With my poor sore feet in a disinfecting footbath, after a day of Mother-Care yesterday, I have time to indulge in my holiday memories. (About my next project, "travels with Mum", at a later stage). Luckily, my employer is an angel of patience and is giving me extra slack, so I don't have to feel stressed. Holidays is really a bit of a banal subject - everybody does it, it's always more brilliant than real life and makes for colourful, amusing photos. This one was also an opportunity to reunite with my London "family", to cook together, exchange gossip, read the Guardian, talk about books we are reading. Elizabeth Bishop, a re-discovered american poet, was our "patron saint" with her poem "Questions of travel". Otherwise, Ralph has returned to the "canon" to find out why it is the canon. Currently, he is on a Dickens project. Geraldine read "Housekeeping" by Marilynne Robinson (I remember seeing a strangely affecting film by Mr. Gregory's Girl, Bill Forsyth, based on that book) which she found engrossing and disturbing. Mick had chosen to amuse himself with Carson McCullers "Reflections in a golden eye", a torturous book if ever there was one. American Southern literature is not known for its easy laughs, and this one with women mutilating themselves and men shoving kittens into letterboxes is no different. I had a browse of it and decided no thank you. Debbie gave me her finished copy of "Solace", and her description of it first put me off. But I became engrossed and moved by this - yes, banal - tale of a woman left by her husband and how she painfully heals herself. OK, there is the south of France forever fragrant with herbs and the juicy, dripping figs for breakfast, and the mirror shattered in a fit of rage, but, hey - it is a novel. Next, I am moving on to Dickens, who despite my love for the 19th century English novel I have never read. It remains to be seen if there are any clichés to be found there! Oh - and I read the Rough Guide to Spain and the first book of the Stieg Larssen trilogy - it will remain my last.