Been away this last week or so, enjoying some downtime with my family, on the beautiful Norfolk Broads here in the South East of England. I took a metric tonne of books with me, thinking I’d get through loads, but was so exhausted by the busy days that come evening-time I was too goosed to flip through many pages at all. I managed to finish Paul Doiron’s The Precipice, and managed a brief departure from my crime fiction gorging to E.L. Doctorow’s Andrew’s Brain.
I had such a wonderful time away, with my wife, my parents, my siblings, their partners and our collective children, and didn’t stop to think about how great it was until I got home, and as I was finishing Andrew’s Brain, I realised Doctorow had covered this feeling of near-ignorant enjoyment. I went back through the book to fish it out:
‘True happiness comes of not knowing you’re happy, it’s an animal serenity, something between contentment and joy, a steadiness of the belonged self in the world.’
How beautiful is that?! And with that I’ve found my new life motto.
The week holiday is a traditional one always designed to coincide with the early stages of the pike fishing season, and in a collective state of the above animal serenity, we came into contact with some lovely ones – including my biggest pike in 17 years, this 18lb 14oz beauty:
Smug is an understatement.
I’m now home, back into addressing a freshly returned manuscript from my wonderful editor, and I’m recharged and buzzing. I’ve moved onto Dennis Lehane’s The Drop, which I’m already lovingly in awe of.
Sorry E.L., but right now I’m happy and I know it – and I’m making the executive call that it counts too, however brilliant my new life motto is.