This is our annual stint away from almost everything electronic. I say 'almost' because of course I shall have a digital camera with me. I have packed my bags. Tomorrow I go to Southend to take part in the First Literature Festival of the Sea
A small, powerful,intelligent and thought provoking festival celebrating some of the great writing across the ages that has the sea as a central theme.Curated by acclaimed writer, poet and performer, Lemn Sissay and artist and writer, Rachel Lichtenstein.To provoke discussion,re-awaken senses,excite the adventurous spirit and discover new and classic texts about the sea.
Sounds good, doesn't it?
But this is all I shall be doing by way of work.
I have packed a suitcase full of the books I intend to read. I have packed my paints and some small gessoed boards. I have packed my sketchbook. And of course I have packed my camera.
Otherwise nothing. No internet, no twitter, nor mobile phones or British newspapers. Rupert Murdoch and his liars and hackers can go to hell. While they fight for their greedy, moneyed lives, pretending to themselves that they will live forever, I shall be cooking meals (my editor has sent me a book on evil cooking!) with fresh local produce and once again I shall smell the sweet, pungent scent of wild thyme underfoot on the hillside.
Later, as I stare at the peregrines, shimmering above the trees at midday, or listen to the owls calling across the valley I will remind myself all over again that happiness is to do with the simple things of life. For are we not, as Ruskin said, like fireflies that flicker briefly in the night sky?
Meanwhile some of my artist friends have come up with an amusing suggestion for the summer break that's too good to be kept to ourselves, I think. So I'm offering it up, in the form of a competition, to any idle reader of this blog.
The name of the project is: Feet 2011.
Yes, feet! Send your digital photos of feet that best describes your summer and I will publish it on my blog at the end of September. Upload it via comments with a caption and I'll add it to the ones I'll be taking....
Well, arrivederci then, and buoni vacanze!