Sunday 7th August 2011
HUSH, not a word. I’m going to tell you about the very best place in the whole wide world for a holiday. Because this location is so special, I don’t want anyone to know where it is – though I have hidden its name in the next few lines, for those of you who enjoy cracking codes.
Years ago, as a foolhardy writer set on a career in comedy, I penned the following:
JOHN: He’s on holiday. Majorca, I think. Or was it Minorca?
MAX: It’s probably Minorca. Nobody goes to Majorca these days; it’s too crowded. They all go to Minorca instead, being smaller and less well known.
While distance from madding crowds is essential, proximity to home is important too. I have no passport, no desire to sight-see, and prefer the town where I live to any other city or village in the UK. That’s why I reside here.
But I also love the sea.
My younger daughter, a close friend and I spent three days last week in somewhere akin to paradise. The sun shone, which, admittedly, it doesn’t always in that part of the world; other beach visitors entertained without intruding; white horses welcomed our plunging into the ocean; cockle-shells and grasses adorned our Chinese sand palace; the ice-creams were delicious; we teased each other magnificently.
Am not at all sure, however, what those passing-by kids made of our stick race – the climax to an hour’s spade-work excavating a winding channel, down which, when fed from the dam we had created, floated a flotilla of small craft, providing the most stylish exhibition of water play.
One morning, while I had a long coffee and our friend a long bath, my daughter set off to climb a rocky headland knoll, visible from the garden where we were staying. I could just make out her tiny silhouette on the summit. A text message followed:
“It’s amazing up here! I can’t describe how stunning and beautiful the views are. Lift my breath up to the sky, let the sun and stars hear that I am whole…”
I’ve stopped trying to write comedy. I borrow other people’s poetry instead.