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Tuesday 15th January 2013

We've sat on the same loungers by the pool nearly every day of this holiday and done very little else. Which is fair enough because our one excursion in the fishing boat was like a ride to Hell which has psychologically damaged us for years. But I was determined to do as little as possible on this holiday and I have succeeded. I haven't even been snorkelling. It's been reading, drinking, eating, Countdown and Scrabble all the way. No one can say the Herrings don't know how to party.
I have got much better at Countdown. At the beginning of the holiday I had never beaten the computer on the highest level, but today I won three games in a row. I have some way to go before I can become an Octochamp and I suspect that will never happen. Given that the game knows all the answers to everything it must take some kind of programming to make the top level beatable. It actually has to pretend to not know some of the answers to give you some hope, but it does know all the answers. It's like being a child playing against an adult who lets you win. Though it took a long time before it respected me enough to let that happen.
Let no one tell you this holiday has been a waste of time.
There was some excitement in the morning though. It was a bit windier than usual and our big sunshade umbrella got lifted up by a strong gust and landed in the pool. It could have killed a child. But luckily it was early and no one was up. Still, I think you'll agree, quite exciting.
I actually did come close to absent mindedly killing myself as we were packing later. I had plugged in my iPhone at the wall, which is an old iPhone 4 lead with an iPhone5 adapter on the end. I then wanted to charge my iPad and so had to remove the adapter. Forgetting it was plugged in I attempted this with my mouth. The metal of the adapter touched my tongue and I tasted the electricity. It reminded me of some forgotten electric shock device someone had had at school. It was very weak and just made your tongue tingle, but it was the same taste. I realised I had been lucky not to be blasted across the room in the same dramatic fashion that that sunshade had been by the wind. A moment of forgetful stupidity could have seen me execute myself without even having had the fun of committing a major atrocity to justify my electrocution. The impact of my lucky escape was stronger because earlier I had been reading the excellent Pulphead by John Jeremiah Sullivan and one of his articles was about his brother electrocuting himself in a garage, nearly dying and frazzling his brain for a month. All I got was a Proustian reminder of some still largely forgotten childhood incident. Electricity has a very distinctive taste. How strange that it has a taste at all. C'mon Heston Blumenthal - time to add that to your menu (if you haven't already).
Don't put plugged in electric items in your mouth. It's a truth so obvious that even Hendyng didn't bother saying anything about it. Bloody Hendyng.
Fortunately the holiday didn't end with my wife escorting my coffin on to the plane (this time). We had to go to bed early as the speed boat to the airport is picking us up at 5.30am tomorrow. Way to snap me out of my Lotus Eating reverie. Eating electricity also works for that.
Back home to the snow then. Hooray! I've hated it here in the sun.

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