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Easyjet or just regret!

This blog picks up from my previous blog where we arrived at Gran Canaria’s airport to fly home from holiday, back to Southend Airport and we’re waiting to board the flight on their hottest day of the year and I am a shit scared flyer.

So boarding didn’t actually happen, not to us anyway, as while we were still waiting to get through the gate those already on the plane were off boarded.

Word quickly spread from the other passengers, not from any ground staff, they had been told to get off due to ‘a technical problem with the plane’.  Just what every nervous flyer wants to hear and for the second time that day I was pleased I had not gone commando (see previous blog) as my bowels needed the extra support of pants as they were also threatening to off board and just as quickly!

Once again, by another passenger, we were advised that they were calling an engineer to fix it. At which point I turned into B. A. Baracus and basically said ‘I ain’t getting on no plane’. I think I might have said ‘f’ing’, before plane.

Our airline, easyjet, continued to make no announcement about what was happening. And we continued to get updates from other passengers. ‘Latest is the engineer will be here in an hour’. ‘It’s a gauge that’s gone’. Er who are you and why are you giving me technical updates which basically amount to the probability of me surviving this goddam flight!

Tony, my husband, asked me if I was ok? ‘Er, no. I’ve basically gotta get on a broken plane that’s broken!’ ‘An engineer has been called in to fix it’. ‘Yer, a bloke that’s probably on the beach somewhere right now, drinking Sangria, dancing to a mariachi band, and pissed off being called in. That makes me feel really good’. ‘It’s ok, he will be experienced’, Tony said just before he started laughing loudly looking out to the plane saying ‘he’s here, he’s just arrived in a golf buggy thing wearing a sombrero’.  ‘Great what’s he gonna do shake his maracas at it!’

Still no announcements, just information via other passengers that veered from, we will be flying at 2am (great, 11 hours in an airport), to, nope we are going tomorrow. There were no easyjet staff. The only guy that was there to represent easyjet told us just that and no more. ‘I’m here to represent easyjet but I am not part of them and have no idea what is happening’. Whatever question you asked, he repeated this.

We sat down for a while in a bank of 4 seats next to two other passengers. My legs facing away from them in a clear, I do not want to engage in polite conversation with you way. Some people can’t pick up on body language, as a desperate attempt was made to engage us in conversation. ‘They are probably checking the wings are still there, they just need a bit of oil on it, they’re getting an elastic band as we speak, that’ll fix it’. Just keep looking at your shoes I think.

But the conversation doesn’t stop there. Immediately everyone starts to share their ‘I was so delayed once stories’. ‘All you can hear is, people talking to their partners saying, ‘do you remember the time we went to Egypt and got delayed, it was terrible’, ‘yer we got delayed coming back from America, you’ve never known anything like it’. God it went on. Everyone with a story, everyone described in infinite detail and everyone thinking they had the far worst experience.  There was a sense of pride that went with the stories.

I felt sorry for a couple excited to be going to Southend for their holiday. Not because of the delay, but because they are going to Southend for their holiday! The delay building a sense of anticipation that it will be worth the wait. Er, it won’t. A bloke is telling them you’ll like it. Yer, if they want to buy a kebab and go to a strip show at any time of the day.

A day out in Southend one afternoon is where Tony and I understood the definition of broken Britain. We’ve known each other since we were 13 and our birthdays are a day apart, so it is tradition for us to go to Southend and basically get smashed.

A bit drunk one birthday, we went into a bar. A woman in a short, orange dress came up to Tony and while I went for a wee (just a short one mind, no lipstick application or anything), she offered him sex. This was unfortunate as he had just ordered two tuna baguettes. So unable to leave and not wanting the sex, we took them outside and sat at the tables.

That’s when we clocked the strip show sign. Underneath advertising a list of snacks, it said the show started at 1pm. It was bizarre, people were sitting around eating cockles and winkles waiting for this. There was a bloke with his shirt off, all red, throwing his baby up in the air with the sign just behind him. With some careful positioning we caught a snap, while Tony pretended to snap me eating my baguette. But sure, maybe this couple stuck in the airport waiting to visit Southend will like it!

Anyway, having now been stuck in the airport for hours, we went to get some wine in the bar. Something got lost in translation (in a good way) when I asked for two large wines (see the picture). Quite happy to keep going to the bar to get wine in that quantity (already feeling quite drunk), I was disappointed to see the shutters go down. And looking around, I realised everything was shutting.  And not only that, there were only two food places left open and with sandwiches now at a premium, and still no flight update, people were starting to shove and push for a cheese toastie.

We then decided we’d just get wine from duty free and get hammered. So off I went. I grabbed a bag of sweets to replace the small child’s shoe that was eaten by our dog while he was looked after by his foster family and spent about 20 minutes locating the only bottle of wine with a screw top. I found a couple of shot glasses with bull fighters on (my principles had long gone) and made my way to the till. At which point, I had no boarding pass and had to leave my purchases there and walk the 20 miles back to the gate to get it.

On the way back to the gate, I clearly had time to reflect on our situation and the fact the latest rumour was we’d fly tomorrow but with no real updates or announcements or wine in bull fighting glasses, I wanted answers.

So, I went up to the representative, basically a man with a badge saying happy to help but whose words were less congruent, when he kept saying, ‘I can’t help’ and while everyone was patiently queuing for a voucher for a meal, I turned into an idiot. I embarrassed myself by going up to the unhelpful guy and telling him that I spoke on behalf of all the passengers (no election took place), and we wanted hotels for the night as it was against our human rights to sleep in an airport (twat).

Once again he said he couldn’t help. ‘Well you’re not worthy of that badge’ I told him. This strong and adult argument was sure to win him over and get us hotels. There is no doubt the seriousness of my argument was undermined when I got my note book out which had been chewed to shit by my puppy, I slapped it on his podium saying I was going to write down everything he said. Why, no idea. Just cheese toastie deprivation I guess which had impacted my mental functioning hence not thinking to actually just live stream!

Not only was I speaking for all the passengers (idiot), I was walking around with copies of ‘what happens if my flight is delayed’? Leaflets I found randomly strewn in an area of the airport. No doubt left by some other stranded easyjet passengers whose skeletons I’d find later.

I read out paragraph 2 repeatedly, (with excessive finger pointing I might add) which clearly stated we were ‘welcome to a hotel’. Not just entitled, but ‘welcome’, as I kept emphasising to this man. The queue turned into the House of Commons with lots of jeering, ‘yer’, though no-one called anyone a ‘pleb’ or fell asleep as far as I know.

Then, people started coming up to me and asking me questions. ‘I’m trying to get back to my brother’s wedding in Oz, what do I do’? ‘How do we use the food vouchers’? ‘Are we getting hotels’? I had become the people’s voice.

After about an hour of this and being told to ring the easyjet centre in the UK (helpful when it’s closed), and then speaking to the easyjet rep in Spain only for her to put the phone down on me (21:03 that went in the book for me to do absolutely nothing with later), we had a discussion in the queue about our strategy. The basis of the strategy was me saying, ‘we’ll get it sorted’, when a better strategy would have been to just shut up!

Some people had emails now from easyjet telling them accommodation was being booked for us and yet the Live Update board on the easyjet website basically said, ‘you’re on your own, fuck off. Find your own accommodation’.

It seemed there was nothing available on the island. At which point, I did what any self-respecting leader does. I sorted myself out. I arranged for us to go back to our apartment as it was empty tonight. It was only 1 bed and we did make some half arsed offers for people to stay, but only after first mentioning it was small, cramped, 1 bed but they were welcome to join us if they wanted to sleep on the tiled balcony. Everyone declined but in doing so we felt it was agreed we should go.

But how to get out of the airport? Well, this helpful security guy took us back out through security. Of course it wasn’t embarrassing to see the security lady at her station laugh at me as we went by, as they switched off the equipment and finished their shift. If you didn’t read yesterday’s blog, I basically flashed her my pants in some confused exchange about swabbing me and my stuff.

If you have every tried getting a cab at an airport that’s closed it’s not easy. Though eventually we did find one. Once back at our hotel, I enjoyed getting all the jokey status updates on Facebook about our ordeal! Thanks friends J

I didn’t want to go to work tomorrow, who does at the end of holiday, I didn’t mean like this! At least we have somewhere to stay and our flight is confirmed for 10:15am tomorrow and I found a beer in the fridge that we left for the maid. Yer, she’s not getting it. Oh and after all week of moaning there weren’t enough towels I opened a draw and found a shit load and a spare toilet roll so we didn’t have to ration out square by square yesterday being too tight to buy a 1 euro pack and leave the majority behind!

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Shit or strawberries

Holiday fun in Gran Canaria continues…woke up on the sofa in my swimming costume with vague memories of Tony snoring in the night and randomly grabbing my costume from the balcony not thinking it was right to lay unclothed on another person’s sofa. I woke up with one of the boob pads under my pit.

Our morning greeting went like this, ‘why are you in your costume’? ‘You were snoring’. ‘Doesn’t answer my question’.

We get dressed and go to book another massage. We were going to book to go to the Fish Spa to have our feet nibbled but Tony said let’s save money and just use the ped egg.

As we walk, Tony reckons his cheap shorts are so hot his sperm count is lowering with every step.

We had a massage, 2.5 hours. I had the same little bloke as a few days ago and I watched as his feet slayed out trying to massage me like he was pushing a car up hill. At the end of it, this time it felt like there were warm pickles pressed into my eyes and head. I preferred being bashed on the forehead with his balls.

When you are massaged that long basically it opens a direct line to god. You become so chilled. I joke. ‘I spoke to God Tony’. ‘Did you, want did he say’? ‘Open an espadrille shop and never leave this island’.

We were told to take it easy, to drink lots of water and chill. I plan to go back, do some diaphragmatic breathing and meditate. Though actually back at the apartment, I ate crisps. Apparently, ‘a lot of crisps’. The walk back was hard, couldn’t keep my flip flops on with all that patchouli oil. They stuck to my feet so not a lot of flop going on.

After a siesta we go out for beer. ‘Honey, incoming, you’re 12 o’clock’, I say to Tony as more street performers come over for money. ‘Is it alright to say we paid them yesterday’? He says. ‘Just avoid eye contact, look at your shoes or phone now’, I tell him.

‘No’, I say assertively, waving off a lady approaching us from the front, who unfortunately is the waitress and looks somewhat annoyed/bewildered.

It’s cold. I say, ‘that’s it, I am bloody freezing, I’m going to have to get a jumper. I’m going to the shop’. Once there, I have to think long and hard about just how cold I am and how much I need the jumper, when the only one suitable is a zip up hoodie that says ‘me baby’. I decide I’ll risk a further bout of pneumonia. I head back to our table.

‘Did you get a jumper’. ‘No, I could only find one that said, me baby’. ‘Jeez, how cold would you need to be before wearing that’. ‘Exactly’.

Someone else comes over and hangs about. ‘Have they gone’? Tony asks speaking to his phone. ‘No, they are still in the area where they could claim potential payment’, I say from my vantage point looking at my sandals.

I moan, ‘oh bloody hell, now there’s an old guy coming over selling stuff…I’m about to feel like I’ve pushed a baby bird out of it’s nest when I say no…and look he’s followed by that old skinny guy in flairs. I’m gonna have to give him something he’s been walking since 1973’. ‘He’s going to think those TV screens are the devils work’. ‘Brilliant, now there’s someone with a crutch followed by someone in a mobility scooter, oh no, his reversing our way. Let’s get the bill’.

Yer, getting the bill is never quick here. Basically, you need to grab someone’s throat and shake them to get it, or ask them for the menu, your drinks, an ash tray, your food (inc desserts) and the bill all at once if you want it in a timely fashion.

We are both trying to make contact with the waitress non too subtle, basically standing up and doing full body twists looking for her. I’m starting to mentally answer the question Tony had about how cold would you need to be before buying the ‘me baby’ hoodie. It’s about now.

Still waiting for our bill. Tony asks, ‘you made eye contact yet’? ‘No, you’. ‘No, I thought you had’. ‘Why’s it my responsibility’? ‘It’s not’. ‘Right well get eye contacting’. ‘With whom, there is no-one here. There’s 5 members of staff but they’ve all gone. I’d bloody sack the lot’.

‘Quick, get the bill’, Tony says holding his breath. ‘What’s the matter’? ‘Someone is pumping raw sewage and it smells like rancid fish tank when your fish are dead’. I have no sense of smell so I can’t smell it. ‘What like when you’ve left them a few days and don’t know they’re dead’. ‘Er no, you don’t do that’. ‘Well I did I had a lot of responsibilities as a kid’. ‘I don’t need to know about that now, I need to get away from the smell of shit. It’s like I have my nose stuck on a cow’s arse’.

I am in hysterics. Eventually the waitress comes over and says, ‘do you want a coffee’? ‘Do we want a coffee…er, no I think we are ok thanks. It’s been a lovely meal, great, thank you. Muchas Gracias. Enjoy your day’, Tony says paying. ‘I love it, you have been moaning about her all that time and then you are so polite’. ‘What am I supposed to say, no I don’t want coffee it stinks of shit here’!

We go to the shops and I have a fit of giggles about the shit which Tony is still moaning about. I am literally crying at the veg. My laughter reaches uncontrollable levels when they play the Spanish teletubbies, immediately followed by Bryan Adams, everything I do. I am literally wiping tears away from my face, saying, ‘what self respecting DJ does that’. ‘Shut up, stop laughing, everyone is looking at us’, I’m reprimanded.

We go to the shop that sells two things. Sweets or fags, which we just find hilarious. Kinder egg or 20 Marlboro?

We walk home and Tony’s sandal starts making a fart noise. It must be from our oily feet. I find this a lot more hilarious than it actually needs to be.

We get in the lift. ‘Jeez, how much perfume did that woman who just got out have on. It smells like strawberries. It’s so strong. Great, you go from shit to strawberries in 60 seconds. It’s giving me a headache’. I am literally crying.

We go out to sit on the veranda. The second I sit on my wicker chair, the seat makes a straining nose before separating from the wicker back as the two back legs buckle in. ‘Jeez, you’ve just broken the chair you fat cow’. ‘Well you broke the coffee machine you skinny bastard’. Once again, I am just dying as I get a new chair. ‘Can we talk about politics or something I am about to have an asthma attack laughing’!

‘Are you having a nice time, you haven’t said you are’? I ask wiping tears from my face. ‘Don’t be so needy’, is the response.

Tony starts reading out one of those survey things called, 1’2 things your man does to show he loves you’. ‘Number 1, he loves you showing affection’, pissing myself I say, ‘er, you tell me I’m needy’. He continues, ‘number 2, he holds your hand for no reason’. ‘No, you only hold it coz you need help walking’! ‘Brilliant. Screw this, let’s have dinner’. We make dinner. The picture shows the scene we cook in. Excited I use the only function I have on my Smart watch to time the spaghetti only to find the symbol that looks like an alarm is actually just the volume button for when your phone rings!

We watch TV stretched out on the sofa. I put my pillow on his buttocks saying, ‘they’re the best buttocks on the island’, biting one. ‘Owe’. ‘That didn’t hurt, it was all pocket’.

I fell asleep in those bad boys watching a film that went on far too long. Basically, there were some bad men on horses, looking for other bad men not on horses. Some prostitutes were involved. Some money was involved. I kept waking up and thinking, jeez it’s still on!

At the end of the movie I say, ‘that was a long film wasn’t it’. ‘Er, most people can watch a two hour film. It was only long because you kept asking every 2 minutes how long it had left and stop farting’. ‘I’m not, it’s my feet on the sofa look’. ‘It’s your bleeding clowns feet’.

I get up sulking. ‘What’s it doing’? ‘I’m clearing these pepper seeds off the kitchen surface so we can have a coffee in the morning’. ‘You mean so I can make you a coffee in the morning’. ‘Er, I’ll be sleeping there (points to bed), so if you’re so inclined you want to make a coffee in the morning that’s up to you (shit, I hope he makes me a coffee in the morning)!

We go to bed. I make it quite well known I am still annoyed with him by swishing my hair and reluctantly offering up my lips for a kiss. ‘It’s annoyed ain’t it’ (hah, it worked). ‘Nope, I’m not’ (so am).

I turn over to switch off the light saying a short, ‘night’, before, I switch the main lights on by mistake, then off again, then on, ‘bloody hell’, he moans, the wardrobe lights come on, then Spanish music starts blaring out (oh it seems that can be played out on the veranda too). ‘What the hell are you doing’? ‘I’m having a personal Spanish disco in bed, what do you think I am doing, I am trying to switch the lights off…you wouldn’t have any light in your life if it weren’t for me’. ‘Is this some profound shit or are you still talking about the lights’? ‘Just go to sleep’, I say. ‘You go to sleep’, he replies. ‘I can’t sleep because you keep talking’. ‘Well I can’t sleep because you keep flashing the bloody lights’.

I eventually get the lights off and shove my ear plugs in so far I think they’re in Tenerife! I know within half an hour I’ll be in my swimming costume again on the sofa with his bloody snoring!

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The wrong trousers

I wake up feeling like my mouth was hijacked in the night and force fed kebabs. My mind immediately connects the following thoughts. Damn those little sausages… Hhhmmm dreamboat. The waiter with those jeans that had no belt and they just perfectly hugged him.
We get up. Only temporarily you understand, to take in the view of the beach from our ample terrace. ‘Is that Dreamboat in the restaurant down there’? I ask Tony with an inappropriate level of excitement in my voice. ‘Right, get in off the blinking balcony, you’re not allowed out here again’.
Tony gets up and makes a coffee asking, ‘you on sugar today or what’? ‘Yes please…but can you wet the spoon first and then dip it in the sugar, I just have the few granules on the spoon’. ‘Too late…too long interval after yes… anyway, why can’t you drink coffee like a normal person and why do you change the way you have it every day’. ‘Gotta keep a relationship fresh’.
Just chilling lazily drinking our coffee in bed. We watch the news and listen to two stories. One on how the police have downgraded the priority of domestic violence and another on how camping in Scotland is to be made illegal.
I comment, ‘so they’ve downgraded domestic violence but upgraded the importance of camping in Scotland, brilliant’. Tony responds pretending to be on a radio… ‘Yer can we get an APB out on a camper. He’s eating a sausage. Repeat he’s eating a sausage’. Hhhmmm dreamboat and his sausage. He continues, ‘hilarious, there’s now a news article on how far you can drop a golf ball. There’s people dying in the world and all we’re interested in is how far you can drop a golf ball’. ‘Just out of interest, how far can you drop a golf ball’?
We talk about one of our friends who also has MS and how she is also getting a FES but may have to pay for it. A FES is a type of shoe that sends electrical pulses that can help a person who can’t walk very well walk better. There’s three types from basic to more advanced. We have an appointment next month for Tony to get fitted for one on the NHS (UK free health service).
We get talking about this. Tony cracks me up, ‘you can bet I get the basic shoe on the NHS’…immediately making the sound of a moving piston. ‘Yer, you’ll be like Robocop’. ‘I’ll be like Wallace in the wrong trousers. I’ll be like hitting the walls and my legs will still be going’. I get up and start moving my legs like I’m in Wallace’s wrong trousers complete with sound effects saying, ‘this will be us walking down the street with me shouting wait for me Tony and you saying I can’t. I’ve got the wrong trousers…Winston even looks like Gromit’.
My turn to make coffee. Great I get to spoon dip the sugar. Tony comes into the kitchen. ‘What the heck. Why’s the kitchen soaked’? ‘Because I can’t quite get the taps right yet’. ‘There’s no quite about it! You can’t get them to work at all. Period. I wanted to make toast’. ‘That’s alright I’ll just dry the sides down’. ‘You’ll be better off using the mop. It’s like the frigging pipes have leaked in here’.
Someone in the apartment next door has a piano. They’re playing it and they’re good. It’s like having a concert pianist next door. It adds a dramatic feel to being in the shower but it’s very melancholy by the time I am cleaning my teeth and I’m near depression when it’s time for toast.
Tony asks, ‘where do you wanna go for lunch’? ‘To be honest, I’d be quite happy to go where we went last night’. ‘Yer I bet you bleeding would’.
A lady from a learning disability charity calls me. I am doing some volunteer work with them but she doesn’t know I’m away. My phone is turned down but my smart watch starts ringing. ‘What do I do honey’? In panic I answer the phone and talk into the watch together. Tony is absolutely beside himself with laughter and I don’t quite get why. He’s saying,’ speak into your phone you twat’, while I am still talking to my watch and phone, and I’m swatting him away with my hands while he starts taking pictures of me, which makes me wave my hands even more furiously at him.
The call ends or at least the caller says goodbye but I go from phone to watch not knowing what to do to end the call my end. Tony is still pissing himself saying, ‘you’re like Dick Tracey’. ‘Ssshh’, I say quietly, ‘she might be able to hear’. Tony is in tears.
I moan,’I don’t think I want this watch it’s shit. It can’t take calls, it can’t do email, it’s shit ugly, and it needs to charge for 24 hours just so I can tell the time once or twice a day. And look the clock face doesn’t even stay permanently lit up. I have to switch it on every bloody time I want to see the time. No casual clock watching and oh is that the time, must dash, any more. Oh no, I’ve got to switch it on, wait for it to do it’s thing and clumsily check it and then make excuses and leave. Seamless’.
Tony is in hysterics at this watch drama and laughs, ‘well its got a calculator and an alarm’. ‘Great. So does my phone. Though they’ll come in handy when I need to add up just how much electricity it takes to tell me the blinking time and when I’m timing the frigging spaghetti later. That’s it. I’m getting a new one on the flight home’. ‘No you aint. You get one every time we go abroad’. ‘Er, we haven’t been away on a holiday abroad for 2 years. Our last successful holiday was when we went to Great Yarmouth’!’ Yer and look what happened there’. ‘That’s got nothing to do with me getting a watch that I didn’t get’. ‘Alright Dick Tracey.’ ‘Get lost’.
What actually happened in Yarmouth was we were out walking Winston late and pissed when I saw a cat that had been run over and was bleeding. I took Tony and Winston home and tried to locate it. There was a bunch of drunken youths (this is a shit end of town) and I asked them to help. They laughed and told me to fuck off.
So I did. I saw the cat in a garden and I opened the iron gate in the front garden  (about 12am) meeting some resistance from the gate. It appears safety was of the utmost importance to this person as they’d placed a heavy terracotta pot against it probably to prevent some one from doing the very thing I was now doing, walking around in their garden late at night.
The cat went under a BBQ cover and was swiping after me before it jumped over the gate. There’s me trying to shut the gate, reapply the pot in its position before charging off after it.
Along come a pissed couple and they stop to help/scare the shit out of it making it charge off again before leaving. So I rung a local vet, called the emergency line, waited until 1.30am and several pees up an alley later, and no assistance, I went home. Next day we drove for hours looking for it. See I didn’t get a watch.
Anyway from Great Yarmouth to Gran Canaria (which to be honest is the way round you’d wanna do it).
We just chill. You know lunch and people watch. We’re just about to get the bill/wait annoyed for 14 days before I say, ‘wow, look honey, look, coming along now the lady in the brown trousers has the biggest Camel toe I’ve ever seen’. ‘What, where’?  ‘She’s down by the sea now. She might come back this way in a second’. ‘Right I’ll get another beer in then, I don’t think I’ve like actually seen one before’. ‘Oh no she’s going the other way and now you’ve added 2 more days onto the holiday ordering that beer’.
This conversation is happening while a lady is playing I would walk 500 miles and then Superman on some bagpipes. She comes over. I say I have no money but unzip all the compartments of my purse to prove it. After the last compartment she walks off. ‘Well that was awkward. Why didn’t you just say you didn’t have money without all that purse shit and is that Winston’s hair you’ve got in the back of your purse’? ‘Yer it’s my good luck charm. That’s why I can see camel toes and you don’t. They’re like Mermaids’. Someone starts playing Jaws on a harmonica. I think that just involves blowing from one end of the harmonica to the other to the theme of Jaws.
As we walk off excitedly I say, ‘look, look look, honey’, ‘What is it? Is the camel toe back’? ‘No, it’s the scientist from Back to the Future. He’s looking for the clock tower. He’s a dead ringer’ ‘Bloody hell yer. Look he’s talking to that other bloke. Do you think he’s asking him where he parked his DeLorean’? ‘Nah he’s asking what year it is and if he’s seen Marty Mcfly… I like his shirt though’. ‘What you can see of it. Most of him is trouser. His trousers are pulled up so far he could actually be Kenny from South Park’.
We come back for wine and a siesta and an hour later I’m woken up to ‘I’m easy like Sunday morning’ blaring out the TV. ‘Jeez, wtf’. ‘Yer the TV just started playing that really loudly for some reason’.
I lay on the sofa and watch TV while Tony makes coffee. He sits down. ‘Why are you watching German TV that looks like Holby City’? (UK TV hospital drama). ‘ Well its just on’. ‘You can’t be arsed to change the channel can you’? ‘No the remotes over there out of reach’, ‘well pick it up with your bleeding clowns feet’ (earlier blog). I say, ‘Nah, anyway I’m trying to set up a Twitter account to promote my blog. It seems to think I’ve got one. Apparently I’m just following Richard Branson and Gino D’Acampo’. Pissing himself Tony says, ‘give me your bloody phone’. Then laughing harder confirms, ‘you are actually just following Richard Branson and Gino D’Acampo’. ‘Yer, I know. Ridiculous right. I can’t even taste so why would I be interested in following bleeding Gino and anyway, you’re a Chef’.
I’ve only been here a short while and already the bread and booze is swelling me up. We have to take all our snaps now and I have to sit my chair behind Tony’s to make my face appear the same size as his in every selfie. I can also no longer decide what to wear based on the weather (its pants) but on what I can get into that doesn’t split my belly in two making it look like a bent over arse.
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Little sausage

Just landed in Gran Canaria, we go through airport security, or a place where a bored guy just waves us through, while I am using my bag to cut off people who don’t appear to understand the concept of queues. How very British.

We have a cab waiting, and meet the guy. He introduces himself as Jo, not very Spanish I think, and I say my name, to which he immediately responds, ‘argh, you’re a woman’, with genuine surprise. There’s lots of laughing and awkward head nodding. Then he shows us to the cab.

We get in the car and he puts our bags in the boot. It gives me chance to ask Tony, ‘why did he confirm I was a woman’? ‘I don’t know, it shocked him maybe’, ‘Yer that’s not helping’.

Jo comes and gets in the car too and for the first time I actually hear where we are going. Just before you go on holiday people always ask, ‘where are you going’? I can answer as I always know the country, but then they ask, ‘where abouts’? To which my standard reply for all holidays is, ‘not far from the airport’. They must think I like planes. Then its, ‘are you staying in the North or South’? I just pick one. Then its ‘what’s the weather like’? Say a number. The latter, I should have looked into as I am already freezing in my shorts.

We get to the general area of where we will be staying and Jo tells us to stay in the cab and relax while he jumps out to helpfully locate our actual apartment. ‘What’s he want’? I ask suspiciously. He goes down one road and comes back, then down another and comes back, down another and comes back now shaking his head. Tony farts. ‘Great, the poor guy is out there looking for our apartment and you’re in his cab farting. I don’t think he meant relax that much’. Tony’s defence, ‘everyone farts in cabs’, like that’s an inherent virtue of human nature.

Eventually, Jo’s found our apartment. He gets our bags out, tries to stand them up and forces the handle up on mine. Good to see he is having the same issues. Then we start the process of paying. I tip, not knowing whether I have just giving him more money than he will have seen in a life time or have deeply offended him.

He walks us round to the apartment wheeling our cases for us saying, ‘you relax’. The lady who is due to meet us at our apartments isn’t there. Tony calls her.  No answer. ‘OMG we’ve been scammed’, you immediately think. Yer that doesn’t go away when he tries another 4,5,6 times with the same result! Eventually he gets through and she says she will be 8 minutes (very precise). Jo laughs at the short time frame we are given and says, ‘haha, Spanish time she will be at least an hour or maybe here tomorrow’.

Jo says he will wait with us for the lady to turn up. I repeat internally, what’s he want and did I just pay his mortgage off with that tip to warrant this interest? He convinces us he will look after our stuff and that we should go and have a beer. Off we go. Not used to a friendly cabbie, we laugh, somewhat nervously at how he is probably riffling our bags or just plain running of with them.

1 hour later, the lady arrives. We say goodbye to Jo and he writes his name and number down so we can get him to take us to the airport when we go back. That’s when we learn his actual name is Panchos. He is lovely and the lady who meets us is lovely. Turns out the island is full of just really nice people, just intent on us having a nice holiday (the two we met anyway)!

Once inside the lady shows us a map and points out all the interesting places to go. We hope our faces politely say can we just skip this part. We are sure your old town is very lovely but we are merely here to drink Sangria.

After she goes I ask Tony if it’s safe to drink from the taps. ‘It’s not 1987 honey’.

We go out to have a nice meal. We sit down and 14 days later the waiter comes to take our drinks order. As he walks off Tony says, ‘jeez what a dream boat’. I laugh my head off. ‘Dream boat, I am a woman and I have never found reason to use that term’. He’s right though, so we just keep ordering loads of tapas just so we can spend time with him and we fight over who will actually place the order. When Tony says, ‘well take one of the small sausages’ please, internally I am dying and want to say, ‘actually, we will take any size sausage, either of us, what ever size sausage you have, will be great. We’ll take one for the team’.

The rest of the meal is spent with me vaguely listening to our conversation while following Dreamboat’s arse around watching like a complete pervert as it bends and straightens gorgeously as he wipes tables. I just want to reach out and stroke it. You have to understand, Tony is my soulmate and my best friend and we just are laughing at this and my interest in him very light-hearted.

Then, Tony spots a man coming along to the tables selling Oakleys, followed immediately behind by a bloke selling roses. ‘They better not come here, I’m not interested’, he says. The Oakley bloke passes by and doesn’t stop, the rose guy passes by and doesn’t stop. ‘Why didn’t they stop’? He asks as suprised as Jo/Panchos learning I was a woman. ‘I dunno, maybe your face telling them not to. You didn’t want them to anyway’. ‘I know, it’s nice to be asked though’. ‘What so you can tell them no’. ‘They’ll probably burn your retinas anyway’. ‘Yer, just like mine’, I say pointing to the hole in my sunglasses. We laugh.

I tell Tony the worst place I visited for people selling stuff was Barbados. When we arrived I was like, I don’t think that’s right that they move people selling Aloe Vera plants on, it’s their livelihood. Then the next day I was like, right, can you take this seller down and put his coconuts up his ass.

Tony says, ‘this place is like Byron Bay’. That’s were we spent our honey moon. It’s in Australia and is a place with a great energy and anything goes. People dress in all sorts of get ups from suits to hippy shit. Here there are people going by in puffer jackets and scarves, shorts, then some fancy heals go by and sparkly tops and then there was the lady in the red skirt (tutu like) and gold lycra top. Me, I’m in the shorts and full on summer get up. I’m freezing but I have no jumpers or jeans, nothing other than 100% cotton dresses. I want to be the lady that goes by in jeans a jumper and knee high boots.

Tony observes that everyone here is either a runner or a smoker. That’s true, loads of runners and loads of smokers. That prompts a game of ‘runner or smoker’, to everyone going by.

We talk about how, today I’d sent a message to Winston (dog’s) wonderful holiday family to tell them he eats shoes, as we forgot to tell them. As if to prove it I sent a picture of the shoes featured earlier in my blog. I was mortified that this didn’t reach them in time and to basically hear back that yes, they know with a picture of a small child’s eaten shoe. So, not knowing the size, we discuss ideas on what gift we can give in exchange for the shoe. The numerous pen knifes, lighters and the eye burning Oakleys just don’t seem right. Nor does the bikini glad ornament with Gran Canaria splayed across the breasts.

At the end of the meal we move the tip around on the table, both wanting to look like we were the one who left it in case he decides to give us a bit of extra sausage. The coins move around like we’re playing chess.

We walk home and I say ‘Ola’ to the dogs we pass but a bit like a Gentlemen’s Club, I have a no touching rule our of respect for Winston. Though he has shown no respect having pinched a crying small kids shoe. The ‘no touching rule’, has nothing to do with the time I surprised a dog with my ‘ola’ in Mexico that basically wanted to chew my face off.