was doing my finals at uni, I could not even contemplate sitting down to work until I’d eaten an entire packet of shortbread biscuits. Even now, when I’m gearing up to start a writing project, I clean the house from top to bottom and back again. I suppose the idea is that I won’t get distracted by mundane household matters once the starting pistol has been fired. Either that, or I am procrastinating for Britain.

At the moment, I’m lucky. The girls are calm and the mood is of gathering anticipation, but not panic. But I am thinking increasingly wistfully of holidays. I think that’s because I’d really like to be on one, now, that lasts until, oh, the end of June. Sadly, it’s not possible. Thank goodness, though, that Yankee Candles has just brought out a summer holiday range, with names like Island Time, Island Spa and Tropical Cooler, with heavenly wafts of carefree summer smells. As the girls work away upstairs, I shall bide my time and take deep, tropically scented breaths.

island time

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