What does the summer mean to you?
Lazy afternoons on the sofa listening to the schlock-schlock of Wimbledon on the TV? Dusting the knees off and finding that pair of shorts that you bought last year but only wore twice because of the awful weather? The smell and sizzle of the barbecue, with the laughter of friends and the warm chink of cold bottles?
For many, the summer means the only two-week break of the year, a chance to decompress from the pressures of life and move to a more relaxed rhythm. The shrill call of the alarm clock is replaced with the gradual awakening of sunlight and background babble. The day seeps into a natural rhythm, segmented only by change of whim and swish of fate. We rediscover things that were forgotten, such as the Swingball set in the garage and the slugs in the barbecue.
For some, this summer also marks the eagerly-awaited publication of the paperback edition of Around The Races In Eighty Days. It is widely acknowledged behind the scenes at Westminster that Boris Johnson stepped aside from the role of Prime Minister because “there’s a rather good book coming out that I want to read”, and the woeful display by the England football team has been linked by some pundits to the latter stages of the European Championships coinciding with the publication date.
Some things people have said about Around The Races In Eighty Days:-
“The story of a lost, obsessive, middle-aged man, and they can be capable of some pretty remarkable things.” The Racing Post
“Cracking read. Highly recommended!” Walking The Courses
“A must read not just for racing fans but for lovers of journeys, both physical and emotional.” Amazon customer
“A tried what?” Andy Murray
“No, you can’t do it again in Ireland.” The Wife
Apart from the usual wranglings with the guy at my printers, who has the organisational capabilities of a puppy, and the inevitable hours lost in WordPress HTML code trying to move a ‘Buy Now’ button slightly to the right, it has been a fulfilling process. Smoothing the occasional rough edge and turning the Honks into Hongs (damn that auto-correct!) may not make a swan out of a duckling, but it does make a damn fine duck, which are somehow more cuddly and less hostile than swans anyway.
So what better way to celebrate all that summer has to offer than by settling down – on the beach, in the garden, or curled up on the sofa – with a slightly smaller but if anything more pleasurable, and certainly more portable, version of my first foray into publishing. As loyal followers of Atried, you are cordially invited to purchase this masterpiece at an extraordinary discount – 25% off the cover price at just £7.49 plus £3.95 postage & packaging. Just click on the ‘Shop’ tab above and it shall be yours!
Those of you who get nervous carrying printed words about your person may opt for the electronic version, now available on the Amazon Kindle store to download to your tablet or mobile phone for the absurdly generous price of £3.99.