Nothing to do and all day to do it

imageYou’d think having no work for the summer would be conducive to writing. But unstructured days lead to unstructured thoughts, and the weeks go by, sweet and slow. The laptop stays closed; the camera uncharged.

A few trips, of course. The midlands, the west of Ireland. And a return to Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands.

I love islands; left my comfortable life in America to return to the one I was born on. I’ve been happy ever since.

But Ireland, small as it is, seems big at times, and the impulse to retreat asserts itself.  Sometimes that retreat is to an island off the west coast. Wild and rugged, it hurls itself at visitors like an Atlantic storm. A weekend visit can leave me exhausted, exposed. Exhilarated.

This year’s trip is long overdue.

Meanwhile, I managed to spend some time on a different island, in a different country. My visit to Jersey was a gentler affair:  lazy days and cocktails, mostly.

No writing, definitely.

My friend Roy blogs about the island over at Back on the Rock. Roy writes about the island’s history, explores its parishes, and posts photos and slide shows of this lovely corner of the world. He does a much better job of conveying the island’s beauty than I ever could, and his blog is well worth a visit.

Jersey, along with the other Channel Islands, was occupied by Germany during the Second World War. If you’re interested in history and searching for an enjoyable read, have a look at The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. It’s a lovely, skilful novel that’s charming and funny, poignant and sad. It’s hard not to be captivated by it.

Like island life,  really.