It’s holiday time. Yesterday I finished up my work in the lab, put my cells to bed, cleaned off my desk and headed down to South Kensington for jazz and cocktails with the Labliterati. On Monday, I’m off for an entire week.

It’s always a strange feeling, taking time away from the lab. You get into these rhythms — piling on the experiments until you hardly have time to eat, sit down or take comfort breaks. Their sudden absence is a shock to the system.

But I’m not complaining. We’ll be camping near the North Devon shore. I’ve got two books to read for Fiction Lab: Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman and State of Wonder by Ann Patchett. I’m bringing my fly fishing tackle, a notebook for musing about Novel 4 (which is three chapters in but in need of some advanced sub-plotting), a few decks of cards. Maybe my sketchpad and pencils.

I’m sure my cells will be fine without me.