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Showing posts from August, 2013

The Quarry by Iain Banks

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Iain M Banks was pretty much my favourite SF author these days. So I was sad to hear of his illness a few months ago. I read one of his non-SF books (written under the name Iain Banks in case you're not up on that detail), The Bridge. I really didn't like it, but persevered to the end in case it got better. It didn't. I started another one, I forget which, and abandoned it.

I bought The Quarry, a non-SF book, as a tribute to him, and was pleasantly surprised to find that I enjoyed it. The main character's father is dying of cancer and so I couldn't help but read it with the assumption that he knew he was dying as he wrote it. Indeed when I researched it I found out that this appeared to be true (via Wikipedia).

I'm not really good at book reviews, so go follow the links above to get an idea what it's about. There's strong language and philosophising but I think you'll find it will make you think.

How to pace your holiday well

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When I was around ten years old I went on a holiday that was so great that I was really sad when I got home. After that I was determined never to be so sad again. As time goes by previous holidays are beginning to fade into a kind of blur. What is getting better though is that I am getting better at pacing my expectations of the way the holiday goes.

There are three phases to the holiday.

1. Wind-down This is where you gradually wind-down from the normal pace of life. This really can’t happen until you’ve had at least 24 hours somewhere, so you can get used to the rhythms and routines of your holiday destination. If you’re like me you may find yourself worrying and checking to see how wound down you are. Of course, getting wound up about winding down is self-defeating.

As well as getting used to your location there may also be getting used to the people you are spending holiday with. They may be your nuclear family who you see at evenings and weekends, or it may be extended family or…