I’m sure that the subtitle above will come as a great relief to any readers utterly fed up with stories about my holidays – but just bear with me for another few hundred words.
This is not, in fact, the article I intended to publish but the subject matter of the large one that I wrote on the flight home is now nearly 2 months distant and I have no enthusiasm now to type it up.
It will remain as 4 pencilled pages in my little notebook until such time as my literary executor succumbs to the clamouring of the public for “more Alfie stories, please” and sells it for an exorbitant sum! Or, as is much more likely, until such time as the notebook gets thrown out as being of no interest to anyone!
Before I leave the holiday altogether, however, I must speak of our last two evenings at Playa Blanca because they had an entirely unexpected emotional effect on me.
Our penultimate full day of the holiday (Saturday – we flew out and back on Mondays) was spent on an excursion to the neighbouring island of Fuerteventura – the same excursion that the rather lengthy abandoned article mentioned above was all about.
It involved, initially, a 40 minute boat crossing of the 10 kilometre strait between the two islands and was an extremely pleasant day out. Faith and sea crossings (however large the boat) do not go well together and during the trip back there was a very long, slow swell cutting across our course. I’m pleased to say that she managed to “hold it in” but was left needing an early night to sleep off the effects.
With the sole exception of Cardiff Bay last November, I am one of those irritating people who wander around ferries with a pint of beer in one hand and a greasy bacon sandwich in the other , singing “Wey Hey and up she rises” – so I was unaffected and not feeling remotely tired!
The TV in the room was rubbish – they are changing from analogue to digital and all the channels were messed up, which meant that while there were plenty of Spanish, French and German programmes available there was nothing in English.
To digress very slightly I should say that I did much better at the German version of “Who wants to be a millionaire” than did the German contestants – but then that won’t surprise anyone who knows me!
Anyway, I decided to go out for a walk by myself while Faith prepared for sleep and left the hotel through the main bar/entertainment area where the awful duo that I wrote about earlier were being given another chance. They did not appear to have improved much!
I passed through the deserted pool area and out of the “back gate” onto the block-paved promenade that runs for several miles along the Playa Blanca shoreline.
It was, for early March, a warm cloudless night and while the walkway was adequately lit the lights were not obtrusive and I was easily able to find a seat in which I could lean back and appreciate the full glory of the stars. This activity never fails to ring out some emotive response from me – usually accompanied by an unheeded diatribe about why the human race is not putting aside its petty and ultimately unimportant political and religious disagreements and getting “out there” to those lights in the sky.
Because of the feelings of frustration I normally experience after having those thoughts and because I did not want “negative waves” spoiling my holiday I reluctantly cut short my star-gazing and resumed my stroll along the paved shoreline towards the more “active” end of town.
Not too much farther along, however, I took another break sitting on a low wall outside an establishment called “The Jungle Bar” listening to a long-haired guy with a guitar providing the kind of quality entertainment that was so painfully eluding the residents of my Hotel!
If I had only bought some money with me I would certainly have gone in for a cold beer but I had gone out as “mugging-proof” as possible (well, you never know!) so decided to cut the walk short at that point and retraced my steps back to the hotel.
I did resolve to tell Faith about it when she was next awake and to suggest we take the same walk the next evening – which would be our last on the island.
And this we did.
The sky was as wonderful as on the previous evening and the air at ground level was obviously clearer too because across that strait to the south the town of Corralejo was not now so much an orange blur as a sparkling golden tiara sitting on the horizon. A bit poetic for me, you think? Well I was suddenly incredibly moved by it all and while I didn’t quite burst into tears, the thought came to me that I couldn’t bear never to see it again should anything happen to Faith or I. And so I stumbled through a very un-Alfie-like “if the worst ever happens” speech wherein I suggested that the survivor of us should return physically to that spot at some time and the one who had “moved on” should join them there mentally, should this prove possible.
Fortunately it was all too good for me to get depressed about this for long and we wandered on and eventually stopped at the Jungle bar where we had a couple of Mojitos and listened to the singer.
We went home the next day after a wonderful break and the one thing that I never mentioned to Faith (until now anyway) is that NEVER in all our years of living and holidaying together have I EVER felt less inclined to go home!
So if I ever get the opportunity to retire out of the UK my vote will be for Playa Blanca, Lanzarote.