As I may have mentioned in these pieces before I have, since February, been trying very hard to lose some weight, my dear wife having at last convinced me that you can actually have too much of a good thing (i.e. ME)!
And, it must be said, I have had some success!
There is now 4 stone less of me than there was at my last birthday and THAT is equivalent to 56 pounds or just about 25 kilograms. And that last figure is only about 1 stone (14 pounds or 6 Kg) short of the combined weights of mine and Faith’s suitcases on this trip!
I did, in fact, try to carry both of those bags when we got to the hotel. I had one in each hand and could only manage a few steps before my knees began to buckle and I had to think very seriously about how I had ever managed to WALK with most of that mass spread over me!
The work is not yet completed as while Alfie in the sea or a swimming pool no longer has Japanese tourists rushing off in search of a harpoon, neither do I (yet) get mistaken for Daniel Craig coming out of the sea at the start of “Casino Royale”!
I did, however, feel much less self-conscious on this holiday at the idea of wandering around wearing nothing but swimming shorts (I’m not, and never have been, designed for “Speedos” or “Budgie Smugglers”), a hat and a pair of sandals. The past week has given me ample opportunity to do this at both the hotel pool and the beach – I have to say that as 63 year old male British holidaymakers go I looked pretty good!
Not, I must say immediately, as beautiful to behold as the 61 year old FEMALE British holidaymaker I am holiday-making with and to whom I have been married for the last 36 ½ years.
Where I, as stated above, cannot (yet) carry off the “Daniel Craig emerging from the sea in Casino Royale” look, Faith can, and does, do a really excellent impression of Ursula Andress doing likewise in “Doctor No”!
The only problem she has though is an inability to recognise that while the sea is not her natural environment it IS the only home of other creatures, specifically FISH – and that they are ALLOWED to be there!
This is academic in British seaside resorts (especially the bit of the North Sea that I’m familiar with) where if the water ever does get warm enough to swim or even paddle in, you wouldn’t be able to see a fish if it swam right up to you and stuck its tongue out!
On a beach where you can wade out to chin depth and still see your toes though, you can all too obviously also see every other piece of sea life inhabiting the area!
The sea bed at Cala Galdana is, fortunately, bereft of rocks or indeed anything but soft sand so fish are the only such lifeforms visibly present. The ones I saw in the water varied between 2 and 12 inches long (I presume they get bigger the further out you go) and while they will dart away if you move towards them, they are not unduly scared of stationary humans and will exhibit signs of curiosity and do quite close approaches to you.
And it is these apparent overtures of piscine friendship that freak my good lady out – it seems to Faith that this behaviour is somehow aggressive and that they are going to attempt to bite her whenever one moves in too close.
I first became aware of this fishy phobia while on holiday in Turkey in 2000 when a foot long, pointy-nosed, Mackerel-striped specimen investigated her too closely and she came out of the waist deep water faster than any nearby jet-skis could have managed!
While this is emphatically denied, I suspect a mis-spent youth watching far too many horror movies about Piranhas!
Whatever the reason it explained Faith’s reluctance this week to spend much time swimming in the sea – except, that is, for those few previously mentioned days of opaque, red water when she was able to paddle, look around at the scenery and even talk to me in blissful ignorance of what might be going on “below decks” and with no need to be staring intently at her feet the whole time.
And I make a present to the producers and script writers of the next James Bond movie, of the idea of a good looking, bikini clad “Bond Girl” who squeals uncontrollably at the very thought of there being a shoal of harmless, tiny fish in the water with her. It would bring some realism to the story and I have the perfect candidate for the role!