Almost every summer, my family travels to San Remo (near Phillip Island) after Christmas. The trip has evolved each year; as children become adults, the ‘younger generation’ start driving down in their own cars, partners start to join the party and so on.
One constant that has remained is that the house does not have enough bedrooms or beds to sleep all of us. Traditionally, my cousins and I are shipped out to an assortment of tents in the back and front yards.
This summer in the tent, I read Ellen DeGeneres’ book Seriously…I’m Kidding.
The environment for reading in a tent has to be just right. I’m easily distracted, so if there’s any noticeable level of noise that I can’t immediately identify, I will lose focus. If it’s too hot, tents become instant saunas and you can’t stay there for longer than a few minutes. If it’s too windy, it’s unsettling. If it rains too heavily, the pages wilt and the ink runs. (Okay, that would have to be a pretty poor tent, but you get the picture).
But I enjoyed Seriously…I’m Kidding. Ellen writes like she speaks; quirky turns of phrase, unexpected anecdotes, cute one-liners. I laughed aloud at quite a few points, disturbing the peaceful household on many occasions. Her comments on age and questions as to when we stop wanting to measure quarter- and half-years in our age were highly amusing.
This was hardly a difficult read, and I won’t try and call it any great work of literature, but as a holiday read, it was perfect.
And so begins my year of ‘upping the reading ante’ – January: complete.