Travels with a Reluctant Holidaymaker: Day 3

Like most people, I come out of the excesses that are the Christmas period with lots of good intentions. I don’t call them resolutions; resolutions can be broken far too easily. Instead, I call them challenges. And this year, I have three: to complete the 100K in 100 days writing challenge; to row 50km during January; and to get fitter and trimmer by eating and drinking less while moving more.

But, as I awake on day 3 of our holiday, I realise the idea of eating and drinking less is a non-starter, at least until we get home. So I cheerfully put that challenge to one side for the time being. That leaves writing and rowing. It’s well before daybreak and the gym won’t be available for hours, so I open the laptop and pull up my Scrivener file. An hour or so later, I have finished two blog posts for my own site and one for a guest spot coming up later in the week. A couple of thousand words in the bag! Maybe tomorrow I’ll even do some work on the latest novel.

I walk out on to the balcony as dawn breaks, gaze out at the waves, just visible through the palm trees, and am grateful that, as expected, things definitely look a lot better in the morning. And this feeling persists even after I visit the beautifully-equipped gym to find not a single rowing machine in sight. So that’s challenge number two on the back burner too! I make do with a long walk on the treadmill, revelling in the thought of the step counter on my wrist and actually beating the daily target for once.

At lunchtime, we brave the outside world, leaving the hotel and heading for the small shopping centre across the road. The RH has spied a fish restaurant that would be just perfect for lunch. He’s wearing new shoes which rub a blister on his heel. Against his better judgement, he is persuaded to try a pair of rubber walking sandals, and finds to his surprise that they are very comfortable. I manage not to mutter “I told you so” as I confiscate his socks and we head towards yet more food.

Later, sitting on the sunny terrace I open my latest shiny notebook, take out some coloured pens and start playing around with Mind Maps; a brain dump of everything on the schedule for the rest of this year, both work and leisure. And yes, I know that’s not the traditional way to spend a holiday, but there’s nothing I find better for relieving the stress of having too much to do, than writing it all down. That way, I can clear it out of my mind and think about something else instead. Like a long cool G and T before dinner!

Join me tomorrow to see how I get on with the writing challenge.

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By Elizabeth Ducie

Elizabeth Ducie was a successful international manufacturing consultant, when she decided to give it all up and start telling lies for a living instead.

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