Every holiday, I get myself an easy holiday read. A bit of escapism, really. Last Christmas, it was Stephenie Meyer (don't judge). Throughout the year it's been Kathy Lette (that woman is my idol) and this holiday it's Kate Atkinson.
It's just that (and now I'm going to show my age) books just aren't made the way they used to be. I'm not talking about the writing. No, the world is littered with masters of word and wit. Take Kathy Lette, for example. She is solely responsible for my weakened bladder and my six pack. God, that woman is funny.
No, it's the way they're bound. They're just not designed to endure seaside, poolside or riverside reading. The slightest mention of water and these new-age weeny books fall apart at the spine. They quake and shiver, and shed their leaves the moment they're removed from their comfortable bedroom and toilet habitat. They seriously need to harden up. Because their weakness is beginning to impact on my life, and that's just not cricket.
I'll admit, okay, that I am a snob (stop judging, snobs are people too). But I judge books by their covers, and their pages, and their ability to keep themselves together under trying times. And "Behind The Scenes At The Museum" just hasn't cut it. Look Kate Atkinson has taken me on some kind of an emotional rollercoaster - the woman is gifted. But BTSATM only lasted until page 398. And I'm on holiday.
The book is in five pieces. And it's not like we lost all our tennis balls so decided to restage a family Wimbledon tournament with it. But I'm certainly not prepared to battle each night to get some kind of order before attempting to read. As I've said, I'm on holiday and I've usually had a unit or six before hitting the sack. Under such conditions, The Pant is ill-equipped to order pages by number. I'm no good at numbers at the best of times.
So - and this is a true confession - last night I read the You magazine. Really, I know I'm a snob, but the You magazine has its place. And I read from cover to cover.
I learnt a whole bunch of useless stuff: binge drinking can make you more susceptible to HIV/AIDS because of associated risky behaviour. Duh! Being a total slapper also makes you more likely to contract HIV/AIDS. It's in the sex, really, and not the booze; tea has as much caffeine in it as coffee (duh!); how to make "christmas trees" out of post-its and a mirror (not really a tree, then, is it?).
And I did learn something else, and I'm trying to put it into action from today onwards. I am going to try and live in this moment, and pay little attention to what has happened or what may happen in the future.
It's hard. Believe me.
An American flirted with me on the beach today (he was in a speedo, I was definitely not interested). And the first thing I thought of was how this guy held no candle to Larry. Then I shed a (v small) tear.
I think this "living in the moment" thing is going to take some practice. And a few lifestyle changes. Like I'm going to have to tear down the Lauryn Hill quote on my mirror when I get home ("Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, although them again we will never never trust"). Oops. Future thinking. Bad Pant.
I'm just hoping that life presents many more moments like this in which to live. I'm bikini-clad, lying in the African sun, nibbling on salmon sashimi and sipping on chilled Springfield Life From Stone.
This is a moment in which I could live a thousand times over.
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