Friday, 15 April 2016

Breaking in the Sun

‘You and Tom need a break,’ says Rose and sends us a link to the resort where she and Si stayed last year. Tom, who’s been telling me we need a holiday for months, books it immediately; twelve days in sunny Tenerife - what could be nicer?

A week before we’re due to fly I go down with the worst cold I’ve had in years. By the time Tom gets off the plane, he’s feeling absolutely wretched too. A few days later he picks up a stomach bug, which drags him down even further, and I get conjunctivis and have to wear my glasses for three days. 

It’s not just the physical ailments either; after running on empty for so long, I’m finding it really hard to switch off and just relax. It’s not as if it’s difficult; we have a huge, if slightly dated, apartment with an enormous terrace, sun-loungers and glorious views across the Atlantic, a maid arrives every day to freshen the place up, the weather is fantastic and, heck, we’ve even gone half board and the restaurant is jolly good. (As an aside, what a sign of the times when I heard a little boy declare at breakfast, having perused the buffet choices of a wide range of cereals, bacon and eggs etc, fruit, yogurts, breads from all over the world, ‘Oh, there isn’t really anything I like here.’ Really?)

Eventually I stop thinking about what I should be doing, forget about trying to write and go with the flow and, of course, that’s when the holiday magic begins. On a walk to the harbour, we notice sinister-looking black and red crabs which scuttle across the black rocks when they sense us looking at them (anyone else remember the annual ‘The Eyeballs in the Sky’ episode of The Perishers?’) .

Then, as night falls, we hear what sounds like the Mass Kazoo Band of Tenerife piping in the hill above us. A little research reveals they’re Cory Shearwaters returning to their burrows. A female wall lizard darts away from my foot when I stop to look at her and bougainvilleas bloom in brilliant colours contrasting with the blue sky. We round off our stay with a two-hour boat trip on a lovely old wooden boat, Katrin, and see dolphins and what the crew cheerfully call ‘bad seas’ as we surf back into the harbour on huge Atlantic rollers.

Yes, we agree, it’s been a good holiday. We’re definitely in a better place than when we started …and then we get to the airport where our plane’s delayed. Arriving at Cardiff airport, there’s another long delay while someone is found to unload the luggage (one little plane in the middle of the night - not three airbuses!) and eventually, worn out, we crawl in at four in the morning. Apart from the journey, it was a really good break!