This last week was spent in retreat, walking, swimming and sunning by the pool and studying the books from the resort library. Don't you love a resort which has a library? It's civilized, I have to say. I had the pool all to myself most mornings, as the tourists all go on tiresome expeditions after an early breakfast. The library, which looks out on the newly-mown bright emerald lawn, too, is wonderfully deserted all day.
After some leisurely laps in the pool, I would sit on the teak decking and open the day's volume; and then I'll look up across the Mae Kok River and try to spot the novice monks in the clearing of the bamboo forest. Their saffron robes show wonderfully against the jungle green, and sometimes they come right to the edge of the river and splash in the muddy, swift-flowing water.Amazingly, the library had the fascinating Mughal Painters and their Work, which included analysis of the paintings, portraits, calligraphy and translation of some of the poems. Time fairly whizzed by as I studied the book, and I turned slowly brown.
I'm too tired by the time I droop into bed at night to read seriously but what fun to flip through the People magazine's tribute to Dame Elizabeth Taylor (commemorative edition) in bed to the soundtrack of a hundred insects in the jungle and the rain splashing down. The archival pictures are stunning (I love the one with Grace Kelly and Taylor getting off a plane), many I haven't seen before, so someone out there is doing something right (Mr B, this one's for you). The pictures carry the weight of the magazine which otherwise basically comprise long captions plus quotes from her friends and admirers - almost all were men. Well what do you expect?