Thursday, 26 February 2009

"I was a holiday vampire" confesses local bookseller


Hurrah for the hols, as the Famous Five were prone to saying with irritating regularity. I have 22 books, factor 50 sunblock and a selection of garments that more or less approximate a burkha. All I ask is a profoundly shaded seating area with an ashtray the size of a bucket and a relentless stream of waiters bearing ice-cold Chang beer. Yes, on Saturday Mr Fishwife and I will be struggling to Heathrow with our gigantic and overweight suitcases (mine = books, his = diving gear). In our separate and characteristic ways we have been preparing for this departure for weeks. I panic-buy local currency, usually at a vastly inferior rate of exchange to the one I'd have got at the Bangkok airport ATM, and fill my suitcase with books so I'm not tempted to read them before the holiday. Mr F spends every night poring over the long-range weather forecasts, establishes that there will be heavy thundershowers DIRECTLY OVER OUR HOTEL for the entire duration of the holiday, and sulks. And this is before he decides that we are heading into an area of Political Unrest and will be unable to get home due to coup-related airport closures (suits me fine). Invariably I forget my nuclear-blast-proof sunblock and have to buy it locally (you'd have thought with my leprous pallor I'd be forewarned, but this has in fact happened twice).


HOWEVER. All of the above being equal, I am looking forward to two full weeks of blissfully uninterrupted reading. Eating things with indecent amounts of chilli in/on them. Not feeling guilty about drinking cocktails midweek. Getting up early with a smile on my face because I can devote my whole day to deciding what to read and where to have a huge plate of Pad Thai for lunch. My only obligation being to vacate the room for a polite length of time while somebody else makes the bed. Wandering about barefoot or in flip-flops. WARMTH. Seeing the joy of Mr Fishwife as he slowly turns the colour of Ikea Billy shelving (beech veneer option).

Below please find the song that will be on a permanent loop in my head. I apologise for the unnecessary nature of George Michael's white Speedo. I hope you're all thoroughly jealous. I hope our hotel isn't full of people like the ones in the video...



I should just point out the fact that it says "Pat Sharp's House of Fun" in the top right-hand corner. How far back does that take you - and would you rather not have gone there...?


17 comments:

French Fancy said...

Oh you lucky Lucy Fishwife. Have a fabulous time. One of my sidebar blog pals - Carol from Not Only In Thailand has just returned from a long spell out there - you can swap stories when you get back.

I won a holiday to Bangkok a long time ago (Fay Maschler rang me at midnight after she pulled my name out of a hat - and I wouldn't believe it was really her or that I had won) - anyway I loved it there. Oh I feel a future blog post coming on.

Have a great holiday and don't strain your eyes

Lucy Fishwife said...

Actually have to admit it gets better - it's actually in a dive-tastic five star resort in Khao Lak (40 miles north of Phuket, which is a blessing, as Phuket lives up to its name and is like Ayia Napa with marginally more boiled-looking and sex-touristy Brits). We go to Thailand so often everybody has started to suspect we're major drug smugglers - sadly if we were I'd have far more expensive shoes. Just love the food, the people, the temples, etc etc (the cheap booze and fags...) I wonder if I could live there? I'd love the chance to find out. It seems far less scarily ex-pattish than Dubai or India.
Fay Maschler - you celeb!!!!!! Best thing I ever won was a Posy Simmonds caption competition when I was 15...

Rol said...

Sounds ideal - the perfect holiday! Hope it is.

Steve said...

Pat Sharp - urgh! *shudders* Celebrity mullet supremo - one good reason to leave the country permanently. I know he's lost the mullet now but you just know that, emotionally, it's still there. Lucy, have a simply wonderful holiday and read to your heart's content. Have a Pad Thai for me.

usedbuyer 2.0 said...

Hoorah for heat! (If you like that sort of thing.) It seems, you won't mind me saying as we don't really know each other, that Fate is cruel indeed that while you escape England for the sunny East and uninterrupted reading on the beach, I will be in unexpectedly snowy Seattle, miserable with the mumps, reading Hardy.
I do hope you have a lovely time and spare not a thought to the less fortunate booksellers elsewhere, green with envy, among other less serious ills.

Cassandra said...

Yes, I just heard the news on the Today programme! Fantastic and quite right too. Also, did you hear that there's loads of Ripley stuff on Radio 4 tomorrow? Am going to bribe Mister Castle to take the kids out all day so that I can listen...have a fabulous holiday you lucky lady!

Brother Tobias said...

Just too jealous to respond intelligently - have a wonderful time - and just keep repeating, khor eak dai mai.

Lucy Fishwife said...

Rol - I hope so! But to be honest any holiday that involves lengthy periods of immobility suits me. The cheap beer is just icing on the cake... The last time off I had was over Christmas and didn't really feel like a holiday - does Christmas ever? - but I'll shut up now.

Steve - re mullets: I saw an episode of Oprah once (sorry) where the main story was a woman who was so obsessed with Michael Bolton she'd persuaded her plodgy and average husband to have the same frankly criminal hairstyle. And then as they were interviewing this poor sod, the real Michael Bolton was wheeled on and serenaded the swooning wife while the husband watched. Bin her, that's what I say...

Usedbuyer - Oh I'm so sorry - mumps is/are (?) bad enough, particularly for a male older than 3, but having them in cold rainy weather must be terribly dispiriting. I am brimming with sympathy. Is Hardy the best choice? Unless it's something relatively cheery (Far From The Madding crowd etc) I would have thought it would just increase the despair... Maybe Mrs Gaskell?

Cassandra - Woohoo! Yes very pleased. Feel very sorry for the guy who they made the Public Face of the decision because he stood to be the scapegoat if it all went wrong, and now looks like a meanie for having proposed it - my personal view is he was being used. Who's reading Ripley or is it dramatised?

BT - Yeah I've been caught like that before. Does it actually mean "I am a fat stupid farang who wants a good kicking"? Or "Please tattoo a swear word on my ankle"? My little brother has a chinese tattoo which he claims means "Dragon" but we all suspect says "Sucker" or "Chow Mein"...

usedbuyer 2.0 said...

I'm reading Under the Greenwood Tree, so be of good cheer. I set aside Villette when I got all mumpy -- too much Bronte, that's what made me ill! I hope we get your reading list from vac.?

Lucy Fishwife said...

I posted my reading list on the sidebar! Under the Greenwood Tree just PERFECT. How about Middlemarch? Always works for me...

mantua maker said...

I can't believe you're taking all those books. Do they have bookshops in Thailand? I know! Why don't you open one! Much better than my idea of opening a haberdashery in Lyme Regis.

Lucy Fishwife said...

They have bookshops in Thailand, although (in the manner of WHSmiths) their alphabetising leaves a lot to be desired (Grisham next to Robbins?? Whatever next??) but since it's not their alphabet, who can blame them. Most of the things I'm taking are proofs so by their very nature HUGE and BULKY but very very desirable... Haberdashery in Lyme is perfect. What do people do on holiday in a recession but crochet? (Me mainly...)

Reluctant Blogger said...

Oh I love Thailand. But then I LOVE the heat! But not diving - oh no, you have to put your head in the water for that don't you and I suspect you have to be sober. I don't think being sober on holiday is EVER a good thing - I always like to be just a little drunk and mellow.

Make sure you enjoy yourself. It's fab that you find places where you can both do the stuff you enjoy and presumably share a few drinks and maybe even chat a bit in the evening.

I'm not jealous tho cos it's lovely hot and relaxing here too so I shall go for empathy not jealousy.

Steve said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
justme said...

Ooooooo! I think I might be coming out of my self imposed stay at home phase. I need a holiday! Yours sounds delightful. Enjoy!

Titian red said...

Welcome home - hope you had a wonderful time ..... plenty of eating, drinking and reading books squinty eyed thro squirls of cigarette smoke - perfect.
Seen Watchmen - it was great, when I grow up I am going to be Silhouette

Lucy Fishwife said...

RB - Yes, yes, and yes again. Simply don't understand people for whom a holiday is a chance to do MORE exercise. Mr F had a fantastic time though - had a close encounter with a 12-foot manta ray and was as excited as a small child about it, which was quite sweet, especially as he was telling me all about it as I was weeping over "Sunnyside" by Glen David Gold (very very good indeed)...

Steve - I have, as requested, deleted your message... how deeply suspicious does this look???

Justme - Take a holiday as soon as you can! I thoroughly recommend it! Although depending on how far you fly you will then need another holiday to get over the jetlag on your return..

TR - The eyes would have been screwed up for most of the holiday but luckily I had a pair of Miu Miu shades from the shop lost property ... Watchmen wasn't on the plane (in fact I'm not sure what was, given that it was a tiny flimsy screen 100 yards down the aisle) but am determined to hunt it out.. Actually read it in the ?late 80s and have always secretly suspected myself to be Sally Jupiter...