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Sunday, March 14, 2004

Back in the snow...

I know that people take holidays all over the place, and I think it's a very good idea. I don't know why I didn't think of it before. Holidays are wonderful things. If you go on holiday you can read Susanna Clarke's novel Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell (which, in my probably biased but not entirely uninformed opinion, is the best English fantasy novel written in the last seventy years: over 800 pages, and when it ends you're just sad there aren't another 800) (it'll be published later this year, and I may write about it at greater length when I've had more of a chance to think about it). And if you're on holiday, you can write your own novel with your toes waggling in the white sand and finish another chapter. You can also mostly avoid sunburn, go on a submarine and swim off a pirate ship and feed the stingrays, and generally have an incredibly pleasant time a long way from the ice and snow with two daughters (one of whom has already gone back to college, bearing rum cakes).

And now I'm home, with several hundred e-mails to read and reply to, and many letters and packages and things to catch up on, and interesting links that people have sent to post. And journeys to make, and things to write and to finish.

And huge fallen pine branches everywhere, from the snowfall just as I left, which need to be cleaned up...

And ice that crunches underfoot; and blowing gusts of snow...
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