Each year our boysbookclub heads to foreign climbs for a weekend in October, we try to head to southern Europe so that we can have that last weekend of the year where hopefully the weather is warm, we can sit outside and relax before returning to Britain and hunkering down for the winter.
Four years ago we went to Malaga which proved something of a revelation as a city. I went with very low expectations but was amazingly surprised by a compact city with a great atmosphere, good culture and history. It was something of a revelation and I’ve been back since so I was very happy to return again with the boys again this year. Our membership has shifted a bit over the last few years so it was never going to be exactly the same.
Of course like our book club (and ourselves) the city does not stand still and Malaga has undergone something of a regeneration over the last four years with a completely redeveloped harbour area adding to the cultural attractions.
We did what we also do, wander, generally with no particular fixed objective. We might for example say lets have lunch somewhere near the beach or lets go to an art gallery in the afternoon but they are loose goals. In arriving at them we drift around streets, duck into markets, stop in squares etc all the time of course sampling the great bars and eateries across the city.
When we go away we always try to come up with something creative or our own. We set a theme of Independence this year and you can interpret it as you want. I’ve published some of the writing that we did on this blog if you want to check it out and one member did a fantastic mini graphic booklet of us all. The Saturday night was reserved for the monthly book review which for October was ‘Gould’s Book of Fish’ by Richard Flanagan. The book completely split the book club but for me it was one of the most difficult books to categorise I’ve read in a long time but I found it a brilliantly original a mind warping book.
The highlight as always of our weekends away was simply the spending of time together in complete relaxation. When do you every really get the chance to do that with friends? Our personalities are such that there is very little friction or tension and we just bumble along together, chatting over long lunches. It’s hard to return to ‘normal’ life after the weekend away but I for one feel completely refreshed by it and am already plotting next years trip. Any tips on where you think would be great for us do let me know.