We spent our honeymoon in Fuerteventura. I say honeymoon, but B came along too. We stayed at The Occidental Grand, a huge hotel in the middle of nowhere. A real turn-up and flop-out sort of place: just what we wanted. All the photos are on Flickr.

View around the hotel 2

My first all-inclusive holiday, and I quickly learned the error of my ways when it came to the buffet meals. A couple of times to start with I indulged in my usual pile-it-high method, and came away pretty disappointed. It was then I realised that, even though there is tonnes of food about, you are actually really only meant to eat one meal at a time. Once I figured that out, it was fine.

View around the hotel 1

I managed to get well covered in sunburn on the first day, and indeed my tummy was a particularly excrutiating shade of pink for most of the week.

The sea wasn’t far away, and I spent many a happy hour bobbing about, rolling around on the waves. Had a little fun allowing myself to be submerged by some of the bigger ones, but then it started hurting and wasn’t so much fun after all.


The week went far too quickly, of course, but we all had a fabulous time. Roll on the next one.

Writing Home

Read Alan Bennett’s Writing Home over my holiday – probably, in terms of pages, more than I have read for the entire year previously – and of course it is superb. It’s actually my second reading, the first not really counting because I was about 17, and while I enjoyed it then, it was much, much better coming at it ten years later.

This time I didn’t read it sequentially, rather I dipped in and out choosing the bits I thought most interesting first. I was usually right in my judgment, especially in leaving the bits about growing up in Leeds until last. I liked the diaries much more than I was expecting too – I think I found them long and dull as a youth – and the sections about Miss Shepherd are superb, of course.

Some thoughts:

  • He mentions Kafka and Auden a lot. Larkin too – those three keep cropping up. I’ve read the latter, and will pick it up again (Bennett’s review of Andrew Motion’s Life excellent and a useful companion piece to Amis’ from The War Against Cliche), maybe I should give the others a go.
  • Sometimes you can be too self-deprecating. I felt the need to beat the book and scream “You’re a success Bennett!” If he is moaning about how terribly he is doing, where the hell does that leave us?
  • It made me want to hunt out his other work. I’m reading Talking Heads now and will look at getting his other plays, both stage and screen, from the library or something. Has anyone seen and have thoughts on his television stuff, pre-Talking Heads? Stuff about spies and Kafka. I don’t remember any of it. I guess I was too young.
  • C is reading Untold Stories at the moment, and I’ll grab it as soon as she has finished.
  • Writing Home is a good title for a blog. I’ll take it.

New look, new feel

Things have changed quite a bit on here, largely because of the change in nature of my blog, and the sort of stuff I’m writing about, as well as the fact that I am not adding as much content as I used to.

I have switched theme from my pretty heavily modded Contempt – which was a shame in a way, because I especially liked my rotating header images – to Hemingway, which displays stuff in a quite different way. It’s also cool because we are having a reading from A Farewell to Arms at the wedding! I like it, but it is going to take a bit of tweaking here and there to get it looking just how I want it. I’ve also personalised the title of the site a bit, and used one of my favourite quotes as the sub-header. It’s from Gore Vidal, by the way.

While I am talking about themes and stuff, I must pass on the Firefox theme Mostly Crystal, which is excellent!