2021 has been an odd year for me and for most people too I expect. I’ve spent half of it in lockdown and the other half nursing a sore neck and shoulder. Finally, though, the lockdown has eased, things are getting back to normal and Liz and I have jetted off to Lanzarote, one of our favourite places.
Of course we should have been here back in January but Covid 19 and the lockdown put paid to that. Still, here we are, the sun is out and we are ready to enjoy.
In the film The VIPs, Margaret Rutherford observes that flying is a very strange form of locomotion. I tried to find the clip on YouTube but failed but here’s something that will give you a general flavour of her flight.
Flying today has hardly improved. To board a flight these days you must travel vast distances across Manchester Airport, be X rayed, checked and double checked. Asked numerous questions and because of Covid 19 be asked to prove you have been fully vaccinated and fill in passenger locator forms explaining where you will be and what you are doing. These forms cannot be done well in advance, they can only be filled in 48 hours before you travel adding to the stress of the departure. Will I manage to do them in time? Will I be able to print them off? Well, we are here in Lanzarote so we must have filled them in correctly as the Spanish airport staff looked at them and declared us fit to enter their country.
Then of course there is the stress of the flight itself. Flying by budget airlines it is easy to see that cramming that extra paying customer on board takes priority over comfort, so naturally we are squashed into our rather small seats, sold microwaved cheese and ham toastie snacks and tea in cardboard cups at ridiculous prices which, outside of the aircraft, one could normally buy an entire box of tea bags, a loaf of bread, and large portions of cheese and ham. After that the staff continually try to flog us perfumes and other duty free goods that we really don’t want.
One day I’d like to travel on a flight just like the ones I have seen on films, you know, with big comfy seats and lots of extras. In the film Die Hard II, while Bruce Willis is sorting out a bunch of terrorists down at the airport, his wife is travelling on an aircraft with lots of leg room and can even make phone calls from her seat. OK, terrorists have taken over the airport below and her plane is running out of fuel but at least she is comfy and I’ll bet she wasn’t charged £4.50 for a cheese and ham toastie.
After the stress of travelling, it was nice to settle down in our lovely rented villa and begin to enjoy the delightful weather. In Lanzarote, the weather is always perfect, or so it seems to me. It is not too hot and not too cold. As I write this the temperature is about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. For those of you who prefer Celsius that equates to about 21 of their degrees but either way, it a very pleasant temperature indeed. Perfect for lying in the sun, (a favourite pastime of mine) reading, (another) and swimming (yet another one)!
The villa is lovely, fairly near to the marina with its bars and restaurants but still in a quiet area. Over the way a new hotel has sprung up, still in the early days of the building process but the builders are remarkably quiet given the huge size of the project. When we came here back in January 2020 I noticed that quite a few building projects seemed to be under way. I remarked last time that work had recommenced on a villa behind a huge advertising hoarding announcing ‘opening in 2017’. That was 2020 but the Spanish are not ones to rush things. They have a similar philosophy to my own, there is always mañana.
Today’s surprise event came after a naked swim in the pool. We were drying off in the sun when we heard the call of the lesser spotted pool cleaner. ‘Morning! Pool cleaner!’ They were gracious enough to make a hasty retreat while we made ourselves presentable.
I have brought a small collection of books with me so hopefully I will be able to create another Holiday Book Bag blog post, something I have not done for a very long time.
Well, that’s about it from me this week. What should I do now? Have another swim, read a little or just decant some vino tinto for later?