Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Savouring a little vacation

It's Day 5 of my all too brief summer vacation. So far, so good. There hasn't been much running yet but there's been plenty of time hanging out on beaches, swimming, riding my motorcycle (aka "Patti"), reading, eating great food, and visiting with friends and family.

Last Thursday night, my best friend M. landed in town for the a few days so I took Friday off and after breakfast we headed for Martinique Beach. I'd never been there before and it's truly spectacular - a long long white sand beach with massive waves rolling in from the open Atlantic. It was desperately foggy when we arrived, but an hour or so later, the skies cleared so we could see from one end of the beach to the other.

We spent a very happy few hours walking, sunbathing, snacking and catching up before heading back to the city for the evening. En route, we stopped briefly in Lawrencetown to watch the kitesurfers. I'd never seen so many in one place and they put on quite a show. It was mesmerizing watching them carve back and forth across the small bay beside the main beach.

On Saturday, I dropped M. at another friend's place, and made a beeline for the country to help Husband get the country house ready for an open house on Sunday. We hoped to entice potential buyers to stop in for a look while they were out touring the south shore. Unfortunately, the weather was far too nice for anyone to look at houses so our efforts were for naught. Oh, well, at least the house and garden are tidier, and hopefully some of the many people who drove by en route to the beach will have noticed the sign at least.

I wasted a good part of Sunday evening and Monday reading a trashy novel I borrowed from the library. It was so trashy, I can't even add it to my reading list at the right. It would be far too embarrassing. To be fair, it had its good points. The 45 year old heroine faced realistic challenges with a credible mix of insecurity and confidence, and the hero was a decent human being from the start (rather than a nasty brute transformed by love - a myth perpetuated by far too many writers, IMHO), but the writing was uneven at best, and the over-the-top sex and fairy tale ending, while entertaining, seemed totally implausible.

I'm always astonished at how many badly written novels get published. It seems ridiculous when there are so many truly great writers around. Of course, people have different tastes and a good plot can carry readers a long way but, when the grammar's poor and the characters unbelievable, I generally give up.

For example, I read a book written by a Nova Scotian a few years ago that was so bad it made me gag. Seriously. The heroine (in theory, an intelligent law enforcement type) behaved like a hormonal teenager, falling into bed with one pathetic loser after another, missing every obvious clue to solving the central mystery of the story. Despite my irritation, I finished it out of a misguided sense of loyalty to local authors but have been annoyed with myself ever since. Life's too short to read badly written fiction.

Fortunately, the book I picked up after the book-that-shall-not-be-named, "The Family Tree" by Sheri S. Tepper, is excellent so far. I've been a Tepper fan for years but haven't read one of her books in ages. Like the others of hers I've read, this book has well-developed characters, inventive plot twists and insightful commentary on the state of humankind so I'm thoroughly enjoying it.

I plan to spend a good part of today hanging out at the house. After a few days on the beach and a fair bit of socializing, I'm in need of some down time on my own. When I sign off here, I'll retreat to my little room upstairs for a few hours of painting. It's been ages since I painted so it may be frustrating but I'm determined to give it a go. At worst, it will inspire me to jump on Patti and head back to the beach this afternoon.

Speaking of Patti, I had a lovely ride Sunday afternoon. The weather was perfect so, en route to Risser's Beach, I took a short detour to Bush Island to take a few photos. I didn't get any shots I really liked but it felt good to spend a time with my camera. Hopefully, I'll find more time for photography in the next few days. I'm still trying to figure out how to use my new 35mm lense.

If nothing else, I'd like to get a few more shots of these cuties.

With that, it's time I signed off. It's shaping up to be another beauty of a day.

Happy running and writing, friends!

1 comment:

  1. Yup, Martinique is on the list for sure for next time! One of the panels at WWC detoured into moaning about Dan Brown, and 50 shades of tripe selling a bazillion copies. I think readers should get a tax credit for every published book they buy.