When I explained to someone that I had spent my two weeks off pottering around our flat, and staying for a few days each in the Cotswolds and Devon, their response was the limp "Good for you". Faint and damning maybe but also correct - it was good for me.
During the first couple of days, still buzzing with surges of stress-related adrenalin, I ended up transferring all work energy and anxiety into bizarre creative personal projects including the pointless ambition of the development of a new literary form - the cross-genre review mashup.
This was inspired by a conversation I had with some colleagues where, possibly through the medium of wine, we seamlessly moved between chatting about the amazing online game/experience/community/world Second Life and a book I'd started to read, Michel Houellebecq's The Possibility of an Island. Before I embarked on my ambitious plan, which I may attempt at a later date if the idea isn't manic nonsense, real life got a hold of me and my virtual creativity occupied less and less of my headspace.
I confess, even when real life did kick in, my boyfriend and I still couldn't shake work ways. On Day 3, we sat gazing at the view from Parliament Hill, the remains of a picnic in front of us, then proceeded to fill out coloured pieces of paper with "what we want to achieve during the rest of the holiday" - one idea per piece of paper, all ideas are valid - and then prioritised our list by scoring for urgency, impact and ease on a criteria grid. And before anyone anonymously comments "you are sad" - yes I know, that's the point of confessing this.
So what did we achieve? In descending order: 6 nights away from home in a good hotel and with family; 5 ok books read (between us); 4 mostly terrible films watched; 3 great walks (5 miles +); 2 good plays seen; and 1 great meal out.
We might not have purchased a sofa, gone to the chiropodist or plastered the ceiling in the spare room, but I think we prioritised ruthlessly and effectively.