I'm probably the only person I know who comes back from any holiday actually paler than before I went. I could offer all sorts of explanations (mostly, and correctly, to do with my lavish use of factor 1000 sunscreen) but I prefer to think of it as an "anti-tan" - the hotter the place I go to, the more the sun bleaches me. Possibly, by my own argument, if I spent a week or two in the Arctic Circle over winter I might develop a tan. Stranger things have happened.
Not hugely pale this time, as most of my sun exposure took place in northern France (see sidebar ONE MORE TIME before I take it down with a sigh of regret) and was just a fleeting but celebratory weekend's worth before returning to rainy Blighty. After which I spent a blissful week doing precisely nil, apart from visiting family and reading books* and stuffing my face with the food we had brought back from Rouen**. Am now back at work - and will write something worth reading in a day or two.
* "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" by Stieg Larsson - a housebrick of a Swedish crime thriller but very, very worth reading. Dark, complex, and scary.
"When Will There Be Good News" by Kate Atkinson - one of the perks of working in a bookshop is the availability of proof copies. This is a sequel to her two previous Jackson Brodie novels and worth waiting for.
"Ten-Second Staircase" by Christopher Fowler - I got cross with him a few years ago for rewriting his mad lunatic-genius novel "Darkest Day" (now unavailable) into a rather more ho-hum format to fit the Waterstones-friendly crime series cliché- but this was original, and a goodie.
**walnut bread, garlic sausage, smoked sausage, goat's cheese, ham, duck confit, brief pause while I let belt out a notch or two, Roquefort, purée de marrons, unsalted butter, further brief pause while I lie down.