'I love working up a sweat in the Spanish sunshine'

This is the week I have my actual holiday.

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My trip to Chicago last week was a family commitment, with a bit of a holiday thrown in, but in the summer, like many of us, I give myself an actual vacation.

It is only seven days, as self- employed legal practice is so pressurised I feel that I cannot be away from the office for longer. Even then I have twin horrors of the accursed laptop and evil mobile phone away with me so I can keep in touch with the office daily. Gone are the days of splendid isolation on holiday.

Indeed such is the modern method of the solicitor profession I can carry out almost all work by remote electronic means. Incoming letters can be scanned in at Giffnock and read on-screen in Spain. I can create correspondence, legal documents and deeds anywhere in the world and zap them to an opposite number in Glasgow. And for anything requiring boots on the ground, my excellent colleagues back at the ranch in Glasgow step in and deal.

That all said, I do enjoy my annual leave. It is a time to recharge the batteries, take stock and enjoy some quality time with the First Lady. And there is also the opportunity for lots of exercise.

Where we go in Spain, a family-run hotel near Palma, has, over the years, become a home from home for us. It is on the beach, so swimming is a daily pursuit. I have a half mile swim from our hotel along to a local seafront cafe, where the FL meets me, having walked round. When the sea is choppy it's a fabulous workout, though the Missus always has that slightly disappointed look as I emerge from the surf and am not Daniel Craig!

My own disappointment is that I have not achieved the beach body I seek yet, in time for cavorting around the Med in my Speedos (for those of a delicate disposition I feel like saying if you don't want to know the result look away now...). But I have arrived in Majorca considerably trimmer and fitter than in years gone by and still in sight of my goal.

Looking ahead, to get closer to that achievement, I can exclusively reveal that in October the Great Scottish Run Half Marathon will be run by not one but possibly FIVE Laffertys.

My daughter Hannah who, unlike me, is a genuine sportswoman and was the original inspiration for my running and this column, will be joining me at the starting line in Glasgow. My son Jonathan and his girlfriend, both accustomed to half-marathons, will come up to participate. And - hold the front page! - the First Lady herself will hopefully grace the 10k. We will of course be in matching Batman T-shirts, though not matching speeds. As a devoted family they will maybe wait for me at the finish.

But this week I have a range of activities to keep me occupied in the Spanish sunshine.

As well as a tennis court, that gets as hot as a furnace in the afternoon, there is table tennis, diving from high rocks, running - either in the broiling heat or in the cool gym (guess which one I pick) - and, if you fancy it, yoga.

At 11am every day you can join an organised volleyball game, umpired by an 85-years-old Parisian called Sylvaine who has been coming here for more than 40 years. There is also, as of last year - we ourselves have been coming to this same hotel for 21 years, by the way - a tai chi instructor, who is very good.

Not only does he hold gentle classes for those with and without experience, he also plays a weird and completely tuneless wooden flute. I encountered him one morning sitting on a stone wall lost in a rendition of some West African dirge. Respect.

And it wouldn't be an Evening Times Long Distance Lawyer event without some karate.

Near the pool is an outdoor enclosure used for various, activities including jumbo chess, which I commandeer at 7am every day. I spend half an hour sweating through kata and punching, kicking and blocking reps before going for a dawn swim along with the Russians, who are the only other guests up at that time. The water is flat calm broken only by us early bathers, and the local cormorant, who for reasons lost in the mists of time I have named Gerry, diving for fish.

So it's an action packed week. But still with time enough for some lying about and the occasional vino blanco.

See you back at the office soon enough.

Sport

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