Show-off Holiday Post – Fiji

Just to be clear, in the past, I’ve never had two tropical island holidays within one year (or even two, three, four or five years!) and I’m unlikely to be so lucky again… but 2023 has delivered ten days in Hawaii and a week in Fiji. Continue reading

Temper by Phoebe Walker

A few years ago, a friend asked me if I had any regrets. It was obviously a deep question but the fact that one thing came to mind immediately felt telling. And that one thing was that I’d not had the opportunity to live and work in another country. Pre-children, my husband and I had plans to do so, but 9/11 happened, which put an end to his company allowing secondments. Since that time, his work has bound him to Melbourne. But the regret, if you would call it that, was still there and so I’m hatching a plan for the future – it involves a sabbatical year in Germany, some study at a language school and a forest therapy course.

I was thinking about that plan when I read Phoebe Walker’s novella, Temper. The story follows an unnamed narrator over the course of a year, having moved from London to the Netherlands. The narrator’s partner works for a large multi-national organisation and his time in their new city is quickly furnished with after-work drinks and social gatherings with coworkers. The narrator, a freelance writer, spends her days in their flat and her few interactions are incidental (buying groceries or visiting the swimming pool). She feels on the periphery, never finding her place in her new home. Continue reading

20 Books of Summer (except that it’s Winter)

Cathy at 746 Books is hosting the 20 Books of Summer reading challenge again this year. As Cathy explains, it’s the most relaxed reading challenge you’ll participate in (swap books out, change your target, do whatever). The challenge is straightforward – read twenty books between June 1st and September 1st. Continue reading