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Thursday 6th September 2007

I am annoyingly still a bit ill, had a headache and a chesty cough today and found it difficult to sleep last night, so any possible plans for adventure were again postponed and so it was back to the hammock to read Julian Barnes’ “Thinking It Over” and “Love Etc” which are amazing books, especially the second one. If nothing else you will learn a lot of new words if you read them, but also a lot about the human condition.
I had lunch in the bar, which has a very limited range of CDs, but was playing one I hadn’t heard today. It’s not exactly my taste in music (as the U2 concert probably demonstrated) but I have been impressed that it is the only place I have heard the Lady Diana version of “Candle in the Wind” for almost ten years. I don’t think it’s a tribute to the recent tenth anniversary of her death, and it seems bizarrely inappropriate to play this version, especially when removed from the emotion of that weird week you realise just how awful the new lyrics are. But it makes me laugh every time it comes on, so perhaps that entertainment value makes the whole Diana tragedy worthwhile.
The Aussies, who are almost the only people I have socialised with, went home today. The sweet member of staff who worried about me being on my own and who talked to me about being a writer asked me, “Where are your friends?”
“Oh, they’ve gone home!” I explained.
She then walked away, with a smile on her face and almost sang at me like a playground chant, “So you got no-one to talk with now!”
This really made me laugh as well. Some how in her almost childlike honesty there was a charm that might have been insulting in another circumstance. I could also laugh though as I actually prefer keeping my own company at the moment. The Aussies were OK and there’s a friendly older couple who may be Dutch or German who usually say hello over breakfast, but it’s a bit risk befriending people on holiday. I am sitting in the bar now and there is the most appalling English bloke here, who is almost exactly the same as Paddy Considine in “Room For Romeo Brass” ( a great film and an amazing piece of acting, but not a character you’d want to socialise with, or catch the eye of at the wrong moment). He is a horrible dick and the fact that he is accompanied by a pretty, young Thai woman has led me to jump to a conclusion that may be unfair, but I am 100% certain is not. Towards the end of this week there seems to have been an influx of European men accompanied by Asian women and sometimes I feel bad for leaping to an unpleasant conclusion, because it’s probable that most of them are genuine relationships and it’s a nasty leap of logic to make to think otherwise. But with this Romeo Brass fella and the WC Fields lookalike at breakfast (who at least was with a more mature local lady), it’s harder to feel bad. Especially when WC Fields had no idea how his woman took her tea or seemed to have anything to say to her. I am being judgemental I know, and I have made jokes about ladyboys, but it’s certainly true that some men are hiring prostitutes that they then take on holiday with them, in return for a paltry sum and it’s hard not to find that offensive and unseemly when the cold hard reality of it is staring you in the face.
In nicer thoughts, I was too engrossed in my book and weary to cross the island for the sunset today, though had a great view of the effects on this side of the island, which were if anything more spectacular. The sky and thus the sea turned the most amazing shades of pink and purple and to be looking out over shimmering pink water was breathtaking.
I have to say that I am looking forward to coming home now and wondering if another couple of days might be too many. But if I manage to muster the strength to go on one trip then that will be a nice change.
And if at the end of the holiday you are looking forward to your own bed (which IÂ’ve only been in for one night in the last six weeks) then that can only be a good thing. You can only have so much of paradise. You need some ShepherdÂ’s Bush to make paradise have any meaning.

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